When looking at ways to teach your 2 and 3 year olds, scissors may be the last thing you want to equip them with.
Visions from a horror movie flash through your mind involving your own toddler, your furniture, and a pair of scissors.
I get it.
But let them cut.
Let them learn to use tools that will be a part of their entire life.
Give them some freedom to use scissors.
It’s good for them…even when they’re only 2!
Which scissors should toddlers & preschoolers start with?
We own many components for the Timberdoodle preschool curriculum kit including Montessori letter work, number work, and map work books, the Big Book of Things to Spot, and more. But our favorite and most unique is the My First Scissors that they actually recently sent us to try out!
And we love it.
I encourage you to grab a set of my first scissors for your little learner to start out with. They’re the perfect beginner scissors for kids because even the youngest children can easily use them. And over time they also learn to hold them correctly.
They get the job done, are much safer than a traditional pair or scissors, and they are developing grip and hand strength as well as fine motor skills and hand eye coordination for the cutting process.
My favorite aspect too is that for kids who haven’t fully dedicated themselves to being right or left handed or even for those that are definitely left handed, they’re not geared towards a particular hand and can be used ambidextrously.
How to encourage fine motor skills and cutting fluency
A part of the kit that you should absolutely get in addition to the toddler safe scissors is the Kumon cutting skills pack.
It progressively teaches your young child to cut more and more complex shapes, lines, and paths. So they’re learning to follow instructions, work on their motor skills, and master complex cutting patterns that demand fluent, even lines without cutting off a piece.
Accidents happen, but that’s part of the learning process.
One that my oldest enjoyed the most was one that cut the paper into a spiral. It was a higher degree of difficulty and really showed how carefully she had learned to cut!
Cutting paper as open-ended play time
With a stack of paper, junk mail, and random paper that would otherwise wind up in the trash, our girls spend some free time cutting.
Sometimes my oldest will cut images from circulars or coupons out to pretend she’s shopping or making visual lists. Other times, it’s just about developing hand strength for both of them and there’s no rhyme or reason to the cutting.
So pull out all the paper that is going to get thrown away anyways, hand them a pair of scissors and lets them cut!
More resources you may find helpful
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!