You might have seen my recent post on the open ended art philosophy in my classroom, which mentioned the 'open art table' I had set up in my classroom. Scissors are always a popular tool at that table:
Before we leave (safe, blunt tipped, children's) scissors out for everyone to just grab willy nilly, we go through a process of introducing the scissors to the children. We use a combination of small group activities (showing the children where art tools are stored, talking about safety rules, and practicing with the materials) and adult-monitored cutting activities at our smaller art table. Once we feel that the kids are competent and capable and understand how to be safe with them, we put the scissors out in a small container on the shelf of our Open Art table. And then they are free to explore!
Our shelves are stocked with construction paper, scraps and half used notebooks we've collected from families, and paper remnants from past activities. We also put out a request at the start of each year for the parents to collect their unused junk mail envelopes, and envelopes included with bills that they now pay online. We get TONS of envelopes, and the kids love using them to store all the scraps they have snipped on any given day.
So, this might look a lot like junk, or a big mess, or a waste of time to some people (not me!) But look at all the skills these tools provide: fine motor, self-confidence, independence, creativity... too many to count!
Do you have a similar set up in your classroom or at home? Do scissors and kids not mix in your opinion? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below!
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