When it comes to important skills for kids, giving kids scissors and teaching them to use them safely is a really rewarding experience! When it comes to giving a pair of sharp scissors to a child, it’s normal for a parent or teacher to be a little nervous at first (and kids to be really excited ha!).
I made this skill for kids even easier for you to teach by designing a free printable (at the bottom of this post!), but I have some tricks for doing it without a printer too!
Learning to use kids scissors is a great way to expand a child’s creative options!
Benefits of Teaching Kids Scissors Skills
As a teacher, I saw many children come into my classroom who had never held a pair of scissors.
I really like to be able to broaden my students creative options by starting scissor skills early! There is something so sweet about a child who feels empowered with a pair of kids scissors and can proudly say “I cut it all by myself!”
One of the best creative centers during the early years is “free craft time”. Each student had access to as much construction paper and glue as they wanted, as well as scissors, a stapler (for making books or crowns), crayons, markers, and pens!
With just paper and coloring options, the kids were able to have a lot of fun creating drawings.
But when scissor skills were added to their skill set, the whole world opened up!
Suddenly they were creating entire scenes, paper doll sets, crowns for dress-up play, books, and more! It really is amazing how much we open their horizons when we teach them to use kids scissors!
Giving Kids Scissors For The First Time
So, now that you know why I love starting scissor skills as soon as possible, let’s talk about a few ways to do that!
Kids Scissors Safety Rules
- Never use scissors to cut anything but paper!
- Make sure your hands and fingers are out of the way before each cut.
- Scissors are to be used with permission, not on your own without an adult.
- Only paper that I give you can be cut. Never cut books or papers that I don’t specifically give you.
Now that the rules are out of the way, let’s get to the fun part!
How To Teach Kids Scissor Skills
First of all, my FAVORITE kids scissors are the same size on both sides of the handle and have a little switch that helps the scissors open gently on their own so kids don’t have to learn the squeeze AND open.
I didn’t discover these until my third child was learning to cut and she became proficient MUCH more quickly than her big brothers.
Once you have a great pair of kids scissors, print out the free printable cutting pages! One page is for beginners and the other page is for kids who feel confident cutting straight lines and are ready for a bit of a challenge.
Have your child practice tracing the lines with their fingers before they start cutting, just to reinforce the concept of staying on the line.
I don’t recommend having them trace the line with a writing utensil because they likely won’t trace it straight and then may end up trying to cut the line they drew which could prove frustrating for them!
After finger tracing the lines, show your child how to hold the scissors with their thumb up and the paper in their non-dominant hand, and then let them start cutting the lines!
If they veer a bit too far off the line, gently encourage them to adjust how they are holding the paper and scissors and help them get back. Don’t expect perfection, these first cuts are not going to be perfect.
Celebrate! Cheer them on! Let your child know you are proud of them for learning a new skill!
After the lines are cut, I let my preschooler have a (calm) cutting frenzy and chop the remaining strips into pieces.
I recommend printing and cutting the straight line page over and over and when kids are proficient, encourage them to try the harder page. Have them use their kids scissors to cut the wavy lines and then follow the arrow to the heart!
Alternate Kids Scissors Skills Idea
If you don’t have a printer, use a sharpie to draw straight lines lengthwise down a piece of paper about 2 inches apart.
Let your child cut these apart and help correct them if they start to go off track.
Once they have those long straight lines down, you can try smaller lines! (You can also turn the long straight lines into paper chains).
Take a few of the longer strips they just cut and draw a short lines on the strip, like a ruler. You can make them go all the way from side to side so that your child can cut little pieces.
Or you can draw the lines only halfway across the strip so they the cuts turn out more like fringe.
After you have given a kiddo a few practice sheets, it’s time to let them loose and give them a blank piece of paper!
This is now one of my child’s favorite crafting activities. Just a few different colored papers, scissors, and markers.
I love the sweet gifts and creations that my kids love to make. And I’m thankful I have a vacuum to clean up the little teeny tiny scraps easily!
Remember, you don’t have to do all of this in one day… though you can if your child is very motivated.
But generally, I like to start scissor training around three and a half years old, take it slow, and continue letting them practice and practice!
Download This Free Kids Scissors Skills Printable!
This kids scissors skills download is part of our member’s only library! And it’s completely free to become a member! Whoo-hoo!
If you are an existing member, click here to head to the member’s only section and enter the password from your welcome email.
Otherwise, sign up below to become a member and get the library password! Once downloaded, just print and enjoy!
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