Can Preschoolers Use Scissors?

Your little kid has probably started showing interest in cutting, and you are wondering whether, as a preschooler, is your kid ready to use scissors or it is still not safe. Let’s get rid of your concerns in this article.

Can preschoolers use scissors? There is no harm in letting your preschooler use scissors if they show interest. As long as safety becomes your priority as a parent, you need not worry when your kid uses scissors

As a parent, you are probably scared to hand the scissor to your kid at such an early stage. Any sharp objects are dangerous to use. But, if you get rid of that danger, your kid should be good to go. Right?

Get a Safe Scissor First

First, you need safe scissors for your kid to use. Blunt top paper cutting scissors are the best. They ensure safety to your kid’s skin and are perfect for little fingers. Since they are not very long, your kid would have no problem using them in the proper direction.

You start teaching them the simple things as you move towards the complex ones after buying appropriate child-friendly and safe scissors.

Is it necessary for a Preschooler to use Scissors?

Using scissors to cut has many benefits since it requires a kid’s skill at an early age. Scissor skills are excellent for hand separation, which demands using the middle, index, and thumb fingers separately from both the ring and pinkie fingers.

Small hands and minimal motor skills will not be easy for the preschoolers. Nonetheless, the sooner they start practicing, the better ( preferably between 3 and 4 years). By then, the kids have the skills necessary for snipping and cutting. 

Consequently, by the age of 6, the scissor skill will be fully-developed. As much as the journey might not be comfortable, why should a parent not give up at all costs? That’s because scissor skills come with many benefits

Scissor skills have various benefits, including building fine motor skills, developing hand-eye coordination, increasing bilateral coordination, improving focus and attention, and determining hand dominance. 

Kids have a shifty mind. Scissor skills are excellent for improving concentration and performing tasks. Slowly over time, practicing cutting skills will make them perfect in cutting along a line and in a particular direction. 

LBP Scissor skill books

Scissor Skill Development Chart

Cutting with scissors is a difficult task that requires patience, practice, and, most notably, a plan. This section is all about the process and the ideal age for the various steps. 

Check out the skill development chart that can work as a guide for you to develop the scissor skill in your kid.

AgeScissor Skill to Develop
1.5 to 2 yearsIt is an ideal time for you to teach your child how to hold scissors. They will also be opening and closing them at this stage but only using two hands with each handle in each hand.
2 to 2.5 yearsThey are ready to learn how to open and close scissors using a single hand at this age. However, don’t expect them to be prepared to cut a paper. Instead, they will be tearing them with scissors instead of cutting them. You should consider paper alternatives such as modeling clay and play dough to practice until they can handle the paper. As they hold the scissors, encourage them to go for the “thumbs up” position.
Above 2 yearsThe kid can start making snips using paper. The exact age for this depends on how long it takes for your kid to master the art of opening and closing scissors. At this stage, they won’t be able to move forward on the paper as they use the scissors.
3 yearsBy the time most children are reaching the age of 3 years, they can make snips and move scissors forward across the piece of paper while at it. Preferably, ensure that the paper size is approximately 6 inches long.
3 to 3.5 yearsIt is at this age that the helping hand starts working when using scissors. While the dominant hand holds the scissors, the helping hand holds the paper and rotates it if necessary. Just like in the case of holding the paper, encourage your child to use the “thumbs up” position when holding the paper.
3.5 to 4 yearsAt the age of 3.5 and 3 years for some, a child can cut along a straight line using scissors. The length of the paper should not exceed 6 inches for that to happen. Around this time, the accuracy leaves a lot to be desired as the child cuts within ½ inch relative to the cutting line. However, that can improve to ¼ inch by the time the kid is four years.
4 yearsWhen a kid is four years, he can cut curved lines. The accuracy will be sticking within ¼ inch from the cutting line, and the width of the curved line should also be ¼ inch.
Above 4 yearsAs soon as the child masters how to cut a curved line, they are ready to learn how to cut a circle shape. Its diameter should be at least 6 inches. The accuracy starts at ½ inch from the cutting line, but as the kid does practice, it improves to ¼ inch.
4.5 to 5 yearsWhen the child gets to that age, it is high time you introduce him to cutting square shapes. The accuracy is usually within ¼ inch from the cutting line.
5 to 6 yearsNow, it is high time you start working on complex shapes, including figures.            
Scissor Skill Development Chart

Nevertheless, keep in mind that these are recommendations for an average child. Therefore, your kid might master various skills before or after the recommended ages. So, be patient with your child if he needs more time to learn a particular skill. 

However, it is crucial to seek your doctor’s opinion if you notice that the child is taking too long to develop fine motor skills.

Final Words

The article answers various questions. So, can toddlers use scissors? The answer is a resounding yes. It would be best if you encouraged your preschooler to start learning how to use scissors to cut as soon as they can.

Consider using the scissor skill development chart to ensure that you only teach the child what he can handle. It will also make the learning process easy as the kid learns the simple tasks before proceeding to the complex activities.

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