Unique preschool scissor skills activities that are way more than just practicing cutting paper! See our huge list of fun building scissor skills ideas for kids and learn about the importance of scissor skills in early years!
Creative Preschool Scissor Skills Activities
Scissor skills early years development is an important part of preschool lessons. It’s so much more than scissor skills fine motor development. These are great for cutting practice for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten to help improve their scissor skills!
How do you teach preschool scissor skills?
- Cutting Playdough to match the shapes on a play dough mat
- Use scissor skills shapes to practice shapes and colors (basic shapes / simple shapes, not complex shapes!)
- Use beginning scissor skills worksheets to practice lines and shapes
- Fold and cut paper as part of your scissor cutting goals
- Make a rainbow by scissor cutting strips of construction paper (different colors piece of paper)
- Cut cookie dough using scissors and then bake cookies out of the cut shapes (who knew baking cookies could be a cutting activity!)
- Use a scissor skills learning story where kids follow a story and cut shapes and lines at different points
- Give kids certain shapes and have them go on magazine shape hunt
- Play cut the grass with green fringe construction paper or even a fresh basket of grass like this
- Cut a collage out of magazines
- Make a cutting sensory bin (or sensory tray) by adding a bunch of different items and different materials in the box and let them cut anything in the sensory bins
- Look for scissor skills worksheets free printables or scissor skills sheets
- Cut thin pieces of spaghetti into a bowl for a play Italian menu
- Head outside and cut flowers from the flower garden (fun way to include outdoor idea for working on improving scissor skills!)
KEEP SCROLLING for the full list of how do you promote scissor skills, why are scissor skills important, scissor skills craft ideas, and fun cutting paper ideas for kids! Lots of practice for little hands below — great for fine motor activities!
Before we get to the list of things to do with scissors, let’s talk about the importance of including scissor skills early childhood activities.
About Scissor Skills For Young Kids
Let’s start by talking about scissor skills importance for younger kids (beyond just being fun activities for kid scissors)…
Scissor Cutting Benefits For Kids
There are many scissor cutting benefits for toddlers and preschoolers:
Fine Motor Skills Development: Scissor cutting helps children develop and refine their fine motor skills, which involve the coordination of small muscles in their hands and fingers. Fine motor scissor skills is a great way to add fine motor learning!
Hand-Eye Coordination: When cutting with scissors, children need to coordinate their hand movements with what they see, enhancing their eye-hand coordination.
Bilateral Coordination: Using scissors requires the use of both hands together, promoting bilateral coordination and integration of both sides of the body.
Grip Strength: Holding and manipulating scissors helps strengthen the muscles in the hands and fingers, improving grip strength and hand strength.
Finger Dexterity: The act of cutting with scissors requires precise finger movements, aiding in the development of finger dexterity and control.
Visual Perception: Cutting along lines or shapes helps children improve their visual perception skills, such as recognizing and following patterns or outlines.
Concentration and Focus: Scissor cutting activities require children to concentrate and focus on the task at hand, improving their attention span and ability to stay engaged.
Problem-Solving Skills: Cutting out shapes or figures often involves problem-solving, as children need to figure out how to navigate curves, corners, and angles.
Creativity and Imagination: Scissor cutting allows children to express their creativity and imagination as they design and create their own artwork or craft projects.
Spatial Awareness: Cutting along specific lines or within confined spaces helps children develop spatial awareness, understanding the relationship between objects and their surroundings.
Patience and Perseverance: Scissor cutting can be challenging at first, requiring patience and perseverance. As children practice, they learn to overcome difficulties and develop a sense of achievement.
Self-Expression: Scissor cutting provides a medium for children to express themselves visually, allowing them to showcase their ideas, preferences, and individuality through their creations.
DON’T MISS THESE ACTIVITIES FOR PRESCHOOL NEXT:
How should a child hold scissors?
