My kids love scissors and love to cut. In the past couple of years, we've enjoyed cutting snowflakes from coffee filters. Coffee filters are already a circular shape, are thin and are easier to cut than paper, even when folded. (And you can get a lot for a low cost...especially if you find some at the dollar store!)
The group I had last year enjoyed folding and cutting. They experimented with folding and cutting, looking for different ways to create. In fact, we had this particular activity because I saw a child experimenting when we were doing something else.
This year, the group was more interested in cutting, not necessarily creating anything but exploring the process.
As the teacher, I often have my own plans, my own "agenda" of what should happen. But my agenda cannot be the driving force in the classroom. Kids need to explore their own ideas and follow their own agendas. After all that's how the learning happens.
At the end of the day, the most important activity is the one that allows children to explore and add to their knowledge and understanding of the world. If they are just doing what I tell them to do, they are only learning to implement my ideas - and are not gaining a broader understanding of the world and their own skills and abilities.
Many times I must take a deep breath...and let go. And I can be surprised by what the kids create.
This activity is a great one to use the mini trash cans, too. (Use any small container you have for this. More repurposing!)
Kids can help keep control of all those little pieces. And learn responsibility too.
My name is Scott, though most call me Mr. Scott. I love teaching preschoolers and kindergartners. I have been working with kids for over 25 years. I've been a teacher, preschool center director, volunteer, curriculum writer and editor, and workshop and conference leader. I blog at Brick by Brick.