How To Use Scissors

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If you want to teach your child how to use scissors correctly from the very beginning, you have come to the right place!

This is part one of my three-part series in helping preschoolers master scissor cutting skills!

  • Part 1 (this page) will help your child master the grasp-release motion of the scissors
  • Part 2 will help your child master the art of cutting along a line (jump to part 2)
  • Part 3 will show you simple cutting activities for lots of cutting practice! (jump to part 3)

Learning the grasp-release motion is an important pre-cutting skill for preschoolers (and toddlers) and there are lots of fun activities you can try, in order to help them build this skill.

This page contains affiliate links (#Ad) - I will earn a small commission if you purchase something through my links, which helps to support my free website. However, you are under no obligation to purchase anything!

Remember, if you are at all concerned about your child's scissor cutting skills, please do speak to an occupational therapist. This website is not a substitute for occupational therapy!

Pre-Cutting Activities: Teach The Grasp-Release Motion

A key step in teaching your toddler or preschooler how to use scissors, is to help them master the grasp-release motion of the hands. This will help them learn how to open and close the scissors more effectively.

I like to use all kinds of activities to strengthen the hands using a grasp-release motion, without using any scissors!

1) Using Spray Bottles

Let your child use a spray bottle#Ad to water the plants outside or for some bath-time fun.

Squeezing and releasing the trigger helps your child get the hang of a repetitive grasp-release motion with the whole hand.

2) Clothes Pin Activities

Opening and closing a clothes pin (clothes peg) can help a child feel the squeeze and release motion that is needed for scissors.

Elsewhere on my site, I show how to use clothes pins for a finger exercise, but if your child is still too young to use just three fingers, let them use these activities with the tips of all their fingers for the grasp-release sensation.

use a clothes pin to teach the grasp-release motion for scissor cuttingPick up small crumpled papers
preschool fine motor activity - hang washing with a clothes pinHang washing on a line
clothes pin activity for preschoolMake a cage with an egg carton

3) More Grasp-Release Activities

I have more photographed grasp-release activities using craft punchers, hole punchers, tweezers and tongs in my Scissor Skills E-Book.

For just $5.50, you can get all the information you need to help your child learn how to master the use of scissors!

scissor skills printable resource for teachers and parents

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Important: Start With The Correct Scissor Grasp!

Once your child has got the hang of the grasp-release motion, your child will be ready to learn how to use scissors properly.

Please note these important points:
what is the correct scissor grasp and why is it important?

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Snipping Activities - Great For Toddlers and Preschoolers!

1) Snipping Playdough

Have your child roll out playdough sausages/worms and then snip them.

learn how to cut with scissors - snipping playdoughSnip playdough

2) Snipping Paper

Prepare narrow strips (1.5cm) of paper so your child can snip across the width.

Snipping narrow strips is easy to do, as the scissors only need to open and close once to be successful.You can use the snipped paper in a collage as shown in this Christmas collage.

Lots of blogs suggest snipping straws, but for the sake of the environment, please make sure these are paper straws, and not plastic!

strips of paper for snippingStrips of paper
learn how to cut with scissors - snipping strips of paperSnipping Paper
learn how to cut with scissors - snipping paper to make a collageA Collage Snipping Activity

3) More Snipping Ideas

You will find a range of snipping activities in my compilation of printable Fun Cutting Templates!

All my cutting printables will give your child lots of cutting practice with lovely end products to build your child’s confidence!

Suitable for a range of skills - from preschoolers who are just learning to use scissors, all the way to early elementary kids who need more practice with their scissor skills.

There are 19 different scissor cutting crafts, all with photographed instructions and a variety of templates - over 50 templates in all!

View my Fun Cutting Practice Printables now!

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Resources To Help Your Child Learn How To Use Scissors

 - Special Scissors

If your child absolutely cannot get the hang of how to use scissors with a grasp release motion, you could try a pair of spring-loaded scissors#Ad that automatically open after your child has closed them.

 - Scissor Cutting Resource Bundle

My scissor cutting downloads were designed specifically so that parents and teachers could have all the resources they need to help kids learn how to use scissors and cut along the line.

Get both at a discounted bundle price!

I hope that Part 1: Teach Your Child How To Use Scissors was helpful!

Once your child has learned how to use scissors to snip, Part 2 of this free mini-series will help you teach your child to cut along a line.

Part 3 will give your child lots of cutting activities for practice!

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