When I spot an idea for an activity I know my kids will love, I save it on my phone and then try to make it happen in the coming weeks! When I saw the simple idea of cutting straws as a way to strengthen fine motor skills (and provide a fantastic opportunity for scissor practice), I knew my boys would be 100% on board!
This activity was easy to make happen! I grabbed some colorful straws I had on hand in one of my kitchen drawers, a tray (and large plastic bowl) for them to use to contain their “mess”, and a pair of child-safe scissors for each of them!
I think I found these milk shake straws on a shopping trip to the outlets in Pigeon Forge, TN (one of my favorite places to shop – and eat!), but any straws will do! These were extra fun, because they are a little larger than regular straws.
We kicked things off by cutting our straws in half…and then half again…and then half again…and on and on it went until we had tiny little pieces. My oldest has been learning about halves, so that was the perfect way to extend this activity for him! He also did some measuring, which is another skill he is working on right now – and something he loves to do! Then, I let them free cut – and they played for a long time.
I had turned on a fairly calm Pandora station, the boys were cutting, my girl was sitting in her highchair playing with two of the straws (Awesome skill practice for her, too!), and I got started making dinner!
Now we have two bowls of cut up straws, and I’m thinking about letting my boys thread them on to pipe cleaners – possibly encouraging pattern-making at first and then letting them free play after that. My kids are all about some free play, and I’ve gotta say, I think some of the BEST learning happens when we let them guide the way!
Child-Safe Plastic Scissors Available Here
Child-Safe Metal Scissors Available Here
Milk Shake/Smoothie Straws Available Here
Regular Drinking Straws Available Here
Melissa & Doug Scissor Skills Activity Book Available Here