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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 page! Read on to find out how to help your toddler or preschooler learn to cut with scissors.
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 covers the following aspects of teaching your child how to use scissors:
Once your child can use the grasp release motion without scissors, try using scissors in simple snipping activities.
Learning to cut along the line is a tricky task.
It involves bilateral coordination, visual-motor skills, motor planning and more!
Once your child has learned how to use scissors to snip, Part 2 of this mini-series will help you teach your child to cut along a line.
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!
Let your child use a spray bottle 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.
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 use clothes pins to work on isolating the tripod fingers, 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.
I have more grasp-release suggestions using craft punchers, hole punchers, tweezers and tongs in my Scissor Skills E-Book.
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:
When your little one is older and learning to write, the thumb, index and middle fingers will be controlling the pencil. I call them the tripod fingers. The ring and little fingers will be curled up on the side, providing stability and strength to the hand (the technical name for this is ulnar stability).
So when your child is learning how to use scissors, the thumb, index and middle fingers are the ones which should be opening and closing the scissors, while the ring and little fingers curl up on the side.
Take a look at the pics below to see the best way to hold different scissors.
Have your child roll out playdough sausages/worms and then snip them.
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.
Lots of blogs suggest snipping straws, but this is so bad for the environment, so rather use paper!
Cardstock is thicker than paper, and offers more resistance, so it is great for building up endurance.
A cheap source of cardstock is empty toilet paper rolls - have your child snip them to make trees or funny hairstyles like the ones shown!
You will find a range of snipping activities in my compilation of printable Fun Cutting Templates!
These 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!
If your child absolutely cannot get the hang of how to use scissors with a grasp release motion, you could try a pair of special scissors like these, that automatically open after your child has closed them.
(NB this is an affiliate link - I may earn a commission if you purchase something through my link. However, you are under no obligation to purchase anything!)
Thanks for visiting my site! I hope that Part 1: Teach Your Child How To Use Scissors was helpful!
Now head over to Part 2: Teach Your Child To Cut Along The Line!
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