Sunday, 20 January 2013

Scissors - to help or not to help that is the question...

Sometimes you just have to stand back and allow children to work it out themselves

when sharing these photos with colleagues there have been comments about the risk for cutting fingers...

and yes, the risk is there - but as you see, the chances are there will be very little force in the cut and therefore the cut would not be of a significant depth - a simple plaster and a cuddle would fix it.

by allowing the children to experiment with techniques - without helping hands or words can be beneficial (at other times a helping hand to support how the scissor technique can be used efficiently is needed)

once a process of opening and closing the scissors is worked out the child can then put it to good use

this time the use was not to cut the straw but to pick it up. Had I interfered with this process the child would not have been able to reach HIS goal - but my interpretation of what the goal was to be. This child then picked up the straw several times with the scissors with enormous pride.

The moral of this story. Stand back. Watch. And learn. The child will look to you when they are ready for help ... and then there will be the decision - help now or encourage to try themselves a little more - and there is no guidebook for how to know when to do what - it becomes a gut feeling through experience of working with children as well as an understanding of each child.


  1. I love that you are prepared for him to cut himself. I too let my kids risk hurting themselves where the hurt will be minimal and the learning outcome will be beneficial. And you know what? They hardly ever actually do hurt themselves in these situations. And they learn loads. :)

  2. I agree with the idea of giving children scissors and let them cut independently.I believe that children feel confident and they increase their curiosity when they experience this type of independence.