1. Ensure the child is holding both the paper and the scissors
This might sound quite obvious, but it is a common error I see in the classroom. Often the adult will ‘help’ the child by holding the paper and just letting them use the scissors. In order to be successful with cutting skills, children need to learn to use both of their hands together. They need to know that the scissor needs to line up with the paper. They must be able to hold the paper steady and in the right position for the scissors. If the adult is holding the paper for the child, then they don’t learn scissor skills correctly.
When helping a child learn to use scissors, make sure you help them use both hands. If they need help holding the paper, instead of holding the paper for them support their second hand to hold the paper. This will help them to learn that they need to use both hands together when cutting.
2. A child that has their thumbs facing the ceiling will develop more mature scissor skills
It is essential that the child has their thumbs facing the ceiling. This tip applies to both hands. They must position their hands so that their thumbs are on top. and their little finger faces the floor. It is important they do this with both the hand holding and scissors and the hand holding the paper. So, their thumb will be on the top and their fingers will be underneath.
Frequently you will see children turn their hand over, so their fingers are on the top of the paper or scissors. This reduces the movement and control they have over their hands when cutting. The result is the child has less control when they move the paper and scissors. Their hand position restricts the amount of movement available. Therefore, it is extremely important that the thumbs of both hands face the ceiling. As the child’s scissor skills mature they will start to hold the paper in their finger tips instead of their whole hand.