A pediatric occupational therapist at Child and Family Development works on helping to develop your child's scissor skills.
Children can snip with scissors by 2-2 1/2 years of age. Remember to use safety scissors! By 4-5 years of age, a child should be able to cut out simple, basic shapes such as a circle or square.
In order to learn how to cut, you must master the following:
- shoulder stability
- forearm control
- wrist stability
- grasping skills
- finger isolation
- accurate release
- 2 hand usage
- eye-hand coordination
- able to hold and manipulate scissors appropriately
- short random snips
- manipulate scissors in forward motion
- stay within lines (wider lines first, narrower when more control is gained)
- cutting shapes with straight lines
- cutting shapes with curved lines
Activities to work on scissors skills:
- cut with thicker materials that are less likely to bend and tear and that will add resistance and feedback so the child can really feel what he/she is doing
- index cards, post cards, construction paper, foam, brown paper bags, junk mail!
- cut drinking stras, string them to make necklaces
- cut playdoh - make snakes and cut into chunks
- give your preschooler a pair of safety scissors and an old toy magazine and let them cut out their his/her favorite toys
- Use squirt bottles, squirt toys, water guns, turkey basters, tongs, and hole punchers to practice the hand grasp and motions needed for cutting with scissors