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Scissor skills

Learning to use scissors is a complicated activity that requires not only the ability to hold the scissors and open and close them, but a good sitting position and the ability to move the paper while holding it under tension.

What can you do to help

Starting Point

You can begin to help your child learn the idea of squeezing and releasing their grasp by doing activities that don’t involve scissors, such as using a spray bottle to water the plants or clothes pegs to peg things on a line


When they are ready to move on to scissors

  • You can help your child by guiding them to hold the scissors with their thumb in the top loop and their first finger in the bottom loop supported by their other fingers, if they find this difficult you can get scissors with a larger bottom loop that they put their whole hand into.
  • Encourage them to make small snips in paper or thin card that might be more stable, cutting up straws to or snipping random shapes from paper to make collage pictures.
  • Help them to hold the paper by using a bulldog clip


Scissors can even be used to snip every day foods:

How we can help

If your child is struggling to master scissor control as part of a wider difficulty using their hands, making it difficult for them to manage everyday, consider a referral to Occupational Therapy for an assessment and advice and guidance  on things that may help them at home and in school. Specialist scissors made be required for example in the video below:

Need More Information?

  • Click here to access more information for children who are struggling to master scissor control consider using one of the many different adapted scissors on the market.
  • Click here to find information about lots of products including left handed scissors for all ages.
  • There are lots of activities that can help with learning to use scissors on the internet.

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