Before children can cut properly, they need to first build up the muscles in their hands.
* Do simple fingerplays with your child, especially ones that include opening and closing their fingers.
* Let your child practice squeezing water out of sponges.
* Give your child some squeeze type clothespins. Have him snap them onto a paper plate or piece of cardboard.
* Hold a piece of paper rigid for your child and have her cut on one side.
* Hold a piece of paper so that your child can snip off the corners. This can go on for a long time, because with each cut, two more corners are created.
* Give your child strips of paper ½" wide and have her cut off pieces of paper.
* Take a 1" strip of paper and mark lines every inch. Have your child cut along the lines.
* Give your child a 2" x 8" strip of paper and show him how to fringe the paper.
* When children are learning to cut across a wide piece of paper, you can show them how to keep their cutting arm still while they move the paper through the scissors.
* When your child wants to cut at angles, you will need to show him how to stop part way through a cut and move his paper.
* When your child wants to cut out simple shapes, you can make the process easier for him by folding the paper and drawing on a half shape. This way your child only has to cut half of the shape.
BEGINNING CUTTING CRAFT PROJECTS
* Have your child fringe a strip of green paper to glue on an outdoor picture.
* Have your child cut a small paper cup down from the top, four or more times. Next, have him flatten the cup and glue it onto a piece of paper, creating a paper flower top.
* Have your child cut out small shapes, however she wants and glue them onto a piece of paper, creating a cut paper collage.
Here are some sites that have scissor skill worksheets:
Scissor Skills printables at Activity Village
KIdzone's Preschool scissor skills
DTLK-Kids Scissor Skills Practice
TLS Books Scissor Skills (PDF file)
Brombear's Practice cutting circles bear
Cutting and Scissors Help, Worksheets and Activities
My Personal Note as a parent of special needs child:
Sometimes children with special needs may have difficulty with scissor skills. For our oldest son, we used a pair of Friskar scissors that had a spring mechanism that assisted him in cutting. The book we had the most success with scissor skills was a book from the Kumon series of books called My First Book of Cutting for Ages 3 - 5 by Marlon Creations
What I loved about it was that it each exercise was a moderate progression for the child. The book begins with thick lines for the child to cut on and gradually has the child move on the thinner lines. Each page is colorful, interesting and appeals to children. My son who before struggled while learning to cut, beaned with pride as he sucessfully finished an execise. It was a milestone for the both of us!