Tag Archives: preschool IEP

Teaching Kids To Cut With Scissors? Don’t Use Cheap Paper

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As a pediatric occupational therapist, I would guess that every third IEP I have seen for preschool children includes some version of being able to cut with scissors. Understanding anatomy and neurology certainly help therapists understand why a child struggles. But when teaching a motor skill, it also helps to know what tools make a difference.

The type of paper offered to children can make such a huge difference that I am devoting an entire blog post to it.

Here is the simplest suggestions that I can make:

  • The younger or more challenged the child, the more important paper selection will be.
  • Moderately stiff paper will be most successful for almost all children.
  • Cheap printer paper is the equivalent of an adult cutting out a trapezoid from a facial tissue.
  • The younger the child, the smaller the paper should be, down to 4 or 5 inches square. Paper smaller than this size requires greater grasp control. Paper sized 8.5×11 inches is more difficult for almost all children under 5 to control.
  • Slightly textured drawing paper provides some tactile input for children that struggle with sensory registration.
  • Every part of a high-quality piece of paper can be used. Paper strips can be made, scraps can become collages, etc. There is no need to waste paper.

To learn why I only use one type of safety scissors, read:

Lakeshore Scissors for Toddlers That Only Cut the Paper, Not the Toddler