This Santa’s beard scissor activity is a fun way to introduce cutting practice. The combination of a favorite activity (using scissors) and a well-loved character (Santa Claus) is a win-win. Snipping the beard strands adds challenge, as yarn is more difficult to cut than paper.
By participating in cutting activities, early learners grow in their physical development. They get practice in bilateral coordination: using hands and fingers on both sides of the body at the same time to do two different things. Hand muscles are strengthened. And eye-hand coordination (being able to cut with one hand while following the movement of scissors with the eyes) is improved.
Setting Up The Santa’s Beard Scissor Activity
- threadable Santa head wall décor
- white yarn
- 30-cm / 12-inch ruler
- children’s scissors
- white duct tape
Preparing The Scissor Activity
Cut yarn into 60-cm / 24-inch strips using a standard ruler as a guide.
Thread yarn through Santa’s chin to enhance his beard.
Add a layer of white duct tape at the back to stabilize the yarn.
Place the Santa head on a table with a pair of children’s scissors for an invitation to trim his beard.
Tip: Santa can be placed sideways on a table. Then children can hold a section of Santa’s beard with their nondominant helping hand and cut the beard in the direction away from their body with their dominant cutting hand.
Scissors offered should have blunt edges. Fiskars children’s scissors are highly regarded by teachers.
Scissor Use Technique
- Thumbs on each hand point up.
- The thumb in the cutting hand goes in the small hole of the scissors.
- The middle and index finger go in the larger hole. The ring and pinky finger curl under the scissors into the palm.
- Elbows are positioned near the ribs.
- Scissors are held at least 8 inches from the face and pointed away from the body.
- The nondominant “helping hand” holds the paper and moves it during the cutting process.
Tip: To help children remember to keep their thumb up, place two googly “crocodile eyes” on top of the scissors. Encourage children to “snap like a crocodile opening and closing his mouth.”
Guidelines For Using Scissors
Young children need supervision when using scissors. These guidelines are helpful to discuss with them:
- Cut only paper or the assigned cutting materials.
- Do not cut your own or others’ hair, lips, fingers, or clothes.
- Do not cut toys.
- No running with scissors.
- When walking with scissors, hold the scissors closed and pointing down. (The need for walking with scissors should be minimized.)
Scissor Skill Progression
Using scissors is challenging for early learners. With plenty of practice, cutting will improve and get less messy. Scissor skills are not fully developed until children are six years old.
Alternatives To Using Santa Head Wall Decor
Here’s a couple of easy to introduce alternatives to purchasing Santa head wall décor for this activity.
Santa’s Beard Scissor Activity Printable
Download this Santa Head and print it onto a piece of cardstock paper. Cut Santa out and punch holes around the edge of his face. Thread yarn through the holes or glue on long, thin strips of paper. Invite children to cut Santa’s beard with a pair of children’s scissors.
This printable was created in PicMonkey and is for personal or one classroom use only.
Paper Plate Santa
Add a yarn beard to a paper plate Santa, or to a Santa head cut from a Christmas card. A “Trim The Beard Paper Plate Santa” activity is featured on kidscraftroom.com .
A Santa’s beard scissor activity can be offered before Christmas (so Santa can be “Christmas Eve ready.”) Or it can be set out after Christmas Day (because then Santa finally has time for self-care!)
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© Annette Kaminsky