By 2 years of age
Can make one snip at a time
By 3 years of age
Can snip forward along a line (not continuous motions forward)
By 4 years of age
Can cut 6 inches along a straight line (¼ inch wide) after demonstration and without assistance, staying within ¼ inch of the line
Can cut 6 inches along a curved line (¼ inch wide) after demonstration and without assistance, staying within ¼ inch of the line
Can cut out a circle of at least 6 inches in diameter without assistance, staying within ½ inch of the line
By 5 years of age
Can cut out a square at least 3 inches wide without assistance, staying within ½ inch of the line
Can cut out a triangle at least 3 inches wide without assistance, staying within ½ inch of the line
Can cut out pictures after demonstration that are at least 6 inches in length and width and whose outlines are no more than ¼ inch wide, while following the general shape
By 6 years of age
Can cut cloth for at least 6 inches using sharp scissors under close, careful supervision
By 6 ½ years of age
Can cut out complex pictures by following the outlines without assistance
Tips for helping kids learn to snip with scissors
1. Provide opportunities to engage with items that require an open/close motion of the hand. Think about it — the “open/close” or “squeeze/release” movement pattern is the foundation of operating scissors. This could include playing with items such as salad/serving tongs , turkey basters, chip clips or clothespins, squirt bottles, or squeezy condiment bottles.
2.Provide opportunities for tearing paper, either just for fun or as part of an art project.paper tearing is actually considered an important pre-scissor skill.
3.Place scissors in a “thumbs up” position from the very beginning. This means the thumb is in the little hole and is on top when cutting, rather than twisting the forearm inward and snipping with the thumb on the bottom.
4.Start out by snipping play dough
Working on cutting skills when the student has difficulty supporting the paper? Secure the paper by taping the paper to the edge of the table to help secure it down while cutting. The longer the paper, the more opportunities to reposition their hand.