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Handedness Question And Scissors


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One of the children in our preschool group at four, has not yet chosen handedness. She swaps over at the mid-line of the paper, and her pencil control is fairly equal with both hands, although sometimes it seems slightly better wiht left than right. It is also quite advanced - forming letters and numbers and detailed drawings, using both hands. (We don't 'teach' this stuff, she just does it from choice)

 

So far we are just observing and letting her make the choice, and we think she'll be left handed, but what about scissors? We dont have children's left handed scissors, so have taught her to cut with her right only. She's getting fairly competent, but as I say, we havent tried with the left yet.

 

I'm unsure whether to get some leftie scissors and try it, or if its better for her just to be a right-handed cutter? Does this make it easier for the future if she does make a left hand preference later? Or can she become competent cutting with both hands, as she is with drawing and writing at the moment?

 

Any advice from lefties (we're all right handed!) or anyone who has taught a child who seems ambidextrous?

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In our group we have scissors that can be used in either hand.

Which enables a child to swap the scissors from hand to hand as they are cutting. This gives them the chance to use whichever hand they favour, or either hand if they are still at that stage.

I would be tempted to suggest that you have this type of scissor available.

In fact these are the only scissors we have, apart from the easy grip ones, for those who are just starting there handling of scissors.

 

I don't know what lefties think....whether as you say it is better to learn to cut right-handed or not.

I am right-handed so shouldn't really comment on this.

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Let her decide for herself, so you need to get some left-handed scissors. We always have both available. You should have some of these anyway as some of your childen are bound to show a preference for left hand. If you are not sure about handedness watch as she throws and catches a ball or kicks a ball. This can be quite a good guide. Let her do what she wishes as some children are still not hand specific this early.

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Just wanted to add that we only have 4-6 children in our group, we're a parent co-op, and the others are all clearly using right hands. Hence only having rightie scissors, as the issue hasnt come up before. We are buying equipment as we discover the need. I'll put some leftie scissors on my shopping list and see what she does with them. Thanks!

 

Re kicking and throwing, she's using both equally. And is quite an accompished soccer player already. :D

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I would DEFINATELY get some left handed scissors! Speaking as a lefty I see cutting as one of the hardest things (after writing) that a left hander can learn to do, and left handed scissors make this difficult task much less difficult!

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I agree with the others Nichola in buying some left handed scissors. But i would also add that if she favours her right hand for cutting but her left, or both for writing then don't discourage her. Leave her to what comes naturally, and that may be using both hands but for different purposes.

I have 3 members of staff who are left handed and they find the hardest thing to do is try and teach right handed children to cut! They are getting quite good at using their right hands!

Linda

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Thanks Linda and others. I will get the left handed scissors and see what happens, it will be interesting. She is better than the other children at cutting already with her right hand. but she has good small motor skills in general so maybe her left handed cutting will be even better. We'll see. :D

 

Interesting point about teaching her to cut left handed - we might have to find a left handed adult to show her! All of the mums are right handed, although I'm not sure about all the dads.

 

It's fascinating watching her, we're going to probably end up running a sweepstake to decide which hand she'll finally settle on! She was doing a drawing on Friday of a dragon from Dragon Tales (do you have that programme in the UK?) The dragon is half purple and half green, and I watched her draw the green half with one hand, then swap pencils and hands to draw the other half with the other hand. Both halves of the picture were equally controlled. Similarly, she brought in a dot to dot book last week and was swapping hands at the midline so that she could see the numbers as she drew the lines. Her pencil control with both hands is better than the other children who are using one hand consistently. So its not like she is struggling, but we want to get it right. This has helped me to clarify my thinking that we need to give her the opportunity to use both hands for scissors too, rather than force her one way or the other. (although she is happy right handed and has mastered cutting fairly well already)

 

I think it's great for brain development to be using both, and its interesting that she is very coordinated at Brain Gym type exercises, as both her hands work equally well at the moment. :o

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It must have been as a result of my early schooling, but I write with my left hand, but do everything else right-handed; cutting, using tools, playing tennis, etc. Having said that, I can sew either way. Bit of a muddle all round........ :o

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Perhaps she'll always use both hands Nicola and she'll be very accomplished.

Interesting about the brain gym excercises. When we were being introduced to ALPS the trainer was amazed by the way I can do the cross lateral exercises really easily. I hadn't realised that others couldn't do what I did and found it very amusing. The only thing I could put it down to was learning to play the piano from age 7 so that my hands are used to working independently and in different rythms. I can't talk to someone and play at the same time 'tho. I should add that this ability doesn't seem to have given me an advantage over others in the learning stakes as I have a dreadful memory, am very clumsy and a bit odd - creative, funny and a terrible chatterbox! :o

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Hmm, the piano is supposed to give you an advantage in learning. Btu then, I suppose you'd never know what you would have learned if you hadnt been introduced to piano, would you. Does that make sense? :o

 

I have a friend who is left handed but cuts and sews right handed. Her parents and school tried desperately to 'correct' her left handedness, but she resisted as far as she could! How things have changed, here we all are worrying ourselves silly that we're doing the right thing with this little girl, who is just happy doing her own thing. But I realise that we do need to give her the two sets of scissors. Now I wonder if the others will try them out too. :D

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I had a child in my reception class aged 5 who had yet to show a preference for which hand to use and was skilled at cutting, writing and colouring with both hands and is still doing so.

 

I would suggest teaching left handed children to cut and write ect.. by sitting opposite them so that they are able to mirror your actions.... My mum is left handed and although I myself am right handed i do many things either handed such as sewing and ironing.

 

As for sissors see if you can invest in the ones that you just turn over for lefties.... we have them in school... one handle is red the other blue and they can be used by either right or left handed children... just depends on orientation.

 

Lorna

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i am left handed , but can only cut with right handed scissors in my left hand (i never had left handed scissors) . this makes cutting difficult as you can`t see the line.my daughter is left handed and uses left handed scissors easily.my son is a different story. he uses both hands swapping when he wants .i find it difficult as i don`t think i`m the best person to help him. i don`t know which scissors to offer him, or to swap scissors when he swaps hands!

maddy

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