Starting cutting activities is scary with young kids, I get that.
As a parent, you think of safety and that scissors are a dangerous thing for kids to be around.
I vividly remember the first week I took my oldest to daycare when he was three. The teachers there had him cutting right away and realized that he had no idea what to do. I had never given him the chance to hold a scissors even prior to that time.
Kids pick it up cutting skills very quickly when you offer them the opportunity.
See the amazing tips at the end of the post to get your child started!
We’ve tried many scissors along the road and I’ve always found that the Fiskars Pointed-tip scissors work the best for my kids. I have always recommended them and am honored to be working with Fiskars to share with you five different cutting activities to help build fine motor skills and practice using a scissors!
Practice Scissors Skills with These 5 Cutting Activities
Take a pair of Fiskars scissors outdoors and cut nature!
There is something incredibly appealing to cutting things up outside (kind of like breaking a rule, scissors don’t belong outside).
My kids love to be weed eaters and do the trimming around the yard (it makes it looks nice, and they’re learning cutting skills).
But you can also just set up a nature cutting station. Go on a hunt around the yard for weeds, leaves, and flowers. Collect them in a bucket and cut away to their hearts desire!
You can then turn your nature cuttings into a nature suncatcher! Super pretty in the window!
Make a batch of play dough and cut cut cut!
Whip up a batch of homemade play dough, or use store-bought, and roll it into worms or snakes. That’s a fantastic fine motor skill right there.
Let your child snip away with a Blunt-tip Fiskars scissors. My youngest says he’s cutting up hot dogs when he snips away at the worms.
Don’t worry about whether your child is holding the scissors right when they’re starting, they’ll eventually catch on. Just every once in awhile, change the scissors so it’s the right direction, and so that their thumb is up.
You can also do this with other doughs, like slime!
It’s really fun to let the slime start falling from a rack and have your child cut the slime before it touches the table.
Of course, cut paper!
Beginners might not be able to cut accurately, but they can still get practice in.
Try one of these simple cutting activities that has scissors skills at the center:
- Cut easy snowflakes (or flowers!)
- Cut and make countdown chains for your next big event
- Cut hearts, easier than you’d think
- Make a collage from magazine or paper scraps
Cut straws, strings and ribbons
Straws are a super easy beginner item to cut with your child’s Fiskars scissors. They’re thin, but yet stiff to not bend in the scissors.
It’s easy to set up a cutting station with my favorite pair of kids’ scissors, a tub or bowl, and some straws. This may also work well with pipe cleaners, however they take a little more strength to cut through.
Your child can then thread the straws to make a necklace if they’d like.
You can also do this with string, yarn or ribbon. This can be a little more advanced, depending on if it just bends in the scissors, or if it needs to be held taut. You can always hold it taut for your child as they snip.
To make this so your child can do it on their own, tape down one end to the table and have them hold the other end with their non-cutting hand. And then snip away!
It’s okay to play with your food and cut it!
Next time you have leftover spaghetti, grab a pair of Fiskars scissors and cut it!
Kids can also practice cutting with their scissors on hot dogs, any kind of cooked noodles, and even tortillas are easy for beginner cutters!
My kids always like their spaghetti cut up for dinner too, it’s okay to have them cut it up with a pair of scissors first. It gives them this great feeling of independence of being able to do it on their own.
New to cutting activities? How to start:
Start earlier than you think. Preschoolers may start to show an interest in cutting around the ages of 3 or 4. Introduce a scissors when they’re interested. They may not have developed all the hand strength they need at this time, but its good to practice and introduce fine motor activities.
Start with tearing and ripping paper. Seasoned early childhood teacher, Vanessa of Pre-K Pages suggests the order of which to expect and encourage kids to cut. Starting with simple tearing paper, leading them through snipping and fringing, and finally getting to cutting on lines and beyond. Read more and get the full order for learning to use a scissors.
Get the right scissors, for the right age! Fiskars has scissors for every age. Including beginner scissors that are designed to spring open to help your child learn the motions. Then move up to the Blunt or Pointed-tip scissors that I always highly recommend for preschoolers. When kids get bigger, Fiskars has bigger scissors for them!
Have you given your child a chance to start cutting?