Cutting is a basic skill used in nearly all crafts for kids. It’s easy to forget that it’s a good craft in its own right.
The First Cuts
Very young children are challenged by using scissors and it takes lots of practise to become adept at controlling them. It’s best to start with simple crafts.
First of all, choose safe, child-friendly scissors. The blades will be blunt and protected by plastic; however, you still need to supervise young children with any cutting crafts.
One of the first things young kids can try is cutting a fringe out of a simple length of paper. Very young children can only make straight cuts, so this activity is perfect for them. The fringe is ideal for decoration in many craft ideas.
Eventually, children will cut well enough to try following simple shapes drawn onto a sheet of paper. They could cut out the letters of their names or numbers to stick on different craft items.
Decoupage for Kids
Decoupage is one of the simplest and most effective crafts for kids and it’s all about cutting! You can aim the craft ideas at all ages and abilities.
Decoupage describes the practise of cutting out shapes from paper of any sort or design and gluing them to an object to make a striking work of art.
Start by pasting PVA in a thin layer all over the object to be decorated. You will then need to apply your pre-cut pictures or patterns. Once these have been applied, paste another thin layer of glue over the top and allow to dry.
Some things to use for good decoupage craft ideas are:
- Items like boxes, book covers, bowls or vases, candles or bottles.
- Decorating paper may include coloured tissue paper for abstract mosaic effects, designs from old magazines or books, motifs from paper serviettes and images or words from newsprint.
Paper Doll Chains
This is a simple craft for kids that will delight children and help them practise good scissor control.
Take a long length of paper or thin card and using the length of the paper, make folds over on each other so you achieve a concertina effect.
Decide on the sort of doll the kids would like to make and draw the basic shape on the top fold. It’s really important to make sure that the arms and the hands stretch out to the edges of the fold.
Now the kids can carefully cut around the outline BUT make sure they don’t cut through the tips of the arms or legs. It’s important because the arms and legs will form the ‘chain’.
Finally, open the paper out to reveal a fabulous chain of figures. Kids can then set to work drawing in faces and cutting out scraps of material so that each doll has a different outfit to wear.
Making paper snowflakes is one of the most satisfying craft ideas ever, and they are so simple to make.
Take a circle of paper and fold it in half about three times. Cut notches and grooves into the edges of the wedge-shaped paper. When they have finished, kids are amazed to open the paper back up to reveal a glorious snowflake.
The snowflakes make lovely additions to Christmas trees, hanging mobiles or collages. They are also very good when used with paper and paint and incorporated into stencil-based crafts.
Cutting is one of the forgotten crafts. It’s a simple art which produces many striking effects and gives children hours of satisfying projects to work on.