This afternoon the twins wanted to do a “project” and when they use that word, it usually involves one of the I Can books from Timberdoodle. We have I Can Paste, I Can Trace, and I Can Cut. Today they chose I Can Cut. This is the newest of our books, purchased at convention at the Timberdoodle booth. The twins absolutely love this series, and so do I. Let me tell you why.
Each of the books in this series promotes fine motor skill building in young children. They are using finger and hand muscles, hand-eye coordination, and eventually proper technique. Scissor skills practice is important not only because it promotes each of these other skill sets, but also because cutting is a necessary skill for craftsmanship.
The I Can series is printed with bright colors on thick paper and easily removable pages. The directions are clear and easy for the parent to read and present. The tasks progress from easiest to hardest and build on the skills learned in previous lessons. In the I Can Cut book, we started with very simple straight lines and easy stopping points. We have progressed to varied stopping points, and straight lines that are closer or drawn at an angle.
As we sat and played with our “project” books, I heard this discussion. (Peter) “Look, there is a bug in the grass. Get the bug” (Joshua)”Oh, I have a spider too!” “I’m going to kill the spider with my scissors. Oh, look there is another spider hiding!” I love this kind of pretend play and conversation between the twins.
You might notice that Joshua starts out holding his scissors at a very odd angle and a completely incorrect grip. By the end of the session his hold had greatly improved but it still has a ways to go. As we work, I gently correct and help. I am not expecting his grip and cut to be perfect the first day, but by gently directing his activity we can experience steady improvement over the course of the book. I was very excited to see how much more responsive he was to correction this time.
Each activity included captures the imagination and draws the preschooler into the activity. We have cut the lion’s hairy mane, cut legs for the caterpillar, hidden the tiger in the grass, fixed the dog’s arms and legs so that he can walk and so on. Each page has a story, and it is written by your child. As you work with your child you have the chance to engage with your child and build their story-telling skills, another essential skill.
My Bottom Line: I love this series for preschool children or for special needs children with developmental delays. The pages of each book are sturdy and can be used in a variety of ways to encourage fine motor skills and language development. The biggest challenge for most parents (especially first-time parents) will be expecting too much perfection. Relax, have fun, and you will see your child’s skill level dramatically improve as you work through these books. I give this series my highest recommendation.
The Giveaway: One reader will win an I Can Cut book for the preschool child in your life. Please follow the instructions to enter. Your first entry requires you to leave a comment on this blog post. You will need to scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and answer this question: “What is your favorite way to improve fine motor skills in your child?” After you leave a comment in the comment box, you can come back up and click enter for the first box on the rafflecopter form. You will then see opportunities for additional entries.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I purchased my own copy and will purchase a copy for the winner. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.