Scissors are an essential tool for any child. I talk a lot about helping kids build scissor skills, so I often get questions about which type of scissors are best for young kids.
You don’t want a child’s first experiences with using a pair of scissors to be frustrating. Kids who don’t have the right scissors will struggle with cutting and may give up on this crucial skill. Here are some tips to help you select the best scissors for preschoolers.
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When Should Kids Begin to Use Scissors?
You can begin introducing scissors to kids when they start showing interest. If they aren’t ready, you can work on a variety of other fine motor activities to build hand strength. If they are ready, kids under 3 years old can begin practicing with scissors.
I know…..putting scissors in those little hands can make you nervous.
When my son was little, I was worried about letting him use scissors. He was pretty impulsive, so I had visions of him cutting his hair, his books, or the cat’s whiskers.
Tips for Using Scissors Safely
I did start encouraging my son to practice using scissors at home. Here are a few tips that helped in our house and also help in a classroom setting.
- Supervision – I put scissors in a safe place and brought them out when I could monitor their use.
- Designated Scissor Area – Some people might have rules about scissors being used on paper only. I like encouraging the cutting of many different types of materials. So, instead of limiting scissors use to paper only, I suggest that scissors be used at a particular table or in a specific center. Talk about the available materials for cutting and make it very clear that they should cut only those materials.
- Stay Still – When you set up a designated scissor area, you will discourage kids from carrying around scissors. If kids must move around with scissors, it is essential to remind them to walk and point the scissors down to the ground.
Different Kinds of Scissors for Preschoolers
I didn’t walk uphill to school in the snow, but I did grow up using old-school metal kids scissors during my school days. I can tell you from experience that those things HURT and they did not cut anything very well.
Those awful scissors were frustrating ….. and I didn’t have fine motor challenges. Thankfully, scissors for kids have improved greatly since my day, but there are still some awful scissors out there. Don’t just buy the least expensive pair of kids scissors that you can find.
Be sure to buy a good quality scissors so that you can reduce frustration and fatigue as much as possible. A good pair of scissors will also make it easier for your kids to use the correct grip while holding their scissors.
Here are some different kinds of scissors for your kids.
Spring Action Scissors
Spring-action scissors provide kids with the look and feel of scissors while helping out those kids who haven’t masted the open-close motion. They feature a design that automatically reopens the scissors after each cut to assist kids as they learn the proper open and close cutting motion. The large handles provide small hands with plenty of room to practice correct scissor grip and maneuver the scissors, while the blunt tips offer added safety.
Training scissors have a built-in training lever. When activated, the lever opens after each cut much like the spring-action scissors. When kids become more comfortable with their grip and confident, the lever can be de-activated and the scissors operate like a traditional pair of scissors with an open-close motion. These kid-friendly scissors can grow with them as they learn good scissor habits now and develop muscle memory.
Blunt Tipped Scissors
My favorite kids scissors are the Fiskars Blunt-tip Kids Scissors. I am a bit of a scissor snob and only buy this brand. These scissors have a large comfortable grip and the blades cut trhough many materials besides paper.
When you purchase small Fiskar scissors, you will see both a blunt or round-tipped version and a pointed tip version. While the sharp point isn’t very sharp, a pair of scissors with a blunt end provides a bit more safety.
Left Handed Scissors for Kids
Many scissors will work for both righties and lefties, but a proper left-handed scissors will allow kids to see the lines that they are cutting.
If you have a left-handed child, Fiskers also has a left-handed scissors for kids. The blades are reverse-mounted to provide safety and comfort while cutting all classroom materials easily.
Loop scissors are great for kids who have difficulty performing the open-close action required with traditional scissors. The simple loop makes these scissors particularly suitable for kids with special needs as they are great adaptive scissors for special education schools.
Activities for Practicing Scissor Skills
Whether you’re a teacher, parent or grandparent looking for the best scissors for preschoolers, we hope this article has helped.
After getting the best scissors for your kids, you can practice developing those scissor skills with these scissor skills activities in the store.