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How to Teach Preschoolers to Use Scissors

Tips on how to teach preschoolers to use scissors – and some great resources to make the process easier!

Teaching scissor skills to preschoolers

My daughter LOVES scissors, but  – like most kids – it took her a while to get the hang of them. Once mastered, scissors a incredibly empowering for preschoolers since they allow for all sorts of paper and tape creations!

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How to Teach Preschoolers to Use Scissors

How to teach your preschooler to use scissors

Find the Right Tools

Anna loved using these hold-on-the-outside scissors, which sadly I can’t find for sale anymore.

I usually start my kids off cutting play dough with plastic scissors. Then we move onto Fiskars Kids Scissors, which cut well but are small enough for children to handle easily.

Give Them Interesting Cutting Tasks

We love Kumon cutting skills books, which are full of fun little scenes that children cut out. The different drawings are designed for children to practice cutting straight, curved, zigzagged, and spiral lines. They become progressively harder as you go through the pages in the books.

Cutting exercises for preschoolers.

Let Them Progress at Their Own Space

Anna was very into the idea of using scissors when this book arrived, and she worked through the entire set in a few days. I considered trying to stretch them out, but I decided to just let her go with it. I’m glad I did! She is not an expert cutter, and she has created plenty of other (non workbook based) opportunities to continue to build on these skills.

Actually, Anna got SO good at cutting up tiny pieces of paper that I recently had a dream where I had been appointed the job of White House housekeeper. I was stressing out because I was supposed to be cleaning the house for an event and Anna was sitting right in the entryway cutting paper into teeny tiny pieces! Anybody who knows me in real life know that I am a terrible candidate for White House housekeeper. I was enormously relieved to wake up from that dream!

How do you teach your children scissor skills?

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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

6 thoughts on “How to Teach Preschoolers to Use Scissors”

  1. Fine motor skills are hard to correct. My youngest still holds a pencil with an incorrect grip. I like the scissors that you are using for preschoolers! Looks much easier to use!

  2. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    When you said, White House cleaner, I had a completely different job description in my mind :) Anna’s cutting skills are awesome. I wish they had this kind of scissors when my Anna was her age.

  3. Elisa | blissful E

    Oh my, I would have been relieved to wake up from that dream, too!!! :) My kids love the idea of scissors, but I’m afraid I rarely give them a chance to do much cutting.

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