A to Z Scissor Skills: The Ultimate Guide To Scissor Skill Development

Hey OTs! This one is just for you!

Have kids on your caseload who need to work on scissor skills? Chances are you do. Have a heavy caseload with very little prep time? Chances are you do. Do you find it challenging to set goals that are measurable and easy to take data on? You are not alone! Save loads of time using this resource! Whether you are completing a formal assessment, an IEP annual review, or working with a child to improve their scissor skills, this guide is equipped with all the tools you need to make the process seamless and easy!  A to Z scissor skills boasts clear and concise graphics, making it easy to find information at a glance. The guide includes everything you need from assessment to goal writing, to intervention and data collection. All materials correspond to the developmental progression of scissor skills making the process straightforward and efficient.  

How Does It Work?

#1 Use The Handy Scissor Skill Developmental Checklist To Quickly Gauge Where The Child Falls On The Developmental Timeline

The Scissor Skill Developmental Checklist is helpful when determining if a child’s skills are developmentally appropriate. The checklist allows you to easily determine age-based expectations at a glance. Once you’ve identified developmental expectations, conveniently prep the materials needed for your assessment by grabbing one of the corresponding worksheets. Present the child with an age-appropriate cutting task and see how they perform. Select the appropriate worksheet to grade the task up or down based on the child’s capability. Use the checklist to document the date and where the child falls on the developmental timeline. Continue to use the checklist as you work with the child. Check the boxes and record the date as the child’s scissor skills progress.

Scissor Skill Developmental Checklist

#2 Use The Handy Scissor Skill Checklist To Assess The Quality Of The Child’s Scissor Use

Use the handy Scissor Skill Checklist: Skills Needed For Efficient Scissor Use to guide your clinical observation. This easy-to-use graphic outlines the underlying skills needed for efficient scissor use. Check the boxes as you observe the child complete the cutting task. For example, if the child is able to sit upright, unsupported with good posture, place a check in the box under “balance”. If you see that the child is able to hold both hands steady at midline while cutting, check the box for “shoulder stability”. The checklist allows you to quickly identify the skills that are intact while also clearly illustrating any skills the child may be deficient in. If any boxes remain unchecked once you’ve completed your clinical observation, you can swiftly determine what the child needs to work on. Continue to use the graphic as you work with the child. Check the boxes and record the date as the child’s scissor skills progress.

Scissor Skill Checklist: Skills Needed For Efficient Scissor Use

Good Scissor Skills Look Like…

When a child is using scissors efficiently, you will observe the following behaviors:

  • sitting upright with good balance
  • working at midline (both hands held at the middle of their torso)
  • holding the paper and scissors steadily
  • relaxed shoulders, not shrugged
  • elbows down, not raised
  • wrists held in a neutral position, not flexed (bent) or extended (raised)
  • holding and rotating the paper using their “helper hand”
  • functional “thumbs up” grasp
  • opening and closing scissors (opposition skills)
  • coordinating eye-hand movements to stay on the lines
  • smooth cuts versus choppy cuts
  • being safe
  • focused, eyes on the task
Good Scissor Skills Look Like…

#3 Use The Corresponding Goal Bank To Set Goals

Data, data, data! You’ve got to have it these days, but it’s not always easy to get…until now!

Easily set measurable goals using the Scissor Skill Goal Bank. The goal bank contains a template of 11 goals that correspond to the Developmental Progression of Scissor Skills Checklist. Customize each goal using the modifiers provided to fill in the blanks. Continue to use the goal bank to set new goals as the child progresses. Data tracking is super easy when using worksheets that match the goals and developmental criteria.  No more searching for appropriate activities or work samples to support your goals and data collection.  The Data Tracker provides a template to record the child’s progress toward goals. Simply cut and paste the goals into the data tracker and record the student’s progress. There’s your data, just like that. Easy-peasy!

#4 Use The Corresponding Worksheets To Address The Child’s Goals

The A to Z Scissor Skills Workbook includes 80 pages of worksheets that correspond to the Scissor Skill Developmental Checklist as well as the Scissor Skill Goal Bank (both included with purchase). The worksheets start at the beginning with snipping skills and progress to cutting out complex shapes. The borders of the design are measured to accommodate the level of precision the child should be able to cut. For example, if the child is 3 years old, he or she should be able to remain within ½” borders. You don’t have to guess or eyeball it when using these worksheets.

Skills are addressed in developmental order:

  • Snipping
  • Lines
  • Simple Shapes
  • Curvy Lines
  • Complex Shapes-Dotted Lines
  • Complex Shapes-Solid Lines

The worksheets contain fun and engaging graphics to spark the child’s interest. The worksheets were created using a task analysis approach. They provide a graded support system with levels of visual prompts that can be faded as the child progresses. The prompts illustrate “helper hand” placement (for lefties and righties), when to rotate the paper, how to get from the edge of the paper to the design, and finally where to cut on the line. The worksheets allow you to provide the “just right challenge” which is important for meaningful engagement in the task. A to Z Scissor Skills Workbook is available in color or black and white.

A to Z Scissor Skills Worksheets (Color)

#5 Use The Handy Data Trackers to Collect Data

The worksheets contained in the guide align with the Scissor Skill Developmental Checklist as well as the Scissor Skill Goal Bank. This makes it so easy to take data and determine whether or not the child has met the criteria to document mastery of the goal. The worksheets start at the beginning with snipping skills and progress to cutting out complex shapes. The borders of the design are measured to accommodate the level of precision the child should be able to cut. For example, if the child is 3 years old, he or she should be able to remain within ½” borders. You don’t have to guess or eyeball it when using these worksheets. The Data Trackers provide a template to record the child’s progress toward goals.

Data Tracker

A to Z scissor skills covers all the bases, you simply will not need any other resource! So what are you waiting for? Make your job easier by grabbing A to Z Scissor Skills The Ultimate Guide To Scissor Skill Development today!

Disclaimer

The Fun Strokes blog is designed for educational and informational use only for teachers, therapists, and parents. It is not intended as medical advice or therapeutic treatment that would be provided in an individualized treatment plan. If you suspect a child has delays, please consult an occupational therapist.

Published by Linda Craig Dennis

Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Author and Creator of Fun Strokes Pre-writing Program

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