Do you allow your children to use safety scissors at home?  Children as young as 2 can use safety scissors with adult supervision.  Children’s increased use of safety scissors helps to develop many different skills no matter the item that is being cut.

To start, introduce your child to scissors.  


Share with them the different parts of the scissors (the handle where their fingers will go and the blades that are used for snipping), show them the way to safely hold scissors before using them (by placing their fist around the blades with the blades down when moving), the correct way and where to place their fingers in each of the holes of the scissors and how to “open and close” the blades of the scissors (with their hand) in order to snip.

Presenting children different materials to cut, such as; playdoh, theraputty, junk mail, card stock paper, wrapping paper, news paper and scrap paper will help aide in their cutting skills.  

safe scissor supplies

To start, have your child choose what materials they want to use for cutting (in our classroom we use a variety of “scrap” paper- this is paper we are no longer using).  

Next, find an empty bin or basket (this will be called their cutting bin or basket) for them to practice “snipping” into.  Allow your child to snip in any way that is comfortable for them.  

basket of safe scissor supply

Remember, children who are beginning to cut with scissors might not yet have the hand strength needed to “open and close” scissors independently.  That’s ok!  By providing the opportunity to cut (and using different cutting materials) you are already strengthening those fine motor skills.  

Most children who are beginning to practice scissor skills will begin with snipping along the outer edges of any type of paper.  

girl practicing safe scissor use

Skills that are being developed during  cutting; are hand eye coordination (holding the material to cut and using the scissors to cut), hand grasp release (opening and closing the scissors with one hand), and LOTS of concentration skills (if you see a little tongue peeping out, you know the concentration is happening).

young girl cutting paper safely

As children’s scissor skills progress (with practice and repetition) you will see an increase in snips falling off of their paper and landing in their cutting bin or basket.  You might even begin to see your child cutting out different shapes!

young boy cutting with scissors at preschool

Make sure when your cutting practice is finished that you put your cutting scraps in the recycling bin and put your scissors away in a safe place for the next time!