who knew cutting could be such a BLAST!
On a recent trip to a modern art museum I purchased a simple cutting book made by Kumon for my four year old son, Ian. My little guy, while being blessed with a memory like a steel trap (unfortunate especially when it comes to promised [but forgotten by mom] sweets, treats, extra stories, songs and the like) and excellent gross motor skills (like all ball skills including:dribbling, kicking, batting, shooting, and throwing), is still struggling to master the fine motor skills that his older sister had mastered by three. I make this comparison, not to compare them outright, but to explain why I was so delighted to see him finally starting to master scissors and hold a pencil correctly (and a fork at dinner too- if truth be told) within the last couple of months. Many activities (artistic and just time fillers for long days at home) that I used to do with his sister at the same age had been more frustrating then rewarding in the last year- for both of us. Cutting ended in a few jagged snips and then r-r-r-i-i-i-p-p-p of the paper. Drawing was a quick squiggle then an even quicker drop and run.
This has been perhaps harder for me. I love writing, drawing, art, cutting– pretty much anything that requires fine motor skills. These type of activities I can do for long periods of time without hearing my laundry or dishes calling and whining at my neglect; I can not muster the same kind of focus and enjoyment for other play such as– oh– having two plastic dinosaurs fight. But I’ve adjusted- I’ve gotten creative; I’ve found art projects that used minimal fine motor skills. [One of my favorites I did last summer was squirt bottle painting (an outside project if ever there was one).]
But I am excited! He, who in the past has loved cutting for the destruction aspect alone, is begining to master controlled cutting- and that will unlock all sorts of creative projects for us! And how did I realize he was beginning to master cutting- the Kumon book!
His favorite so far- assembling his very own paper rocket.
My favorite? When he said, “This is great! A little cutting, a little cookie.” (Did I forget to mention I sweetened the deal with a cookie snack?)