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3 Reasons Why We Should Cut With Scissors Daily.

3 Reasons Why We Should Cut With Scissors Daily.

Why is cutting with scissors important?

Scissor skills are an essential part of pencil grasp development. Cutting is an easy, fun way to practice the hand muscles necessary for writing. We use the same muscles and fingers (thumb, index and middle fingers) for both cutting and writing activities.

How do scissor skills develop?

(general guidelines)

Cutting skills develop from simply snipping with scissors (simple open and close of scissors) at around age two. It then develops in the ability to cut along straight lines, round curves, and cutting out  circular shapes. It then progresses to the ability to cut around corners as well as simple shapes like squares and rectangles.

By the time a child goes to school, they should be able to cut out irregular shapes and more complex pictures. Cutting plays a vital role in fine motor abilities important for school readiness.


How do we hold the scissors?

We hold the scissors with our dominant hand. Your thumb is in the top hole of a pair of scissors. Middle finger is in the bottom hole. Your index finger holds a pair of scissors on the outside and is showing in the direction of the cutting motion. Place the paper in your non- dominant hand (with your palm turned upwards, holding the paper between your palm and thumb).

Tips for Cutting with Scissors

A right-handed person cuts in an anti-clockwise direction and a left-handed person in a clockwise direction. The wrist should remain in a neutral position while cutting and should not be flexed.

Draw a smiley face on the nail of the dominant thumb. The smiley face should always stay upright ensuring the appropriate cutting position of the wrist.

The elbows should be kept comfortably along the side of the trunk. Remember to use a left handed pair of scissors with your child is left hand dominant. (Yes! It is very important).

Use an appropriate size scissor for your child. A blunt nose scissor for "starter cutters" to be on the safe side!


Ways to develop and strengthen hand muscles.

Use a variety of textures to practice cutting, for example:

Play dough | Cardboard Straws Paper (vary thickness) | Sponges | Egg boxes | Polystyrene

Include activities that enhances the open and close movement of the cutting motion: spray bottles (squeeze the handle and release); using tongs to pic up objects and cutting playdough.

Cutting through different textures and playdough is an excellent way to strengthen hand muscles. It also provides feedback about the cutting motion as the resistance of the playdough enhances the feeling of the cutting movement.

Cutting Skills Video


Fine Motor Combo

The Activity Bundle includes the Tricky Fingers Fine Motor Activity program as well as the Cutting Skills Activity resource. Both were created by an occupational therapist and aims to develop fine motor skills necessary to promote pencil grasp development and handwriting.

Cutting Skills

The Cutting Skills Activity Resource was created by an occupational therapist and includes guidelines for the use and development of cutting skills. There are 37 printable pdf pages for easy use at home or in the classroom.

For more information.

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