8 Tips for Teaching Scissor Skills

The thought of giving a 2-3 year old scissors can be just a TAD scary! Here are 8 tips to get you started.

8 tips for helping your little one with scissors

1. Thumb up! Always.
2. Wrist straight.
3. Help them by holding the paper taut or using thicker paper (junk mail is great!).
4. Open the scissors for them if they can’t do it right away, just so they can get the mechanics of opening and closing the scissors.
5. Once they have the mechanics, draw lines on the paper so they can practice cutting straight.
6. Turn the paper, not the scissors. Turn the paper using the non-dominate hand.
7. The scissors only open and close in front of you (make sure they are sitting properly).
8. Always cut at a table. As they get more dexterity, have them hold the paper in front of them so that they don’t cut their clothes and such.

A note about handedness:

Left-handed children often need their own scissors, even if the pair you have are “ambidextrous” and made for both right and left handed people. This is because the cutting blade gets dull or worn from being used by a right handed person, so when a left-handed person goes to use them, they often tear the paper instead of cutting it. Scissors that are all metal in the blades can usually be sharpened with a scissor sharpener (check out your local craft store), but the child ones that are covered in plastic cannot be. Of course, the same would apply if your older child is left-handed and your younger child is right handed- get the younger child his/her own pair of scissors.

Right-handed and wondering how to help your little lefty? Sit across from him or her! It’ll be like looking in a mirror. Overtime, your little one will learn to reverse what she’s being shown, but until then, being the “mirror” so she can copy you will work. 🙂


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