A pair of scissors may not seem like a candidate for a great developmental tool, but they provide Montessori preschool children with an opportunity to hone a variety of skills that are vital to early childhood development. To show how well-suited they are to the purpose, we will take a brief look at some important ways children learn from using scissors.
Where to Begin
Scissors are an important educational tool in Montessori preschool, but only if you choose carefully. It is better to purchase a quality pair of scissors from the outset to ensure your child has a safe, easy-to-use tool at her disposal. Cheaply made scissors may not provide an acceptable level of safety, for example, and almost certainly won’t offer a suitable cutting experience. Scissors that won’t cut properly can be frustrating for small children who are already uncertain of their skills.
- Developing Fine and Bilateral Motor Skills
Scissors are great for developing hand-eye coordination, bilateral dexterity, and honing fine motor skills. Together these skills are necessary for grasping, writing, manipulating objects, and performing more complicated tasks. Using scissors is a prime example of how Montessori helps with childhood development through play-based activities.
- Promoting Focus and Awareness
Learning to cut along a line requires children to concentrate on the task at hand, pay attention to detail, and perform the task in a slow and deliberate fashion. Cognitive skills of this sort will be important for all sorts of social, physical, and academic skills, so learning to use them at an early age offers children an educational edge as they get older.
- Critical Thinking and Individual Accomplishment
Drawing an object and then cutting it out with scissors requires children to use critical thinking skills along with things like performing math subconsciously. This is a great way to prepare for later academic tasks. And the result of a cut done right provides small children with a boost in morale and self-esteem, emotional factors that have been demonstrated to contribute to faster development and better retention.
Using scissors is one of many common activities children will use in their Montessori preschool. Like the Pink Tower and building blocks, they help children develop in several ways under the guise of enjoyable activities that don’t feel like learning at all.