Scissors are very attractive tools at our working tables

Cutting, like drawing, is a skill that develops as a child’s fine motor skills matures. The more control children have over the scissors in their hands, the more complex their cutting skills become.

When children begin to cut with scissors, teach them to hold scissors correctly with their elbows close to their bodies and their hand turned so their thumb is on top.

  • At ages 3-4, children can usually cut paper in half in more or less a straight line.
  • Between 4-5 years using a pair of scissors, children should be able to cut out a big circle with scissors; and a 10cm square within 0.5cm accuracy.


We practised our cutting as we made some paper snowflakes.



Colour in a circular piece of paper.



Fold the paper into quarters and cut out some shapes along the edges.
To scaffold N, I drew some triangles for him to cut out.



Unfold the paper and you’ve got yourself a cut out snowflake.


To make it easier, use stiff paper rather than flimsy paper.

Remember ‘thumbs up’ – (hold paper with thumbs up, hold scissors with thumbs up).

Keep scissors pointing away from body, not parallel to tummy.



N: 3 years, 9 months.

March 2012


About the author

Pauline Pauline & Lessons Learnt Journal is all about life with kids. Pauline is an Aussie mum and teacher who shares her love for play, math games, writing and reading activities. She believes that #playmatters, values curiosity & wonder, wisdom, obedience and respect. She also needs naps. When not blogging, she may be found virtually hoarding on Pinterest, trying to decide which Instagram filter to apply, or compulsively refreshing her Facebook feed.

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