Scissor Skills

Scissor Skills

Children develop their fine motor skills over time. These skills are needed for pencil grip and control, which is important for learning to write.

One fun way to help your kids develop these skills, is to teach them scissor skills. You need to start by choosing age-appropriate children’s scissors. You might like to get them to help you choose their favourite ones!

Did you know that some children’s scissors are suited to both left and right-handed users? As your kids develop more control, they can begin to cut out their own drawings to make puppets or greeting cards!

Here are a few ideas to get them started.


Your child can snip lots of things as they learn to move their fingers to control the scissors. Start with things that are easier to cut, such as:

  • Playdough
  • Drinking straws
  • Flowers – rose petals add a beautiful scent, and can be used later to make a potpourri or natural confetti.

Cutting colours

Ask for some sample colour catalogues from the paint shop and ask your child to cut out the colours. These are a good quality paper, not too stiff or too flimsy, and the rows of colours show where to cut. The paint chips can be collected in an envelope and used to discuss colour, play a memory game, or for a sorting and matching game.


Draw straight lines on paper or card that go about 2/3 of the length of the paper (or any length that works for what you are making).

This helps children to learn when and where to stop cutting.

Use the fringed paper to make hats, skirts for a doll or toy, or decorating musical instruments.


Draw different patterns on paper or card, such as:

  • A wavy line
  • A spiral
  • A zig zag
  • A square
  • A circle
  • A triangle.

Your kids can then cut along the different pattern lines. The pieces can be used for a pasting or collage activity.

Creating a puzzle

Using the pictures on old greeting cards or calendars, let your child cut them out however they like. Then they can put the puzzle pieces back together again!


The best way to develop scissor control is by practising!

Encourage them to use scissors as part of their art play. They will start to develop strength and control, and will soon be snip, snip, snipping.