Scissor Skills
     Learning to use scissors in a controlled way takes lots of
    practice.  Cutting on materials that are stiff and thick are easier
    to cut than thin flimsy materials.  For example, it is easier to snip
    a plastic straw than a string.  Card stock  or construction paper is
    easier to cut then thin tissue paper or regular paper.  

     Encourage your child to keep both thumbs in an upward position
    when cutting. That is, the thumb on the scissor hand and the
    thumb on the hand that is holding the paper or object should both
    be facing upward, toward the ceiling.
Therapy Street for Kids

  • Licorice laces or Twizzlers: glue on paper to make a picture
  • Plastic straws:  then string up the pieces to make a necklace
  • Styrofoam packing peanuts
  • play doh and putty
  • string cheese
  • hot dogs, french fries
  • dandelion (or other flower) stems and leaves
  • short strips of paper to make paper chains
  • edges of paper plates, styrofoam plates and cups
  • edges of index cards

Cutting straight lines
  • place 2 rows of stickers or dots on a card or paper; practice cutting in between
    the rows
  • draw a wide lines (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick) to cut short strips of paper to make
    paper chains
  • cut up junk mail in strips
  • cut along straight lines to cut out coupons

Cutting shapes
  • circles: cut out the inside circle of a paper plate or along the edge
  • draw triangles, circles and squares on small squares of paper (card stock or index
    cards are best) that are only slightly larger then the shape (see below);  It's
    easier at first for the child to cut off corners or edges to learn how to cut out
    the shape.

Complex cutting
  • cut up magazine or catalog pictures to make puzzles or collages
  • cut up used greeting cards to make a collage
  • fun projects: snowflakes (using folded paper), paper airplanes, paper chains

  • Snipping: this is just opening and closing
    the blades without advancing forward on
    the paper.  Make lots of snips along the
    edges of paper or a paper plate to make
    it look like fringe or grass.
  • Lines: Next the child will be able to cut
    along a wide line (1/8 to 1/4 inch wide)
    for about 6 inches.
  • Eventually, the child will be able to cut
    across the width of a page of paper,
    cutting it in half.
  • Circles: By age 4, they can begin to work
    on cutting out circles.
  • More Shapes: By age 5, work on cutting
    out triangles, then squares.
  • Curves: From age 5 to 6, they can cut
    along a curved line, and eventually cut out
    complex shapes depending upon the
    experiences given them.

    Look for scissors that have a large hole
    to fit 2 fingers and a smaller thumb hole.  
    The index and middle fingers should be in
    the large hole.  Two fingers opposing the
    thumb gives them more power for
    contolling the scissors.  The ring and
    pinky fingers should be tucked into the
    palm.  Children's Fiskar scissors work
    well for both right and left handed
Make it even MORE fun:  
  • Paste googly eyes (or the self-sticking type) on each blade of the scissors, close to the handle end of the blades.  
    Imagine that the scissors is an alligator gobbling up the line as it cuts.    OR . . .
  • Draw circles for "headlights" near the tip of each blade.  Pretend that the scissors is a car or truck, and the line
    on the paper is the road; be sure to "stay on the road" and avoid driving in the dirt!