Video: Pre-writing activities using scissors

Pre-handwriting activities using scissors video
Invest in a pair of child-safe scissors and try some of our pre-handwriting activities, as recommended by the National Handwriting Association experts in our video for parents. Who knew cutting and sticking fun could be so educational?


Experts from the National Handwriting Association explain how cutting and sticking activities can help your child's pre-handwriting development and how to make the most of 'scissor play' in preparation for starting to write in Reception.

How scissor activities help your child learn to write

The idea of letting your pre-schooler loose with a pair of scissors may strike fear into your heart, but scissor skills are vital to help young children acquire many of the motor skills needed for handwriting in the primary years. Getting used to using scissors helps to develop the thumb web space - the circular shape (like an 'OK' sign) formed between thumb and forefinger when you hold a pencil. Opening and closing the scissors helps children to build both stability and flexibility in the thumb web, and encourages the muscles of the hands to work separately.

Try these scissor activities to develop your child's fine motor control (not forgetting to supervise your child at all times!).

  • Give your child a sheet of paper or a paper plate and get them to snip a fringe around the edge
  • Draw straight, thick lines for your child to cut around
  • Ask your child to try cutting out a variety of shapes - circle, triangle, square
  • Let them practise cutting up different materials, such as cardboard, strips of wool, tin foil or drinking straws
  • Draw zigzag or wavy lines or spirals on paper for your child to cut along
  • Let them experiment with different types of scissors, such as pinking scissors