Scissor cutting is an important fine motor skill, which can help lay the foundation for good pencil control. When your child is holding the scissors correctly, then cutting out will help strengthen your child's hand muscles, particularly the muscles that will be used for handwriting.
Cutting out a shape involves bilateral coordination between the hand holding the scissors and the hand holding the paper. In addition, your child needs to visually focus on the line in order to guide the hands, and also needs to plan how to get the scissors in and out of corners.
So as you can see, helping your child learn to cut with scissors is a very important part of his/her development!
If your child is still very young, and/or has no clue how to cut out, then these articles are the best place for you to start.
I created a three-part series to help preschoolers master scissor cutting skills:
When your child holds scissors with the correct scissor grasp, the hand and finger muscles will be strengthened and get lots of fine motor practice. Read my page to find out more, including how to hold scissors with different kinds of holes.
Is your child left-handed? Are you wondering whether you really need to get a pair of left handed scissors for him/her? Read on to find out how true left-handed scissors can help your child.
These lovely printable resources provide printable cutting sheets and photographed instructions to help your child make something specific - no more piles of cut up worksheets!
All of these fun cutting activities for kids have a tangible end product, to help your child grow in confidence and master cutting with scissors
If you want to sample the kind of cutting activities that my e-books are packed with, then download my free Christmas cutting skills printables, and see for yourself!
When your child is cutting out with scissors, one hand is making the scissors open and close, while the other hand is holding the paper. It gets more complicated when your child has to cut out a shape - then the assistant hand needs to turn the paper around while the other hand cuts! Your child needs good bilateral coordination skills in order to get the scissors and paper working together, and for this reason, I often recommend bilateral coordination activities to help kids build this skill.
In addition, your child needs to visually focus on the line to help make the scissors stay on the line. Eye-hand coordination activities and visual motor integration activities can help with this skill. If your child is squinting, rubbing the eyes, or has watering eyes while focusing on a cutting task, please consult an optometrist.
Try some simple activities from these pages of my site, and help your child build the skills needed for scissor cutting!
If you are looking for true left handed scissors for kids in your home or class, then I have linked to a few on Amazon for your convenience. These are similar to ones I use myself. (Don't forget to read my article about why left handed scissors are really important for left handed kids!)
(I may receive a small commission if you purchase something through these links, which helps support this site. However, you are under no obligation to purchase anything!)
Sadly, I am yet to find support scissors for lefties, which is very frustrating. If you come across any, please do let me know! But until then, here are some support scissors on Amazon that can be helpful to right handed kids who are new to cutting or struggling with the cutting motion. (Don't forget to read my page of tips to help your child master the grasp-release motion)
If you found these pages helpful, you can download all of this plus MUCH more in my 33 page Scissor Skills E-book.
This download will help answer your questions, and will give you step by step photographed activities to help your child master scissor skills.
I hope you found this page of scissor cutting resources to be helpful!
Please do share with other parents and teachers - being able to cut with scissors is such an important fine motor skill!
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Mitchell, A. W., Hampton, C., Hanks, M., Miller, C., & Ray, N. (2012). Influence of task and tool characteristics on scissor skills in typical adults. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, e89–e97. https://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2012.004135
Ratcliffe, I., Concha, M. & Franzsen, D. (2007). Analysis of cutting skills in four and six year olds attending nursery schools in Johannesburg. South African Journal of Occupational Therapy. 37. 4-9.
Ratcliffe, I., Franzsen, D., & Bischof, F. (2010). Development of a scissors skills programme for grade 0 children in South Africa - A pilot study. South African Journal of Occupational Therapy. 41. 24-31.
Smith, Barbara A. MS, OTR/L. From Rattles to Writing – A Parent’s Guide to Hand Skills. 2011. Therapro Inc.
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