Did you ever think about all the movements involved in cutting something out with a pair of scissors?
Let us not ignore the fact that the hand without the scissors is doing lots of turning and twisting, and weaving here and there to keep up with the scissor hand. Also we can not forget that the eyes must turn here, there and everywhere to keep track of where the material to be cut is and where the material not to be cut is. and also where the fingers are that are to be cut under no circumstances !
There is the tendency to bring both hands, holding material and scissors nearer and nearer to the body, so the sentence I use most often while teaching someone to cut out is usually “Stretch your arms again”. This stretching gives more movement to both hands, and also provides a better view of the job in hand.
Now what about the scissors?
Years ago now, unfortunately I no longer know where, I found a pair of scissors that cut out however you hold them, in the left hand or in the right. I would not be without them when teaching cutting out, but ordinary scissors need to be on hand to practise with too, as not everyone has ”magic” scissors.
While cutting, the hand must move forwards with the scissors while at the same time the fingers must press the blades together, and you have to open and close the handle with a thumb and one or more fingers stuck in funny shaped holes.
Are you still following?
While doing as described above with the scissors you also have to do lots with the other hand, turning and lifting the material being cut. usually following a previously marked pattern or line.
It is a really complicated procedure, but children can and do learn it, just like tieing shoe laces!
I love teaching both of these activities for the thrill on the children’s faces when they do it alone for the first time.
Today at last long last I taught a thirteen-year-old girl. who has been in our different conductive groups for ten years now, how to use a pair of scissors. Her delight was not so much in the mastering the scissors, it was more in the production of a ziggy-zaggy lion mask for our circus performance at the end of July.
She and I have much more delight in store as she cuts out and prepares the rest of her costume.
Photos will appear later. Today I was too busy preventing snipped fingers to have even one hand free for the camera.
PS: a heatwave
I had got extremely hot on my bike, cycling three times from one work place to another. That apart, I wondered whether I had actually achieved much in this sudden heat.
The MS group were flagging on this the last day of their block, so much so that we ended up drinking litres of water, relaxing to Mozart and playing stimulating board games to try and get things moving. No chance! We wilted even more.
After some thought I realised that I had done something rather special, and this had not actually taken very long to achieve. Thus the cutting-out story above.