Copying and Cutting

As a former first grade teacher, I can tell you that generally boys struggle much more with fine motor skills than girls. Holding a pencil correctly, cutting with scissors, and legible handwriting are all skills that prove more difficult for the male gender. That’s why I wanted to make a concerted effort on providing my guys with fine motor practice early on to make these important skills easier down the road.

The only problem is, I’ve fallen down on the job. We haven’t busted out the scissors (for Big Brother) in quite some time and life has been so crazy lately, I haven’t spent much time creating fine motor activities for either of the boys. Big Brother is working on cutting with scissors in preschool this week, so I figured this was a great time to get some at-home practice as well!

I always sorta giggle to myself when I see “cutting skills printables”…unless you are teaching a class full of children (and need to make copies). If you are working with your child(ren) at home, it is so much easier (and less wasteful of ink) to simply draw a variety of lines on a piece of construction paper!




I then asked Big Brother to copy the lines I drew directly underneath. I just drew a small dot with a different colored marker as the starting point for each line.


Next, it’s time for the scissors. We attempted to use our first “big kid” scissors, but eventually resorted back to the Melissa & Doug scissors since Big Brother is more comfortable with them (and so am I…they don’t cut anything but paper).

This was a bit of an exercise in patience for both of us. And the term “I can’t do it” has now officially been banned from our home!!

We finally finished (although Big Brother didn’t really cut on all the lines). It certainly was a good reminder of how I need to be focusing a little more on providing fine motor practice for the boys.


  1. 1st – Thank you for the reminder about boys vs girls. I have been slacking on cutting practice too even though we do a lot of other fine motor/muscle activities. I will have to do some this week.

  2. That looks like a great activity! I think it’s so true about boys/girls too. Things were hard with my son too because he couldn’t figure out which hand he wanted to use.

    Have you seen the Kumon’s My First Book of Cutting? It’s amazing—it starts out super easy, gets harder very gradually, and the cutting activities are very creative and fun.

  3. Thanks for the tip on the scissors – we did some scissor work about 6 months ago with our 3 & 5 year old boys and it didn’t end well. ;-)

  4. Yes, Thank You!! Throw in that my boy is left handed & yeah… we need to do a lot more cutting practice! I was actually looking up cutting printables the other day. Why on earth didn’t I think of drawing them on paper?! THANK YOU!

  5. My 4 year old’s excuse is “I can’t do it because I’m a girl!” I don’t mind “I can’t do it” because I can counter that with “YET, you can’t do it YET, but you will in time.” But the “Because I’m a girl” part KILLS me!

  6. Thank you for sharing this- it never even occurred to me that the reason my homeschooled 8 yr old ha such a hard time writing is because he may have a lack of fine motor skills. DUH! I am going to try this asap!

  7. Thank you, I have felt like such a bad mommy because I have been slacking so much lately and generally feel overwhelmed by wanting ot get some much done at a time that is already chock full of things to do and money to spend.

  8. Love your site. You are so talented. I have used the ideas. Thanks for offering givaways too. Maybe I’ll win:)

  9. I start the year tearing, fingerpainting, etc, no equipment, other than scissors and playdough, until 3 months into the year. I have found that finger muscles are more developed and the boys find it easier to start cutting.

  10. I’ve wondered why my son doesn’t like to draw, color , or cut. I’m going to work on this a bit more aggressively. I also hear the “I can’t’s” alot coming out of his mouth. I’m always like “who told you you couldn’t?”. One time I asked him who told him he couldn’t and he pointed to the wall. The ol blame it on the wall excuse!

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