Motor Skills, Cognition, and Early Learning through Art at Home

Published On: Dec 09 2013 12:40:09 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 09 2013 12:41:02 PM CST
Wichita Collegiate School: Cutting with Scissors
Wichita, KS -

A coloring book is only the beginning of a learning journey a parent should embark on early in their child’s life. While most children benefit from art classes in school, learning basic skills like cutting, pasting and coloring inside the lines can and should be taught at home as well. Ask Pat Swearingen, lower school art teacher at Wichita Collegiate School, who has found that children entering her class with at least some prior experience with art skills at home are often able to stay more focused and are more successful in her class.

Young students need to discover on their own how scissors and paper can be tools for creativity. Swearingen encourages parents to ask their young children to describe what they made to them, rather than superimposing their own opinions of what the young student created. Often, children are taught to cut with scissors by simply cutting straight pre-drawn lines, but Swearingen encourages parents to work with their children on creating shapes using a line of symmetry. The holidays are a wonderful time to explore arts and crafts, and create personal gifts for family.

In this video, Swearingen creates jack-o-lanterns in a craft that could be performed for children over the age of four. This simple activity could also be useful for creating round Christmas ornament cut-outs, square presents, and hearts for Valentine's Day.

For more art tips, visit Swearingen's blog To find out more about Wichita Collegiate School, visit them online at

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