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. For the hand holding the scissors the child must hold their thumb facing up towards the ceiling. This means their little finger will face the floor. They must also position the hand holding the paper in this way as well. So, their thumb will be on the top of the paper and their fingers will be underneath. As the child’s scissor skills mature they will hold the paper in their finger tips.
Frequently you will see children turn their hand over, so their fingers are on the top of the paper. 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.