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Adaptive scissors

Being able to use scissors is a skill that develops slowly through childhood and children will develop this skill at different ages depending on their developmental stage, motivation for the task and opportunity for practice. 

To use scissors correctly, a child needs to have the following skills: 
Sitting balance
Shoulder, forearm and wrist stabilisation
Fine motor dexterity 
Bilateral arm and hand movement
Motor planning  

Most children will learn through practice and visual and verbal prompts, while practicing alone may be enough for some. Reminders to keep 'thumbs up' can help improve their grasp and will make it easier to snip the paper. If a child needs additional support consider modifying the task to ensure success, you can do this by providing scissors with shorter blades which are easier to manipulate, use thin card rather than paper as this is easier to hold, cut larger sheets of paper into quarters, and by starting with thicker lines which gradually get narrower. Using stickers or dots can help to prompt turning corners and changing direction. 

Here you can find more advice on developing scissor skills at home and at school. If a child continues to experience difficulty controlling regular scissors, try spring scissors or if the child has great difficulty using scissors there are a range of adaptive scissors available. 

Online videos to help with cutting skills using scissors:
Learning how to use scissors