Scissor Activities

Scissors Activity

Purpose: To develop and enhance eye-hand coordination, visual perception and spatial concepts through a series of sequential scissors activities for beginners

Apparatus: Appropriate right- or left-hand blunt scissors, construction paper


1. Random Fringing:  Use a 6″ square of construction paper.  Let the child discover for himself the combined movement patterns and sensations of cutting.

2. The One-Snip Strip: Use a 3/4″ strip of construction paper and section it at 1/4″ intervals with thick or heavy pencil lines.  As skill in snipping the strips on the pencil lines increases, use thinner lines and small sections.  Child is to cut with one snip.  The piece may be used for mosaic designs.

3. Practice Strip for Straight Line Cutting:  Prepare 2″ strips of construction paper crossed at 3″ intervals by thin pencil lines.  This should require several strokes of the scissors.  Use these pieces as tags and labels.

4. Half-Snip Strip:  The cutting guide lines should extend only half way across the width of the strip.  This will help the child begin to develop control of the length of the cutting stroke.

5. Long and Short Lines:  Use wide strip with alternating rows of long and short pencil lines, to help the child further control the cutting stoke.  The rows of long lines are drawn all the way across.  These units can be interlocked and used in creative ways.

6. Cutting Curves:  The procedures used in cutting straight lines (Step 3) are used again in cutting curves.  The curves should be drawn in both directions–upward and downward curves.  When this is mastered, the child should start cutting out leaves, fathers, fish, etc.

7. ZigZag Strips:  Pencil zigzag lines on 2″ strips of construction paper.  This is for practice in change of directions.  The skill can be practiced by cutting out crowns, mountain peaks, Christmas trees, etc.

8. Geometric Forms:  Cutting out geometric forms develops skill in change of direction as well as form perception and discrimination.  Circles, rectangles, squares, triangles, diamonds, hexagons are presented in two sizes, drawn or printed on squares of paper to be cut out.  The cutouts may then be matched to a previously prepared pattern sheet.  This will help to develop spatial relationships.

Aspects to be emphasized:

1. Ability to control scissors for various actions.

2. Matching of similarities and differences.

3. Creativity in use of materials.


See Also:

Introduction: Cutting with scissors is a fun and challenging activity that builds laterality VMI, VSA, and with the right cut-out sheets, VSP. The cutting can be done for a purpose, such as for making a craft, but my preference is that you cut in order to cut. Emphasize the quality and precision of the cuts. Encourage awareness of how the scissors are cutting the paper and precise control of pressure to avoid a jagged edge. Of course, this will simply not be possible for many adults, let alone children; the point is to make the child/client aware of this goal as something to work towards, to focus attention and effort.

Material: Download/print the attached document. Consult the additional web links above for more ideas. Paper. Scissors. Pencil/Pen.


  • • You and the client will be cutting out lines and shapes with scissors. This may be purpose-driven, such as in creating crafts, but this is not recommended.
  • • It is best to cut a variety of shapes, lines, and patterns, starting with very simple and, if necessary, short lines. Make the patterns more complicated over time, but be sure to always vary the types of patterns and shapes.
  • • Spend 10% of your time working with the non-dominant hand. This usually will require trying simply shapes than can be successfully cut with the dominant hand.
  • • Alternate between shapes with long smooth lines, and those that are more detailed, requiring much more eye movement.
  • • You may also simply create your own patterns using a computer, paper, pens.
  • • Avoid ‘inside’ cuts, that is cuts that require that you begin by piercing the page, then cutting a shape out in order to leave a hole, etc.