The motor skills behind using scissors

Navneet Rastogi
Apr 18, 2018 · 2 min read

The use of scissors requires and enhances many developmental skills. Cutting allows children to build the tiny muscles in their hands since they have to continuously open and close their fingers. Cutting also enhances the use of eye-hand coordination, which means children must be able to move their hands, while looking at something. Since the brain is required to work with two systems, cutting might be a difficult task. But don´t worry, little hands can develop fine motor skills by learning the proper way to use scissors. Keep reading to learn more!

What skills do we need?

Cutting with scissors requires multiple skills, and one of them is the hand separation. This is the ability to use the thumb, index and middle fingers independently from the pinkie and ring fingers. When your child practices cutting with scissors, he is also using abilities like hand-eye coordination and bilateral coordination because each hand is doing something different.

Although these skills are used during the activity of cutting, they can also be practiced throughout your child’s day. Simple tasks like throwing and catching a ball, using a spoon or zipping a coat are things where your little one develops his hand coordination, finger dexterity and builds strength in the little hand muscles.

When children reach 42 months, they begin doing activities that involve cutting with scissors. But before they get there, you can begin stimulating the abilities they need by practicing simple and everyday actions like:

  • Using a fork when eating

Practicing these will build the muscle control and grasping abilities needed to use scissors.

When your child is ready, introduce plastic scissors:

  • Making sure he or she has a proper grip while grabbing the scissors.

What to encourage when using scissors?

  • Thumb in one hole and middle finger on the other, while the index serves as support. “Keep giving me a thumbs-up.”

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Navneet Rastogi

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illumine

illumine

We envision being the one-stop digital solution in children’s early education bringing parents, teachers and the school on one platform.