Scissor Activities

When scissors are held correctly, and when they fit a child's hand appropriately, cutting activities will exercise the same muscles which are needed to manipulate a pencil in a mature tripod grasp. The correct scissor position is with the thumb and middle finger in the handles of the scissors, the index finger on the outside of the handle to stabilize, with fingers four and five curled into the palm. Make sure the child's thumb is on top when cutting and the opposite hand that is securing the paper also have the thumb on top.
  • Begin by using heavier paper vs. thin paper when the skill is first developing
  • Cutting straws into little pieces and string them into a necklace
  • Cutting junk mail - particularly the kind of paper used in magazine subscription cards
  • Making fringe on the edge of a piece of construction paper
  • Cutting play dough with scissors
  • Practice cutting on lines by cutting out coupons from the Sunday paper
  • Cutting thin strips of paper and cutting them into squares - progress to snipping on a line on the edge of paper, to longer, straight lines
  • Gradually work towards zigzag lines, curved lines, and shapes with straight edges
  • When the child is able to cut out shapes with straight lines and can turn paper appropriately, practice cutting out circles