Cutting with scissors is a skill that progresses through stages. It is important to note that each child will progress through these stages differently as she develops fine motor skills. As your child learns to cut with scissors, she should begin by cutting large simple shapes. Choose small scissors with rounded tips and small finger loops. Most children begin by holding scissors with their thumbs down or using two hands. This activity will give your child practice using scissors. Be sure to supervise all cutting activities closely.
- child-sized scissors with rounded tips
Step 1: Provide your child with child-safe scissors and paper. As with any cutting object, use supervision while your child is cutting.
Step 2: Provide large, simple lines or shapes for your child to cut. You can even fold a piece of paper in half, draw wide lines across the narrow length of the paper and ask your child to cut on the wide lines.
Step 3: Don’t worry if your child goes off the line or cuts her own shape. Your goal is to strengthen finger muscles and improve fine motor skills.
Step 1: Invite your child to cut through play dough that is rolled into long snakes. The little snips it takes to cut through the play dough provide failure-free practice.
Step 2: Use heavier-weight paper for beginning cutters. Heavier paper is more stable and will allow for more control as she is cutting. Make sure the scissors are appropriate to cut through heavy paper and safe and easy for your child to use. This will limit any frustration she may experience.
Step 3: Keep the cutting simple. Help your child as she learns to manipulate the scissors by gently guiding or holding your child’s hand as she cuts.
Step 1: Use lightweight paper such as foil, wax paper or tissue paper. Yarn and fabric are challenging to cut, so save these items for when your child becomes more skilled at cutting regular paper.
Step 2: Provide simple shapes or lines for your child to cut like large squares or rectangles.