Scissor Cutting Skills for Little Hands

Scissor cutting is a useful skill for children to learn, and an important fine-motor and pre-writing ability. These simple and fun activities will help you teach children the vital skill of scissor cutting.

To start, children can practice with similar, but safer, objects before cutting with a pair of scissors. Do you have tongs in your kitchen? Handling large tongs will help children get used to the movement of scissor cutting. Name objects around the home or daycare and encourage children to try to pick them up with the tongs: clothing, blocks, toys…

When you think that a child is ready to start using a pair of scissors, you may offer him play dough to cut using plastic scissors. First, roll out the dough into long “snakes”, or flatten it, and let the child have a go at cutting the clay into small pieces!

Make sure that the scissors you give the child are round-tip, and the proper size for his hand. Show him how to place his fingers in the holes: the thumb in the top hole, and the middle finger through the other hole. The index finger rests outside the holes (very young children may use scissors with the middle and index fingers sharing a hole). Help children remember which finger goes on top by drawing a smiley face on his thumb; this little fella must always look at the ceiling!

After a child has practiced cutting clay with plastic scissors, it is time to learn how to cut with real scissors and paper. At first, offer him long thin strips of paper which he can cut up into tiny pieces. Then, he may enjoy cutting fringe all around a piece of paper. You can also trace lines, at first, and then basic shapes, on the paper for the child to cut out. Before long, your child will be confident using scissors correctly, and will love using the scissor skills he has learnt. We have prepared Scissor Skill Worksheets Printouts for your child to practice cutting!

If you encourage your child to work through each of these fun activities, he will learn how to use scissors safely in no time at all!


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