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Private schools 4+ assessments - using scissors

(33 Posts)
Ofelia15 Sat 26-Mar-16 15:58:40

Good afternoon everyone. I have a rather silly questions, but have to ask anyway... Could someone please tell me what type of scissors are usually used at 4+ assessments for cutting? Plastic or school blunt ones with metal blades? I bought my DD plastic scissors, but she doesn't like using it as it's a such a nightmare to cut a usual paper with it even for me and my husband! Do kids cut usual (printing) paper at assessments or a thicker one (card crafts style)? Thank you for advise!

DessertOrDesert Sat 26-Mar-16 16:06:58

No private school experience, but my 4 and 6 year olds use these from ELC
Plastic points, but reasonable metal blade inside. They actually cut paper and thin card.

hazeyjane Sat 26-Mar-16 18:46:48

I work in a preschool, we use normal metal scissors with rounded ends for 3 years up, with supervision.

Louise43210 Sat 26-Mar-16 18:51:13

I work in a school nursery. We use plastic handled metal scissors with rounded edges too. They work better than the plastic ones.

womdering Mon 28-Mar-16 06:21:40

I work with little ones on assessment criteria. I use a range of scissors to help them to adjust and adapt to the wide range that they may come across at assessment. Similarly, I use a range of pencil types.
My advice would be to purchase several types.
More importantly than using 'the right scissors' is that you ensure that your little one knows how to hold them (both thumbs up/ on top of paper, holding paper near to area to be cut and adjusting holding position as s/he goes; non-cutting hand's fingers curled under towards palm, etc.). Practice cutting a line. As confidence / competence develops, move towards cutting a curve and then a medium sided circle.

If holding scissors is a problem, there are some fab. training scissors out there.

Ofelia15 Mon 28-Mar-16 23:00:43

DessertOrDesert Thanks a lot for advice - ordered it yesterday, will see if DD likes it better.

Ofelia15 Mon 28-Mar-16 23:05:53

womdering I've ordered ELC scissors - hopefully DD will get more interested in cutting, and then we can try different scissors, including the fully plastic ones. She would show an interest in cutting paper from time to time, but once she tries (and mostly fails) using the plastic scissors, as it's almost impossible to use even for an adult, she would then refuse trying again for a couple of weeks after that...

womdering Tue 29-Mar-16 06:14:12

That's a great lace to start! I too would avoid the types of scissors that make it hard to do anything but slide either side of the paper be cut it. Lol
See how you get on with focusing on the thumbs on top, non-cutting hand moving to position aped close to blade (fingers curled under) and blades perpendicular to paper in order to cut it, vs diagonally sliding either side of paper.
These are good ones to use for practice:

Remember: left handlers use left handed versions.

If fine motor skills are weak (unable to squeeze down easily):


Left/right handed training scissors (adult has holes for their own fingers too:
Westcott School Left and Right Handed Kids Scissors, 5-Inch, Blunt, Colors Vary (13130)_

This is a lovely little set of tools for building up to / enhancing use of scissors:
Learning Resources Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set

Finally, there are lovely little booklets with easy to use cutting activities. They're not necessarily as children are usually already motivated enough to cut a mummy-drawn line, but they're fun and ready-prepared:
Let's Cut Paper! (Kumon First Steps Workbooks)_


My First Book of Cutting (Kumon's Practice Books)

womdering Tue 29-Mar-16 08:18:11

Pls ignore my typos. I ought to proof read my work wink

sallyhasleftthebuilding Tue 29-Mar-16 08:20:00

Give her some sheets to make confetti!! You can't go wrong and they love it!

womdering Sun 03-Apr-16 12:20:58

I hope you're closer to some hopeful answers.

