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How to develop Scissors Skills in toddlers

How to develop Scissors Skills in Toddlers?

Allowing your little ones to use scissors is understandably nerve-wracking! Can you imagine handing them something that might pose a danger?!?  But in order for your little ones to obtain the necessary skills for cutting, we should also provide them opportunities to practice. So where do we start?

 It is very crucial to build the skills first (hand strength, dexterity, coordination) that will make your little ones successful in cutting and make you more confident in allowing them to use the scissors.

What Activities can help in Developing Pre-Scissors Skills?

Some of the toys we have in the store actually helps in developing strength, control and dexterity which are considered foundational skills for more advanced skills like cutting.

Toys like the Apple picker, wooden bead kebabs, wooden button board, construction toys like the DIY Excavator provide a lot of opportunities to develop the necessary strength, coordination and dexterity skills.

Sequence of Scissors Skills

Cutting skills emerge when a child first learns to place his fingers in the holes and open & close the scissors. Early cutting is actually called snipping. It is a process of closing the scissors on the paper with no movement of the paper.

At 2 years of age: Children can snip with scissors

At 2.5 years of age: Most children can cut across a 6-inch piece of paper.

At 3-3.5 years of age: Children can cut on a line that is 6 inches long.

At 3.5-4 years of age: Children can cut a circle

At 4.5-5 years of age: Children can cut a square.

 This developmental guideline shows how cutting skills progresses. Please remember that this only serves as a guide to identify your little one’s current stage and help you determine the next stage.

Is my child ready to use scissors?

It is important to note that all cutting activities should be supervised all the time.

Before cutting practice, please make sure that your child is:

  • sitting with feet flat on the floor
  • using two hands when cutting
  • focusing and paying attention on the activity

Cutting skills emerge when a child first learns to place his fingers in the holes and open & close the scissors. Early cutting is actually called snipping. It is a process of closing the scissors on the paper with no movement of the paper.

As your child uses one hand to hold the scissors, snipping activities may be provided. You can ask him to snip on the edge of a paper, or snip plastic straws into pieces.

To work on control, you can start by asking your little one to cut within wide colored sections first. Then you can gradually reduce the width that he has to snip.

Once your child demonstrates snipping with control, you can ask him to cut longer lines in a forward direction. Once he mastered cutting straight lines, you can give him curved shapes to cut.

If your child has already mastered cutting straight and curved lines, you can progress to basic shapes like circle, then square. This is a more difficult task since it requires control in changing direction while cutting.

Cutting is more complex than it looks.

 The cutting process actually involves a number of skills from eye-hand coordination, use of both hands, shoulder stability to hand control, dexterity, and ability to isolate fingers of the hands. It might seem really simple, but it is actually more complex than it looks. This is the reason why pre-scissors skills are very crucial to build first before allowing your little ones to use the scissors. 

Do you want more information on cutting skills? Are you looking for cutting activities for your little ones? Please check out our FREE PDF file below.

Cutting Skills Guide 

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