Apart from being lots of fun, when you provide your child with the opportunity to tear and scrunch paper it prepares their hands to be able learn to cut with scissors. Tearing and scrunching paper can be a playful way for young children develop their ability to use each side of their body for a different action, such as holding the paper with one hand while tearing with the other (sometimes called bilateral coordination skills) it also develops their finger strength as they scrunch the paper into smaller balls and their manipulation skills as they scrunch and glue.
Why not have a go? Here’s an idea, you could make a tree collage or even some paper for a recycling truck. You will need:
- Newspaper (or coloured paper e.g. green for a tree)
- Glue stick (or glue)
- Template picture of a tree or rubbish truck
Firstly, together, help your child to hold the paper at the top as they begin tearing (this will help them tear in a long strip motion rather than pull off little pieces), then tear the paper into long strips.
Then, with their little fingers they can then scrunch the strips into small, tight balls and glue it on to their tree or truck.
Lastly, ask your child to make small, tight balls with the strips of newspaper to make “trash”. This helps strengthen the fingers and works on manipulation skills.