Freestyle has recently been very interested in learning to use scissors and glue after using them at the drop-in school program that we attend. Since they were set out and ready to go, I didn’t do a sit-down formal lesson on scissor use (definitely not necessary to do this for everything a toddler needs to learn, I feel!). I just showed her quickly how to hold them: thumb in the smaller handle hole and her pointer and middle in the wider one (though she is using three fingers right now…is that normal because their fingers are so small? I wonder if I should correct it or let it be for now).
I also made sure she knew how to carry them if she needed to: close the scissors and cover the outside of the blades with your hand, keeping your arm stiff while pointing the handles of the scissors towards the ground. She still needs reminders with this one! It is unsettling to see her walking towards me with them open in her hands!
For gluing, I liked how the Casa students in one of my old schools were taught to use white glue and taught Freestyle that method. I liked how they did it because it was neat and efficient– the child doesn’t end up using gobs of glue and turning their work into a wet and wrinkly mess. I remember when I was a kid, I didn’t like using white glue because it would make the paper wrinkly. When I was in elementary we used glue sticks more often and I liked how much neater it was, but I do think that white glue is easier (thought messier) for younger kids to use.
So, without much further ado…
How to Neatly Use White Glue for Preschoolers
Purpose: To learn to glue neatly and efficiently. A skill that will be used over and over for crafts and school projects! Fine motor skills and precision in movement will be used.
Glue mat (an old placemat works well)
Flat, rounded toothpicks (I couldn’t find any so picked up these bamboo cocktail forks to use for now. They’re large and easy for Freestyle to hold.)
Cloth (to wipe up glue mat)
What to do:
1. Have all materials ready on a tray . Ask your child bring it to the table.
2. Either have pre-cut paper (or other easy to glue items) ready, or have your child cut up some paper to glue (if she already knows how to use scissors).
3. Set out the glue mat and place the page that she will be gluing things onto on the mat. Stick a post-it onto the top right-hand corner of the mat (or left-hand if she is left-handed!).
4. Show her how to squeeze a small amount of glue onto the post-it. (That’s the beauty of using the post-it…your child will have to learn to only use up the small amount that can fit onto it!)
5. Show your child how to use the toothpick to take a small amount of glue and dab it onto the corners of the piece of paper that she wants to glue onto the page.
6. Turn the paper around and press the corners onto the page!
8. Dispose of toothpick and post-it after the activity. Wipe and dry glue mat before putting it away.
Here’s a great post about using glue with preschoolers on the Teach Preschool blog.