Scissor Skills

Listed below is the sequence for scissor skills and advice for how to encourage each step:

  • Snipping with short, individual snips – give a child small bits of paper to cut in to smaller pieces.  Collect these to make in to a collage to incorporate gluing and sticking skills.  Another activity is to have a pre-drawn face with snips to make the hair or making snips in a lion’s mane.
  • Cutting across a thin strip of paper – a child will make two or three snips in the same direction.  Have a picture of a car or something motivating to them a little way up the page and encourage the child to cut to the picture.
  • Cutting a piece of paper in half – have a fruit or vegetable drawn across a page and encourage the child to ‘chop’ the vegetable by cutting the paper in half.
  • Cutting along a straight line – pretend the scissors are a race car trying to stay on track.  Staying on track is more important than going fast.
  • Changing direction – Pretend the scissors are a car driving along a road.  Once the car comes to a corner shop, turn the scissors and the paper to continue along the road.
  • Cutting a curved line – Cut a semicircle off the corner of a paper to make a piece of pie.  You can then decorate the pie or glue lots of pieces together to make a whole pie.
  • Cutting a complete circle – In preparation for cutting a whole circle, you can fold the a paper in half and draw half a circle from the fold.  Keeping it folded, encourage your child to cut the half circle out to make a complete circle when opened.
  • Cutting combinations of corners, lines, curves and circles with increasing complexity – Show how to cut off excess paper as they cut out a shape to make it easier to hold and position the paper with the other hand.

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