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Five Earth Friendly things you can use practice cutting

Using scissors to cut is one of my favorite school-based skill to work on as an OT. It's an important fine motor milestone, and when children can independently use scissors it's a proud moment!

While cutting is a fun skill to teach I often find that I am wasting paper as part of the teaching process. I'm always looking for creative ways to teach scissor skills without creating waste. In honor of Earth Day, here are five things you can use to practice cutting that will reduce paper waste.

1. Play Doh. Roll a snake and cut it into slices. Use a rolling pin to make it flat as a pancake and cut into slices! Playdoh is great to practice snipping, straight lines, or curves! When you're done smush it back together. You can try thera-putty for more resistance.

2. Velcro. Here's a new trick I came up with to practice cutting. Cut a thin strip of velcro and attach felt to it with hot glue. Cut on the seam of the velcro with safety scissors and stick it back together to try again!

3. Magnets. Similar to velcro, but with a bit more resistance. Stick fabric or laminated paper to sticky magnets and use safety scissors to practice the motion and handling of scissors.

4. Flowers. Or grass! A natural way to practice scissor use is to go out to the garden and cut some fresh flowers. Or you can "mow the lawn" by practicing cutting grass in your yard.

5. Molding wax. Molding wax is great for creating sculptures or forming letters. They are also great to practice cutting! Cut them in strips or curves, draw lines on them to cut shapes or zig zags and stick them back together for reusable cutting practice!

How do you teach or practice cutting? Comment below and let me know!

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