I’ll be honest, the scissors in our supplies caddy have been sitting untouched for two months because I still have not had the courage to let Rea try them… But I’ve finally mustered up the courage to let Reagan get some scissors practice, so I found a pair of Play Doh scissors that I let her start with. These scissors have zero sharp edges. I even let my infant play with them, but they require the same movement as regular scissors. She did really well cutting Plato with the Plato scissors and it gave me the confidence to introduce her to regular child’s scissors.
You can grab a FREE copy of our template HERE and in the directions below I will give more details about how to determine what level of difficulty your child is ready for when it comes to using scissors.

Lil’ Explorers Focus Skills

Fine Motor Skills

  • Coordinate the use of arms, hands, and fingers together to manipulate objects with increasing accuracy
  • Engage in activities that require hand-eye coordination

Lil’ Creators Focus Skills

Fine Motor Skills

  • Coordinate the use of hands, wrists, and fingers to complete tasks that require more precise movements
  • Engage in activities that require hand-eye coordination with increasing accuracy

Required Materials

*Affiliate Link

Dino Cutting/Tracing Template


*Markers (Optional)

Rip & Play Doh Scissors

The first step to developing the muscles strong enough to operate scissors is to practice ripping. Let your Lil’ rip paper. Give them the junk mail, give them old magazines, give them pages covered in scribbles. Any and all papers that can be ruined should be given to your Lil’ so that they can rip it to shreds. This will help them master the pinching and grasping motion needed to use scissors.

The next step for those of you like me who are afraid to just hand them scissors is Play Doh Scissors. I found a pair of Play Doh  scissors in a Play Doh Tool Kit at the Dollar Tree, but if your local Dollar Tree doesn’t have them your can get them in this Play Doh Starter Pack.

These “scissors” have zero sharp edges, but they cut Play Doh wonderfully and are the perfect way to ease your Lil’ into cutting.


Snipping paper means your Lil’ will cut the thin slice of paper all the way through using one cut.


Fringe cuts are when your Lil’ cuts the paper using one or more cuts, but they do NOT cut all the way through the paper. This requires a little more control and coordination.

Straight Line & Curves

Finally when your Lil’ is ready they can start cutting straight lines and curves. Obviously the straight line will be easier to cut, but these two skills can be worked on at the same time.

Teacher Tip

The template is designed so that you (the adult) cut on the dotted lines and your Lil’ cuts on the full lines.


What did you think of this scissors practice activity? Was it helpful to learn about the various types of cutting skill levels? Let us know!