Cutting with Scissors

Before learning how to teach a child to cut with scissors, it is important to know when the child should start using scissors correctly. In general, scissor skills progress as follows:

  • 2 – 2.5 years old: child snips edge of paper with scissors. May be able to use the other hand to stabilize the paper while cutting.
  • 3 -3.5 years old: child cuts on line across paper. Holds and starts to turn the paper with the other hand.
  • 4-5 years old: child cuts out simple shapes. Use the other hand to turn the paper fairly accurately.

It is important to teach a child hold to hold scissors. If a child starts to cut using a poor grasp, it can create habits that are difficult to correct. Children should be taught to place the thumb in one loop and the index and middle fingers in the other loop. Another option that some children prefer is to place the thumb in one loop and the middle finger in the other loop, with the index finger stabilizing and guiding the scissors along the blade.

For both grasps, the thumb is always facing up. The ring and pinky fingers are curled into the palm.

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