Cut it Out!

Children as young as 18 months can begin to practice cutting with (dull) scissors.*

 There are so many child-safe varieties available today to help little hands master this important skill. Some are designed for hand-over-hand assistance while others simply involve squeezing the handles closed.

Begin by cutting long strips of paper so that your child can snip pieces off.

Then you can build on this skill by incorporating it into a craft activity. A larger piece of green paper can become grass for a nature scene.

Here we’ve added die-cut bugs, but remember you’re not limited to paper – children love to cut play dough too!

Using scissors develops hand-eye coordination and strengthens hand muscles needed for other fine motor activities such as printing.

As children become more competent at cutting, you can draw lines across a page for them to follow and cut along.** Begin with a straight line, then progress to wavy or jagged lines.

Long strips can be used for weaving crafts.

Advanced cutters can cut out circular spirals or paper lanterns to be hung as decorations.


We have a limited supply of ‘beginner’ scissors (pictured at top of page) for purchase at the CCPRN office. For caregivers in Ottawa’s east end, they are also available at All About Kids.

 To learn more about how to help young children develop root skills – sign up for our full day workshop on the E.L.E.C.T. document. Details are available in our Sept/Oct newsletter and online here. Find the E.L.E.C.T. document here.

* ELECT (14 months – 3 yrs) 5.2 Fine Motor: Tool Use – Using toddler-safe scissors

** ELECT (2.5 – 6 yrs) 5.3 Fine Motor: Cutting paper with scissors; Cutting a straight line

Thanks for reading,

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About CCPRN

Child Care Providers Resource Network *CCPRN* offers training, information, resources and support to those providing child care in a home setting.

Posted on August 14, 2012, in Child Care, daycare, Fine Motor Activities, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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