Dana Cary - May 01, 2022

3 Practical Activities to Teach Your Toddler to Use Scissors

Teach your toddler to use scissors with these three engaging activities. This is a basic skill that you can work on at home and have fun doing it. The first rule of thumb is we want to make sure that when we’re teaching our kids how to use scissors that they are actually ready to learn this skill. So, if your kid is not expressing interest in scissors or has no desire to learn then they are not going to use them safely. Save this posts and come back when your kid is ready!

Is My Toddler Ready to Use Scissors?

Ready to Teach Your Toddler How to Use Scissors?

  1. Determine if your kid has any interest in using scissors. If they aren’t interested they won’t use them safely. Most of all they won’t want you to teach them to use scissors. Before you teach your toddler how to use scissors they need to be showing the signs of interest and have the basic skill they can build upon.
  2. Determine if they have the underlying skills to use scissors. Do they have generalized hand strength? Can they open and close things like scissors? These skills should be taught before you teach your toddler to use scissors to make cuts.
  3. Keep in mind we will need to use child sized scissors with a blunt edge for safety reasons! Remember learning how to use scissors is a process and will take time!

Teach Your Toddler How to Use Scissors

Teach Your Toddler How to Hold Scissors

Teach your toddler how to use scissors the correct way! The thumb should always go on top and the other fingers should go down on the bottom. This is also called a supinated grasp. When a lot of toddlers start using scissors, they don’t hold them correctly.

A quick tip to prompt your toddler to hold their scissors correctly is to use a sticker! Put a sticker on their thumb and remind your toddler you want to see the sticker the whole time they are cutting. Remember before you teach your toddler to use scissors they will require some practice holding them before they get to the cutting.

Activities to Teach Your Toddler How to Use Scissors

Three Engaging Activities to Teach Your Toddler to Use Scissors

  1. Use play-dough to make snips– Model rolling a worm with play-dough using both hands to challenge bilateral coordination, meaning both of your hands must work together. Have your toddler roll out some dough too. Then position the scissors in the toddler’s hands, making sure their thumb is on top and their other fingers are underneath. Then, have your toddler hold either side of the play-dough with their other hand. Teach them how to open and close the scissors making snips along the dough. Prompt with “open” when they open the scissors and “close” when they close the scissors. Repeat open-close-open-close as they practice.
  2. Use a thick paper plate to make snips– Make little marks on the side of a thick paper plate with a marker. Instruct your toddler to hold the plate with one hand and position the scissors in their other hand. You can also hold the plate yourself if they are struggling managing both themselves. Have your toddler make snips along the lines prompting with open-close-open-close. To challenge their bilateral coordination, have the child rotate the plate while making their snips.
  3. Use thick paper to cut lines– Use a sturdy piece of construction paper and draw a line across the paper. Draw a smiley face at the start of the line and instruct your toddler to start there with the scissors. They should use their other hand to stabilize the paper. Focus on their hand and finger positions as they cut, ensure their shoulders are nice and tucked in, avoiding a chicken-wing. Use the prompts push as they move the scissors and open-close-open-close.

Watch the video for more information about how to teach your toddler to use scissors my YouTube Channel! Check out my other posts on how to build hand strength.

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