A proper scissor grip is important to ensure safe and effective cutting, so you should include this as part of your scissor skills lesson plan. Also, if the kids aren’t holding the scissors the correct way, they may not cut and kids will just get frustrated instead. You may want to practice scissor holding skills a few times before cutting.
Here’s how a child should hold scissors:
- Dominant Hand: Determine the child’s dominant hand (right or left) so they can hold the scissors with their dominant hand.
- Thumb Position: The child should place their thumb in the smaller loop of the scissors, positioning it so that the thumb is pointing upwards.
- Finger Position: The child’s index and middle fingers should be placed in the larger loop of the scissors, with the index finger on top and the middle finger underneath.
- Ring and Pinky Fingers: The ring and pinky fingers can either rest lightly on the table or curl inward slightly, depending on the child’s comfort.
- Open and Close Motion: Show the child to use their thumb and fingers to open and close the scissors in a controlled manner while cutting. Help them cut something their first time so they understand how it works.
- Stabilization: Encourage the child to stabilize the paper or material they are cutting with their non-dominant hand, using their fingertips to hold it in place.
IMPORTANT: Although scissor skills in early childhood are important, you obviously need to be careful! The pair of scissors you use matters! If you are looking for toddler scissors or preschool scissors, you must use the safety scissors like these (plastic scissors or rounded edge scissors / blunt-edged scissors) and still provide supervision for any skills activity!
Can 2 year olds use scissors?
Many two year olds will not be ready to use scissors. However, some children may be developmentally ready to start exploring simple scissor activities under close adult supervision. It’s important to assess each child’s individual readiness and fine motor skills before introducing scissors.
Use these for scissor skills assessment:
- Motor Skills Development: Most 2-year-olds are still developing their fine motor skills, including hand-eye coordination and finger dexterity. They may not have the control and strength necessary to handle scissors effectively and safely.
- Safety Concerns: Scissors can pose a safety risk for young children. They have sharp blades that can cause injuries if mishandled or used improperly. Always ensure proper supervision and use child-safe scissors with rounded or plastic blades designed for young children.
- Cutting Skills Progression: Cutting skills typically progress through stages, starting with tearing paper, progressing to snipping with scissors, and eventually cutting along straight lines or shapes. Try to follow a developmental progression and provide appropriate activities based on the child’s abilities so they don’t get discouraged.
- Alternative Activities: Instead of introducing scissors at a young age, you can focus on activities that promote fine motor skills development, such as tearing paper, dot or sticker activities, stacking blocks, playing with play dough, finger painting, using chunky crayons, or engaging in sensory play.
OK! Let’s get to our scissor skills fun for PreK! (Many of these are fun as scissor cutting for toddlers, too!)
Preschool Scissor Skills Activities You Never Thought Of!
Whether you’re wondering what are the scissor skills for a 3 year old or what are scissor skills for a 4 year old or older, you’ll find something fun on this scissor cutting list! There are so many creative ways to add scissor cutting in preschool that go beyond just paper cutting!
How To Practice Cutting For Preschoolers
Cutting Straws: Provide colorful straws and let children cut them into smaller pieces.
Paper Chains: Have children cut strips of paper and then help them create paper chains by gluing the strips together.
Magazine Collage: Give children old magazines and let them cut out pictures and create collages.
Playdough Cutting: Provide playdough and child-safe scissors for cutting the dough into various shapes.
Cutting Practice Sheets: Use printable cutting practice sheets and preschool cutting practice worksheets that include straight lines, curves, and shapes. CHECK OUT THESE FUN SCISSOR SKILLS DEVELOPMENT WORKBOOKS
Cutting Bread: Use bread to practice cutting and then make a sandwich with the fun shapes!
Cutting Food Pictures: Have children cut out pictures of different types of food from magazines or even food coupon flyers (think fast food coupons you get in the mail) and sort them into categories.
Cutting Wrapping Paper: Let children practice cutting wrapping paper scraps into different shapes. Give them different sizes of boxes and let them have fun trying to wrap pretend gifts for their stuffed animals!
