Our alligator unit has been so much fun! My 3½-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, has loved the activities and learning more about alligators. As she’s gotten more skilled at her cutting skills, I’ve wanted to increase the difficulty. So, starting today, our free printable cutting strips have two pages with a variety of skill levels on the second page!
As always, the cutting strips are an instant download and are very easy to prepare. Children can cut apart the traditional Montessori-style cutting strips along with alligator cutting strips where they cut their way to the alligator on a variety of cutting paths.
Montessori-Inspired Printables at Living Montessori Now
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My daughter, Christina (a former Montessori child), and I are partnering to bring you a series of Montessori-inspired printables. (Note: Christina has some sweet themed kids’ fitness printables that are great for homes or classrooms!)
The printables are typically themed and use a number of Montessori principles (although you don’t need to be a Montessori teacher or homeschooler to use them). The cutting strips use photographs or realistic images to emphasize reality.
Preschoolers love to learn proper terminology, so I typically tell you the name of the objects or animals featured whenever I can. There are only two types of alligators – American alligators and Chinese alligators. From the credits page of the printable, you’ll see that there’s one American alligator and one Chinese alligator on the first cutting strip. The second cutting strip has some cute baby American alligators.
Free Alligator Cutting Strips
To download, click here and then click on the file image in the upper right corner of the PDF to save to your computer (just choose where you want it saved).
Montessori-Inspired Activities Using the Alligator Cutting Strips
Cutting skills are so important for preschoolers. Two year olds can begin working on them, too. When children are first working on cutting skills, they’ll have an easier time cutting cardstock than paper. So, in the beginning, I recommend printing the strips on cardstock. Printer paper is fine for children with more advanced cutting skills.
I’m not sure where I got the basket, although the small Multicraft tray would work, too. I’ve always used Fiskar scissors for kids, which are sharp enough to cut paper easily. If you’d like to add an alligator figure for interest, you can find one in the Safari Ltd. River TOOB or Alligators Alive TOOB.
For home use, I like to have a small container to catch the paper scraps. I used a small wooden box we had, although you could use any small container. For younger children, I recommend keeping the basket or tray up out of reach when it’s not being used.
For classroom use, you might want to use Ziplock bags to catch the scraps. Children have fun taking their scraps home in a bag … or saving them to paste onto a collage.
Zoey has always enjoyed the traditional cutting strips, and she likes to cut the new ones for each theme. Her cutting skills have improved so much simply from using cutting strips!
Zoey wanted to do a number of different cutting strips from our new second page (and she repeated them more than once). She was very interested in cutting her way to the alligator using different types of paths.
Alligator Printables and Activities for Preschoolers-Early Elementary
Montessori-Inspired Packs – Subscriber Freebies
Don’t miss our themed monthly packs! You’ll get the link and password for the Living Montessori Now subscriber library with the current pack and all the past monthly packs if you subscribe to the Living Montessori Now weekly newsletter!
The Best Way to Begin Working on Scissor Cutting Skills
Even before using cutting strips, I recommend using an easier object to cut, such as strings of beads. You’ll find lots of tips and ideas for teaching scissor skills in my post on developing scissor cutting skills with Montessori-inspired activities.
You’ll find ideas for home and classroom setups in my post on Montessori-inspired paper cutting activities.
All Our Free Themed Cutting Strips
I’ve arranged the following gallery in alphabetical order. Just click on an image to go to the post with the related free printable!
I hope your child (or students) enjoys using the cutting strips. 🙂
Learn more about my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to. Teach Grace and Courtesy!
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