The Ultimate Guide to Teaching Scissor Skills

Teaching Scissor Skills

Teaching your toddler to use scissors when you are not a teacher can be a challenge. I know as a parent when I first introduced cutting activities to my daughter at two years old, I struggled to teach her how. Simply showing her didn’t work as she had not yet developed the muscles in her hand to even properly open and close the scissors.

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Needless to say our first attempt at cutting was a dismal failure leaving both mom and toddler frustrated. We didn’t pick up scissors again for weeks.


I also struggled to find a comprehensive guide online on how I, as a parent, could teach my toddler scissors skills.

That is why I wrote this post.

During my struggles, I combed the internet for all the best resources that I could find. I sifted through them and have listed here some of the best bloggers and blogs that teach you how to teach your toddler scissor skills. They give you all the tips of the trade on how to teach scissor skills.

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Today, at three years old, my daughter is a proficient scissor cutter. Is she perfect? Of course not, she is three and still learning and developing but cutting is the number one quiet time activity in our house. I can give her a tray full of scarp paper and a few pairs of scissors and she is good until single sheet is in shreds. My hard work has finally started to pay off!

Why are Scissor Skills Important

Scissor skills are not just important to have so that your preschooler doesn’t fail nursery school but because it helps develop crucial fine motor muscles that are necessary for a whole range of activities such as writing and getting dressed as they grow.

Secondly, scissor skills are important because they help improve your toddler’s focus and attention span, which we all know if very short at 2 years old. But cutting requires focus and they will need that ability later on when they are start school.

Third, scissor skills help improve hand eye coordination.

Finally, scissor skills help improve your child’s ability to coordinate both sides of her body, which is necessary to perform many everyday activities, like zipping up a coat.

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 Step 1: Start by Putting the Scissors Away

What may surprise you (as it did me) is that if you want to teach your toddler to cut with scissor don’t give them scissors! Crazy right? But all the experts agree that the starting point for developing proper scissor skills begin with using just their hands and tearing paper.

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Step 2: Tips for Teaching Scissor Skills

The following are the great articles I mentioned earlier from some fantastic bloggers giving their tips for teaching scissor skills:

  1. Scissor Skills Crash Course by The OT Tool Box

  2. Tips for Teaching Scissor Cutting Skills by Pre-K Pages

  3. Tips for Teaching Scissor Skills by Munchkins and Moms

  4. Developmental Progression of Scissors Skills: 35 Best Tips for Teaching Kids to use Scissors. by Mama OT

  5. Scissor Secrets that Make Cutting Easy by Kids Play Smarter

Step 3: Paper Tearing Practice

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Here are some fun activities and crafts to help your child practice tearing:

  1. Toddler Apple Craft for Fine Motor Skills by Simple Today Life

  2. Ripping Paper Bin by Busy Toddler

  3. Easy Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers by The Inspired Tree House

  4. Torn Paper Owl Craft by Vancouver Island View

  5.  Acorn Craft for Toddlers by No Time for Flashcards

Step 4: Scissor Practice

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Here are some fun activities and crafts to help your child practice cutting:

  1. Leaf Cutting Tray by Happy Toddler Playtime

  2. Printable Preschool Cutting Busy Box by Fun with Mama

  3. Washi Tape Cutting by Happy Toddler Playtime

  4. Creative & Fun Ways to Help Kids Cut With Scissors by The OT Toolbox 

Tools of the Trade

Here some of the scissors and other fine motor tools I use with my daughter to help her develop her scissor skills:

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KNOW SOMEONE WITH A TODDLER? SHARE YOUR NEW FOUND KNOWLEDGE! Pin it For Later!

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Start your child’s scissor journey today! Purchase your supplies now on Amazon.com

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