The JumpTherapy Blog:

Sensory Processing, Motor and Social Skills Resources
for Parents of  Special Needs Children

Fun Indoor Sensory Activities

Part 5 of 9: Fun with scissors (no running involved)

Cutting corners –  and other shapes too: crafts that utilize scissor skills   
Here are ideas for some classic projects that put your child’s growing familiarity with scissor skills to good use:

Drinking straw necklace                                                                                                                                                                       The classic introductory kids’ craft! Simply snip different colored drinking straws into ‘beads’ and then thread them onto string or cord to make necklaces. In addition to the fine motor skills involved in cutting, your child is also practicing threading. 

Materials:                                                                                                                                                                                                                 –Different colored drinking straws                                                                                                                                                                       – String or chord                                                                                                                                                                                                        – Scissors

How to / tips:
— Encourage your child to cut the straws into fairly even lengths
— Cut a length of string or cord slightly longer than the desired length of the necklace (be sure it’s long enough to fit over the head of the person who’s going to be wearing it)
— Tie a knot at one end that is bigger than the openings of the straw, to prevent the ‘beads’ from falling off the bottomTip: If your child wants to follow a pattern when he is threading the straw ‘beads,’ it makes it easier to put the different colors in separate containers 
— When she’s finished threading the straw ‘beads,’ tie the ends of the string together for a statement necklace! 

Bonus:                                                                                                                                                   Threading the ‘beads’ in an alternating color pattern is a great sequencing activity (early math skill)

Paper plate lion stick puppet 
Paper plate
Markers and/or crayons
Construction paper
Glue or glue stick
Craft stick
Optional: yarn or elastic

Optional: stapler

How to:                                                                                                                                                          — Cut out construction paper shapes for the eyes, nose and mouth                                                            — Glue them onto the plate                                                                                                                           — Use markers and/or crayons to finish the face                                                                                                                                      — Snip around the edges of the plate to make the mane                                                                                                                       — Glue the craft stick to the back of the plate.                                                                                                                                           — The lion puppet is ready to roar! The thumb is in the top smaller hole, the index and middle fingers are in the large bottom hole.

Bonus:mask                                                                                                                                                                                                         — To make the lion into a mask, instead of cutting out construction paper shapes for the lion’s eyes and nose, help your child mark on the back of the plate where his own eyes and nose would be, and cut out those shapes from the plate.                                                                                                                          — Add a mouth with marker or crayon (if she cuts out too many shapes, the plate may fall apart), as well as whiskers, etc.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            — Staple elastic (to stretch over his head) or yarn (to tie behind his head) to the edges of the plate to hold the mask on to his face.                                                                                                                                                                                — Beware your king of the jungle!                                                                                                                                                Tip: Put heavy tape over the staple ‘points’ so they don’t come loose and scratch your child

Collage                                                                                                                                                                                                       Materials:                                                                                                                                                                                                Greeting cards                                                                                                                                      Catalogs                                                                                                                                                                                                 Magazines                                                                                                                                                                                         Newspapers                                                                                                                                                                                                      Any other paper in your recycling bin that has attractive pictures or colors

Glue or glue stick


 How to: 

— Have your child cut any paper, or combination of paper, into short strips

— Tape one strip together end-to-end to form a circle or oval
— Thread another strip through the first and tape its ends together to form the next link in the chain
— Continue threading and taping until the chain is the desired length

— Either leave it loose like a hanging garland or close it up into a necklace by threading the final paper link through the links at either end of the chain before taping that last link together

And another classic – folded paper snowflakes. 


Paper (or attractively-printed wrapping paper)


Optional: glitter glue

How to:
— Follow one of the simple videos below

— Optional: Use glitter glue to decorate the snowflakes

(this one is especially easy, for young kids) 

(This link includes templates) 

(This link includes links to other snowflake-folding instructions, as well as templates) 



-Flatten the snowflakes between or under books before hanging 

Wrapping presents
If you happen to have presents that need wrapping, it’s a good opportunity for your child to cut wrapping paper, tape, and ribbons — and for you to cut something off your to-do list! 
Looking Ahead:
In the next post, we will discuss indoor games that give your child plenty of options to have fun and expend energy while developing sensory skills. 

What is a project your child really enjoyed making using scissors? Please share your thoughts in the section below. Also, let me know there or via email what topics you would like to discuss or hear more about. 



Feel free to share or quote from this blog (with attribution, please, and if possible, a link), and to repost on social media.


I look forward to hearing from you! 


All the best,

First published on Miriam Skydell’s

About Miriam:

Miriam Skydell MS, OTR/L is a pediatric OT with 30 years experience and a strong commitment to empowering every child with the skills, confidence and emotional stability necessary for a meaningful, independent life. In addition to her Masters degree from NYU (1986) and membership in the AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association), Miriam is a licensed Interactive Metronome®, HWT (Handwriting Without Tears®), and TLP (The Listening Program®) provider.

Miriam performs preschool screenings, contracts experienced OTs, PTs and STs to schools, helped implement the HWT curriculum, and lectures extensively for parent and support groups and at teacher conferences for public and private schools throughout New Jersey. Through her private practice in Fair Lawn, Miriam Skydell and Associates, established in 1995, Miriam has helped countless children with a wide range of diagnoses improve functional living skills, manage the impact of sensory processing dysfunction, and meet their individual potentials.

In 2013, Miriam developed the Sensory Bounce® Therapy program for children with special needs, including autism, to receive therapy in a fun, natural play environment which their typically-developing peers often enjoy. In a stimulating indoor inflatable bounce facility, an experienced therapist works with small groups of children with ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing difficulties, and other delays. Children learn to build their motor and social skills in goal-oriented therapy play sessions, classes, after school programs, and winter and summer camps. Simultaneously, parents meet in a separate space to share common experiences and support each other. Miriam takes pride in providing a nurturing, caring environment where children and their parents feel safe and secure to explore, take risks and overcome challenges.

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