Cutting with scissors is an advanced skill, requiring hand strength, hand-eye co-ordination and the ability to use both hands together. Yet scissor skills are also a vital part of a school child’s day, and so the more early confidence you can give them around scissors, the better they’ll feel when using them at school.
The opening and closing action required for cutting with scissors is difficult for young children to master. The tricky part is opening the scissors after snipping, while also holding the object steady with the other hand.
To simplify the task for novice cutters ,you can remove these two elements. Use a lump of play dough and let them snip away at it - the immobile dough means they can concentrate on the opening and closing action safely. Practising with tongs is also a great way to introduce the hand movements. Next you can progress to cutting straws, where one snip is enough so there’s no need to re-open the scissors for a second cut.
Spring-loaded scissors and training scissors with extra holes for an adult’s hands are also helpful. Safety scissors are often so blunt they can’t be used properly. It is far better to teach your child to use metal scissors safely. Choose age-appropriate scissors that have a rounded tip but are sharp enough to allow a smooth cutting action. Blunt scissors teach poor - and dangerous - technique.