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Scissor snips: say yes to scissor success

Submitted by the staff at Childreach

Learning to cut with scissors can be a difficult developmental task for children. It may look easy but, to master this skill, children have to develop tiny muscles in their fingers and arms. Scissor mastery is a great ego-building achievement for children and should be celebrated.

Steps to scissor success

1. Paper tearing: Tearing paper is an important step before starting to cut. Allow children to tear paper into different shapes. Tearing paper helps children learn about the material, and helps them develop finger control and mechanical skills.

2. Cutting play dough: Using scissors to cut play dough helps children get the feel of the scissors while cutting something easy.

3. Snipping: Allow children to make single snips off a piece of paper that they can then use for pasting.

4. Practise: After practising step 3, children should be able to repeat snips in a sequence. Ask them to snip in a

continuous cutting action.


1. It doesn’t matter if children don’t cut on the line. It’s the skill they’re developing that matters.

2. Examine the different types of scissors available.

3. Have both left- and right-handed scissors available.

4. Allow children to rest the bottom blade on a table to make cutting easier.

5. Some papers are easier to cut than others. Lightweight papers, like tissue paper, and heavy papers, like cardboard, are hard to cut. Construction paper and newspapers are easier for children to cut with scissors.

Although the process of learning to cut with scissors may be difficult for children and adults, the end result is an amazing accomplishment.

Adapted from: Art and Creative Development for Young Children: Cutting with Scissors and Creative Art for Developing Children: Scissors


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