Cutting Strips: Provide colored paper and ask children to cut it into long strips.
Cutting Yarn: Give children a ball of yarn and have them cut it into shorter pieces.
Cutting Shapes: Provide construction paper with pre-drawn shapes, and let children cut them out.
Cutting Practice Cards: Use printable cutting practice cards with dotted lines for children to follow and cut along.
Cutting Stickers: Give children sheets of stickers and let them cut out individual stickers to use.
Cutting Tissue Paper: Provide tissue paper squares and ask children to cut them into smaller pieces. Use the small pieces to create a collage.
Cutting Playdough Snake: Have children roll out a play-dough snake and cut it into smaller sections.
Cutting Straws and Taping: Let children cut straws into small pieces and then use tape to create shapes or designs or thread them onto different strands of yarn that they’ve cut.
Cutting a Picture Book: Give children magazines and have them cut out pictures to create a new picture book. (Great for cut and paste activities.)
Cutting Paper Doll Chains: Provide templates for paper doll chains and let children cut them out.
Cutting Shapes Collage: Give children colored paper and ask them to cut out shapes and create a collage.
Cutting Nature Items: Take children on a nature walk and let them cut small twigs, wildflowers, or leaves and glue them into a nature journal. (Such a fun activity for any season!)
Cutting Snowflakes: Teach children how to fold and cut paper to create snowflakes.
Cutting Foam Sheets: Provide foam sheets and let children cut out shapes or create their own designs.
Cutting Ribbon: Give children different lengths of ribbon and let them practice cutting it into smaller pieces.
Cutting Magazine Letters: Have children cut out letters from magazines and create their own name or word collages.
Cutting Strips and Weaving: Provide colored paper strips and help children weave them into a small mat or basket.
Cutting Paper Plate Spirals: Ask children to cut spiral shapes out of paper plates.
Cutting Playdough Pizza: Provide playdough and a roller. Ask kids to roll out a circle and then cut it into slices like a pizza with their scissors.
Cutting Construction Paper Mosaics: Give children different colored construction paper and have them cut small squares or shapes to create a mosaic design.
Cutting Paper Flowers: Provide children with templates for flower shapes, and let them cut out the petals and assemble their own paper flowers.
Cutting Playdough Monsters: Have children create playdough monsters and then cut out different body parts to mix and match.
Cutting Sponge Shapes: Give children compressed sponges like this and have then cut out different shapes. Then, soak them in water and use them for messy water play.
Cutting Bubble Wrap: Provide bubble wrap and let children cut out individual bubbles.
Cutting Coffee Filters: Give preschoolers coffee filters and encourage them to practice cutting out shapes or designs. They can then use the cut coffee filters for making unique artwork or colorful butterflies.
Cutting Pompoms: Have children cut pompoms into smaller pieces and use them for crafts or sensory activities.
Cutting Paper Bags: Provide paper bags (like brown lunch bags) and let children cut them into different shapes or use them for puppet making.
Cutting Tinfoil: Give children tinfoil and child-safe scissors to cut out different shapes or create shiny crafts.
Cutting Playdough Letters: Have children roll out playdough and cut out letters to practice spelling or alphabet recognition.
Cutting Wavy Lines: Use a marker to draw wavy lines on paper. Ask kids to practice cutting along the lines. Progress to longer zig zags lines as they get better.
Cutting Paper Doll Clothes: Provide templates for paper dolls and outfits like this, and let children cut out the clothes to dress the dolls.
Cutting Index Cards: Give preschoolers index cards and let them practice cutting them into smaller pieces. They can use the cut cards for memory games, sorting activities, or creating flashcards. Index cards are great for scissor practice because they’re sturdy.
Cutting Wax Paper: Give kids different size cups, baking pans / sheets, or bowls and see if they can cut wax paper to fit into the bottom of the pan or cup.
As you can see, there are many ways to get plenty of practice cutting!
MORE PRESCHOOL IDEAS: 50+ Creative Motor Activities For Kids