How To Teach Your Child To Use Scissors

By on October 22, 2014
Scissor Skills


Learning how to use scissors is one important skill that your child needs to learn. Aside from learning the safe use of scissors, a child will improve his fine motor skills which is important in learning how to hold pencils and crayons.

When children develop strong fine motor skills, they will easily learn the skill of writing.

(Photo by Ubermommy)

The Skills For Scissor Cutting

Though teaching children how to cut with scissors seems easy, it involves several skills which needs to be introduced to the child.


Pre-KPages.com made a great post about the skills needed children to improve their scissor use.

Here are the cutting skills that should be introduced to young children. The skills should be taught in this order.

  • Rip
  • Snip
  • Fringe
  • Straight lines
  • Zig zag lines
  • Curved lines (circles, waves, hearts)
  • Right angles (squares and rectangles)

Definitions of the Scissor Skills

Ripping – children would grip a sturdy piece of paper, such as construction paper or soft cardboard, and tear it. With this exercise, children would be using their tripod grasp – thumb and two fingers – as they rip the paper. As they rip the paper, their hands go in the opposite direction thus developing bilateral coordination skills. Let your child rip small pieces first then more to larger ones.

Snipping – the closing and opening of the scissors which results into cutting something. This is the skill that your child learns upon holding a pair of scissors and most of the time they get to cut something that shouldn’t be cut in the first place. Snipping helps develop the muscles in their hands. It improves the hand’s endurance to hold the scissors and make longer cuts.

Fringe – repetitive snipping without cutting the paper through and through

Scissor Skills

Activities for scissor skills (Photo by Pre-KPages.com)

Tips and Activities to Improve Scissor Skills

  • Have a high-quality pair of scissors for your kid. They should cut bond paper easily at least.
  • Remind your kid where to put his fingers. Tell him always not to hold the blade.
  • Start with snipping. Do not be limited to paper. Make your child snip drinking straws, string, plastic, play dough and others. Different textures will help him improve his sensory skills other than cutting.
  • Get a piece of paper and put straight lines lines near the edges using a ruler. Tell your kid to fringe along the lines. I suggest that you put some drawing or stick-on at the end of the line inside the paper. The goal of your child is to fringe from the edge to the stick-on.
  • Confetti activity. Give your child things to snip (colored paper, tinsel, plastic, etc.). Let him snip away. Tell him to put everything in a bag and save it as confetti for a party.

You can visit Pre-KPages.com for more information about this activity.

About Lance Miller

I am an educator by heart and a digital marketer by profession. I teach kids how to read and how to do maths. I search the web for different creative ideas to help parents teach their children.