Scissor Skills for Children
When I ask a parent if their child uses scissors I often get the response, "Oh, no I would never let them use scissors now." Of course you are not going to give your child a pair of scissors and walk away; however, working together and practicing with scissors is very important for children as it is a part of their development. Snipping with scissors is a skill that usually develops a little after 2 years of age!
Why is cutting so important?
Cutting helps build up the small muscles of our hands
Helps with eye-hand coordination
Encourages the use of bilateral coordination
How to teach your child to use scissors:
If your child has never held scissors, allow them to practice the open/close motion with other activities:
Using a spray bottle to help water plants or clean your windows!
Using clothespins to hang up their artwork
A medicine dropper is great for arts and crafts activities
First things first...
Location, location, location! Finding an appropriate work area is very important. You do not want your child distracted by the television while using scissors. A child-sized table is a great place to start working on cutting skills. Before picking up the scissors make sure you child's feet are placed firmly on the floor (remember our Postural Control blog?) Once they are positioned correctly, hand your child the scissors. The correct position is a "thumbs up" position.
Correct Positioning: Incorrect Positioning:
If your child has difficulty placing the scissors correctly on their hand try putting a sticker or drawing a smiley face on the thumb of their cutting hand so they remember that it should always be facing upward!
My favorite scissors are Fiskars Blunt Tip
Paper can be hard to maneuver for first time scissor users! Make it fun for your child and have them practice cutting play dough!
If your child continues to have difficulty - you can also give them beginner scissors to help with the open/close motion. The ones shown below are also made by Fiskars and can be found here.
Stages of Cutting:
Snipping with scissors Cutting across paper
(25-26 month skill) (37-38 month skill)
Cutting on line Cutting circle Cutting square
(41-42 month skill) (49-50 month skill) (53-54 month skill)
Making projects are a great way of practicing cutting skills. Snipping fringe on green paper will make grass, a circle could be the sun or the center of a flower and a square could be turned into a house!
Have fun and get creative!
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