Cutting and Scissor Skills

Cutting with scissors is a complex task that incorporates many aspects of visual-motor and fine motor skills. It is important to note that every child is an individual, and will develop differently! Looking at milestones in relation to scissor skills can help you decide what is appropriate for you child, and where they should be progressing too. Let’s take a look, and discuss fun activities to work on these skills!

Typical developmental progression of scissor skills:

By 2 years old, a child can snip with scissors (randomly on a page)

By 3 years old, a child can cut along a short straight line (around 6 inches)

By 4 years old, a child can cut a curved line (circle)

By 4.5-5 years old, a child can cut a square

By 6+, a child can cut complex and advanced shapes

Some activities to get your child interested in working with scissors are:

  • Cutting playdoh – You can work on rolling your playdoh out and then cutting the pieces
  • Cut a straw – You can use the pieces to make a necklace with some string
  • Cut out some lines – Take the scrap pieces, crumple them up and make baskets in the recycling bin!
  • Try loop scissors or spring-loaded scissors to start – If your child needs additional help holding or manipulating scissors, this can help your child grasp the concept of scissors, while continuing to work on bilateral control and fine motor strength
  • Keep the projects simple – Making and decorating a paper ice cream cone can be super fun, and you can practice cutting circle and triangle shapes

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