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!

Snag your activity and then hop over and grab our bundle of best-selling Pre-K centers in our shop!

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.

Ripping Paper

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.

Kneading Playdough

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.

Thanksgiving Fine Motor Game: Turkey Baster Squeeze

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.

Scissor Grip

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.

Grab Your Download

Ready to start cutting?! Click the blue button below to download your copy and then hop over and grab our bundle of best-selling Pre-K centers in our shop!

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  1. Great ideas on learning to cut. Small children can also use tongs to pick up small objects to help with their fine motor skills and to get the back and forth motion that they will use with the scissors. To learn to cut near a line, you can give the children a piece of paper with two strips of sandpaper glued on it that has a small space between the two pieces of sandpaper and the child cuts on a line that is drawn between the sandpaper. This will give him success in cutting on or near the line.

  2. I love this! The download link doesn’t seem to be working though ?

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