What You Can Do With Paper, Scissors, And Glue

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f e at u r eWhat you can do with paper, scissors,and gluef you are new to early childhoodeducation, you may appreciateknowing about traditional papercraft activities that teachers haveused for decades. All the activitiesbelow are appropriate for use inthe art center, but some may alsofind a place in other centers suchas dramatic play, manipulatives,science, and literacy.Remember that the purpose ofart activities is to build skills withart materials and to encouragecreativity. Avoid having childrenmake exact copies of the sameobject or follow a teacher-mademodel. Encourage them to experiment with color, texture, design,and size. Let them determinewhether their craft will have afunctional purpose (gift, toy, decoration), whether they will displayit or take it home, and whetherthey want to name or describe it.Be sure to adapt the activities tothe children’s developmentalskills and interests. Can they cutwith scissors? Can they use a stapler and hole punch? Would theyprefer working in a small grouprather than alone?Because children need fine muscle skills in their fingers, start byshowing them how to tear, ratherthan cut. Offer pieces of newspaper or junk mail, and demonstratehow to tear strips along fold lines.Use the non-dominant hand (usually the left) to hold the paperagainst the table and the dominant hand to tear.Advance to tearing pictures outof a magazine and then to shapesdrawn on construction paper.Invite them to paste pictures andshapes on another piece of paperto see how torn paper can havethe same impact as cut paper.Teach safety withscissorsBefore handling scissors, childrenneed to understand that scissorsare a tool, not a toy. Provideblunt-tipped scissors forpreschoolers and child-sized,pointed scissors for school-agers.Teach tearing firstChildren are not born knowinghow to cut with scissors. Like allskills, cutting requires watchingsomeone do it, understandingsafety rules, and practicing. Texas Child Care quarterly / summer 2012 / VOLUME 36, NO. 1 / childcarequarterly.comphoto by susan gaet zI

If possible, provide left-handedscissors for left-handed children.When children use scissors in anactivity, provide adult supervision.Set limits such as the following: Use scissors only when sitting ata table. Never run with scissors. Use scissors only for cutting—not for prying off a lid, forexample. When handing scissors toanother person, wrap yourhand around the closed bladesand offer the handles for theperson to grasp.Teach how to cutwith scissorsPaper craft activitiesFor the activities below, you’llneed three basic supplies: paper,scissors, and an adhesive (glue,paste, or tape) or fastener (stapler). In some activities, you mayadd a few extras such as string,stickers, and markers.Paper can include constructionpaper, blank newsprint, butcherpaper, notebook paper, typingpaper, and brown shipping paper.Consider recycling old newspapers, magazines, junk mail,spreadsheets, letters and otherone-sided documents, and browngrocery bags. Ask parents for giftwrap scraps, tissue paper, crepepaper, cardboard, old greetingcards, and leftover wallpaper.Office supply and printingshops may be willing to donatepaper scraps, samples, and dis-continued sheets. Note that papertypes are often distinguished byweight, which refers to the thickness and sturdiness of the paper,not the actual poundage. Copyand typing paper are typically 20to 24 lb., cardstock for postcardsand posters may be 50 to 65 lb.,and cover stock for businesscards, index tabs, and bookletcovers may be 80 to 100 lb.Colored or patterned paperadds variety, and children maywant to decorate their creations bycoloring, making designs, or gluing on art materials such as stickers, felt shapes, or tiny photos.Paper chainMaking a paper chain can be anenjoyable art activity in itself. Itcan also be used at the manipulatives table for giving childrenpractice in understandingsequence and pattern. For examples try red, blue, red, blue, o

scissors, and an adhesive (glue, paste, or tape) or fastener (sta-pler). In some activities, you may add a few extras such as string, stickers, and markers. Paper can include construction paper, blank newsprint, butcher paper, notebook paper, typing paper, and brown shipping paper. Consider recycling old newspa-pers, magazines, junk mail,

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