Teaching kids to cut with scissors is an important life skill and helps build fine motor strength and hand-eye coordination they’ll need for writing alphabet letters and words later. Paper cutting stations are here to help!
Handing over a pair of blades to young kids sounds intimidating, but you’ve come to the right spot! Find out how to teach kids to cut with scissors from beginning to end: what to do before passing out pairs of blades, our favorite pair of starter scissors, and more. Plus, download a free printable you can use to make a motivating paper cutting station kids will love!
This post contains an Amazon affiliate link for kids’ scissors.
Before Cutting with Scissors
It may surprise you to learn that common arts and crafts techniques actually help little hands get ready for scissor cutting.
Having kids rip paper works their tripod grasp (the same grip they’ll use when cutting with scissors) by having them pinch together their thumb and the first two fingers. If your kids are new to paper ripping, have them practice on lightweight tissue or copy paper. As their strength and coordination builds, hand over thicker construction paper or cardstock.
Then whip up a batch of easy homemade playdough for kids to pinch, knead and squish. Cookie cutters and stamps are always a fun addition to a playdough center and, if you’re in a creative play kinda’ mood, print and laminate a few playdough mats.
Stickers and Turkey Basters
Attaching stickers to paper is awesome scissor-prep and squeezing turkey basters and glue bottles is great for little hands, too.
DIY Paper Cutting Station
When kids are ready to work with scissors, be sure to give them a pair of high quality ones that open and close easily so that they don’t become frustrated.
Fiskars classic blunt tip scissors are my favorite. (Amazon link.)
Print off the paper cutting download on bright Astrobrights paper to add a fun pop of color.
Then use a paper cutter to slice along the grey horizontal lines and separate the sheets into strips.
When you’re ready, have kids grab a strip and practice snipping their scissors by opening and closing the blades to cut along the black line.
Although cutting may be challenging at first, you’ll be amazed how quickly children will build enough hand strength to cut longer lines.
When it comes to learning how to cut with scissors, practice really does make perfect. To ensure proper scissor grip, have kids slide their first two fingers into the long, oval-shaped handle and their thumb into the round one.
Then, show them how to turn their hand to the side so that their thumb is on top. This smiley face trick from Happy Hooligans is a brilliant way to help kids remember to keep their wrist rotated.
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