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How to Teach a Preschooler to Cut with Scissors

Help your little one learn how to wield scissors safely and creatively.


  • : Always supervise your child when they're using scissors. Teach them how to close them and put them away when they're finished.
  • Step 1: Supervise your child Choose plastic scissors that are sized to fit comfortably in your child's hand. They should have dull, rounded edges.
  • TIP: If your child is left-handed, you may want them to learn with left-handed safety scissors.
  • Step 2: Hold the scissors Hold them so they can see where their fingers go: thumb in the front hole, index and middle fingers in the back hole, ring finger and pinky on the outside for support. Then help them put their fingers in the right spots.
  • Step 3: Demonstrate Now demonstrate the cutting motion. Explain that when they bring their fingers apart, the scissors open, and when they bring them back together, the scissors close. Have them hone their skills on easy-to-cut objects that don't require precision, such as a thin layer of play clay, or plastic straws.
  • Step 4: Start cutting paper Once they're handling scissors with ease, they can move on to paper. Start with card stock, which is firmer than other paper.
  • TIP: Let your child practice on the subscription cards from magazines and other scrap paper.
  • Step 5: Cutting straight lines Finally, draw dotted lines on construction paper so they can learn how to cut straight lines. Move on to drawing wavy lines, or complete circles. Before you know it, they’ll be craft experts.
  • FACT: Did you know? Rock, paper, scissors isn't just a playground game. Each year players compete for over $10,000 in prizes at the World RPS Championship.

You Will Need

  • Plastic safety scissors
  • Soft play clay
  • Plastic straws
  • Card stock paper
  • Construction paper

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