3 – 4

Use scissors


Use scissors

What to do with this activity?

Cutting paper with scissors needs a lot of skill. Because it involves small movements of the hands and fingers, we call it a fine motor skill. At this age your child can begin to learn how to use scissors, but remember that it might take a while to get good at it.

Choose scissors that are especially made for little hands. Child scissors are smaller and blunter, with rounded ends for safety. Show your child how to hold the scissors, and give them an interesting task so that they are focussed on the end result. As their skill with scissors improves, encourage them to try cutting along a straight line, or around shapes that you draw. 

Have some basic safety rules like:

1) these scissors are only for cutting paper
2) never walk around holding scissors

If your child prefers to use their left hand, you should buy scissors to suit them. 

Here are some great ideas for cutting activities from Happy Hooligans, and some creative ideas from Mom Junction. If you have time, look at these wonderful cut-outs by the artist Matisse for inspiration.


  • Why am I doing this?

    One of the ways children learn is through play. A child who is playing is refining learning skills that continue to develop during childhood and beyond. "Pretend play" is important for developing your child's language skills. Children make up their own games, but playing games with others helps their concentration and social skills. Play can also help to show what children know and understand.

  • How can I do more?

    Spending time playing with your child is a great way of helping them learn. Games like "Simon says" and "One, two, three red lights" are great fun. There are lots of activities you can do like playing card games or board games when you can have a quiet time together. Your child can learn the rules by watching a dry run first. Then you can play for real. An important thing to learn is that you don't always win. It can be good for young children to win, to give them confidence but learning to lose is important too. There will be many times in life when you don't win and learning to cope with that is a good life skill you can teach your child too. 

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