Ofelia15 Tue 05-Apr-16 15:23:26

womdering Thank you very much for so many useful tips! I've ordered one Kumon cutting book with food theme - DD is currently obsessed with all food related things, so hope it will encourage her. I've read reviews on Amazon, and a lost of people say Kumon books are the best. We'll see if it suits us smile

womdering Tue 05-Apr-16 19:28:56

So glad it was useful. I'm not a Kumon fan, in general (for cumulative learning of maths and English), but these happen to be useful resources for cutting.
Saying that, the traditional use of Kumon (daily booklets) does have its uses for some.

Clobbered Tue 05-Apr-16 19:32:50

If it's any comfort, DS1 was crap with scissors at 4+ and his school recommended extra practice at home. It hasn't held him back in life (Cambridge graduate).

Ofelia15 Wed 06-Apr-16 11:23:25

Clobbered smile)))) You made me laugh smile)) I know it doesn't reflect in any way how she would do later in her life, and I'm not one of those obsessed parents, who would literally die to get their kid into a private school. But I want to give her a good chance, and I think ability to use scissors like other kids do will help smile It's only so much you can do to get a toddler ready for 4+ assessments, there's also lots of lottery and luck involved in the process.

Ofelia15 Wed 06-Apr-16 11:24:22

womdering, would you be able to recommend any other nice cutting books for a 3yo?

drspouse Thu 07-Apr-16 10:59:23

I'd love to hear about nice cutting books too. DS is just starting to do cutting (age 4, some difficulties though) and the reviews of the Kumon ones seem to say even the 2+ one might be hard to start with.

SoupDragon Thu 07-Apr-16 11:06:00

Good lord - you can even hot house for scissor exams grin

Can you print out simple colouring/clip art from the Internet for them to cut out? I remember printing endless simple line drawings for the DC when they were little and they would be fine for cutting round. Even just cutting out pictures from magazines to make a collage will improve their scissor control.

SoupDragon Thu 07-Apr-16 11:07:10

Google "scissor practice" and lots come up in images.

drspouse Thu 07-Apr-16 11:47:11

Even just cutting out pictures from magazines to make a collage will improve their scissor control.

We aren't at that stage yet, and won't be for a while. At the moment we are working on cutting all the way across a piece of card rather than struggling and stopping half way when the scissors turn round on themselves due to his poor grip. But something to motivate him rather than just plain card would be great (card is easier as per OT suggestion, rather than paper).

drspouse Thu 07-Apr-16 11:49:06

Google "scissor practice" and lots come up in images.

All far far too difficult I'm afraid! Like I say DS can't yet cut across a full piece of card let alone straight (or in a desired non-straight direction).

Agree re hothousing but thankfully we have no such schools near us nor a cat's chance in hell of getting in to any, even should we have any desire to do so.

drspouse Thu 07-Apr-16 11:51:52

Ha ha but when I put in "Occupational Therapy" too I get quite a few fun things including this which I know will appeal!

SoupDragon Thu 07-Apr-16 11:56:00

If this is too difficult, then any book will be too.

drspouse Thu 07-Apr-16 12:02:17

Yep that's going to be too difficult at the moment. I'm not sure where the 2+ Kumon book starts as that looks pretty hard for a 2 year old!

womdering Fri 08-Apr-16 06:35:48

Dr and Ofelia, a three or four year old would manage just fine with the Kumon books I've linked already. If scissors are tricky for your child, use these to get into the swing of things:
These training scissors have holes for a parent's fingers as well as a child's. Just the thing if a child is really struggling!

To begin, for any child, instead of using any worksheets or booklets, just draw a line (a pretty colour/ highlighter to make it appealing) and ask them to cut along it - with or without your help/ training scissors. Then, progress onto a short curve before, finally, a circle (turn a diver upside down and draw around it). You may not even need any booklets and be able to progress into cutting out magazine pictures, etc.

These are good activities for all little ones - whether or not they have an assessment coming up. If, after a length of time, a child still really struggles with the coordination necessary to use these scissor skills, hold a pencil with the firmness necessary to form letters, etc, it may indicate other weaknesses.

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