When it comes to giving a pair of sharp scissors to a child, any mom or teacher is going to be a little nervous at first! But learning to use scissors is a great way to expand a child’s creative options!
As a preschool and kindergarten teacher I saw many children come into my classroom who had never held a pair of scissors.
Though quite a few years chose to forego scissor training and let the 1st grade teacher introduce that skill, I really like to be able to broaden my students creative options by starting scissor skills early!
One of the best centers during these 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 options, the whole world opened up!
Suddenly they were creating entire scenes, paper doll sets, crowns for dress-up play, books, and more!
Teaching Scissor Skills
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!
First, your child needs to know a few safety rules for using scissors.
- 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!
The easiest way to start scissor training is to grab a piece of paper and a thick tip sharpie marker.
Next, use the sharpie to draw straight lines lengthwise down the 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!
Take a few of the 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 then 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 son’s favorite crafting activities. Just a few different colored papers, his scissors, and his markers.
I love the sweet gifts he brings to me after his crafting time!
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!