(Not) Running With Scissors

(Not) Running With Scissors

Using scissors can seem quite challenging for a toddler with small hands.

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Using scissors can seem quite challenging for a toddler with small hands. It requires the skill of hand separation, which is the ability to use the thumb, index, and middle fingers separately from the pinkie and ring finger. Once your child is 3 or 4 years old, he starts developing the skills needed to cut, though his scissor skills will only be fully developed a few years later.

If your toddler is starting to show interest in using scissors, here are a few tips to make it easier:

  • Find the right scissors. You’ll need the right size, and, for beginners, avoid pointy ends. If your child is left-handed, make sure to get him left-handed scissors.
  • Explain what scissors are for. Scissors are for cutting paper, and nothing else. Tell him that he can’t cut sheets, clothes, hair, or lips with them.
  • Avoid walking with scissors. At this age they’re still not stable on their feet, so make sure to explain to them that they can’t walk around holding them. (TIP: If you must move the scissors, teach him to hold them closed and gripping the blades, with his hand by his side).
  • Let them get creative. Show them what they can do with cut paper, creating shapes and collages and letting their imagination have fun.

Help him along. The first few times, you’ll need to hold his hand and take him through it all, step by step. After a while do, he will be able to do it all alone and create his own masterpieces.