Toddler Tools

She can cut?!

E was about 2, and my mother-in-law came to me astound that she was able to use scissors to cut her play dough. I was just as surprised as she was because I had not yet introduced E to using scissors. She had watched us both several times using scissors to cut out photos in magizes for her, but we never realized how much she was paying attention. As I’ve mentioned before: Never ever underestimate or minimize what your children learn, notice, and can do. Because they will surprise you every time. 

So with this new knowledge I went out and got E a pair of children’s safety scissors to begin with. Now her form was not safe when using the scissors, nor was she able to keep her fingers out of the way every time. So she didn’t know as much as we thought but she understood the basics. Scissors cut things. So I showed her how to hold them properly and how to stay straight. But she had the open close/push forward motion down pat all on her own. We also had a conversation about what is appropriate to cut and what isn’t. We discussed that using scissors can be fun but they are not a toy, they are a tool. Now E has always understood things very easily sense she was able to walk. -side bar- someone had ask me how I got my daughter to hold my hand on her own and stay with me in public. I responded that I showed E how big the wheels on a car were, and that if she doesn’t hold my hand someone may not see her and the car could squish her like we squish bugs. For E that’s all it took. She heard what I said and she understood. We’ve never had a problem with her holding hands and staying with us in public. The person who ask the question was appalled that I said something like that to my 1 year old at the time. But I know E just understood things that maybe other children her age may not. So with that being said, you know your child. You know when they are ready for things. Be prepaid for the first time to maybe not go so well. Just use your best judgment when introducing scissors. (Always make sure grandma knows what you have introduced!) Introducing scissors should be taken with caution and always supervised. 

You can print off cutting practice pages for your toddler for free from this website:

Or you can make your own! Do you have any of those wodden Melissa and Doug puzzle boxes or game trays? I save those and store the puzzles and games in other ways. I used one of the trays for our cutting practice tray. I made my own cutting practice pages. Some ideas:

-Draw trolls on note cards and toddler can cut their hair.                         -Take a paper plate and cut strips into half of it and draw a face (Hair cutting).                                                     -(Hair cutting) cut strips into a toilet paper tube and draw a face.                 -Use old paint swatches for practice. -Cut 2″ wide strips and draw straight, curved, and “V” shaped dotted lines.                                                 -Draw dotted lines on a note card a varying lengths with a stop sign at the end of each. (Only cut to the stop sign).                                                         -Draw dotted steams leading to a flower.                                                          -Draw cars leading to road ways with 90 degree truns. Toddler has to drive the car (cutting) along the roadway without cutting off the road. 

Don’t worry if your drawing skills are horrible. A few of my trolls looked like watermelons. E didn’t seem to notice. She was just excited to cut. I also place a small can for scraps. I use an old formula can. Works great! There are photos below. Enjoy, create, and learn to cut! 


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