Playdough activity – cutting with scissors

Your child should be ready to start learning to use scissors between the age of 2 and 3 years old.

But introducing scissor skills can be quite a difficult task for many toddlers and preschoolers to learn.

Why scissor skills are important

Learning to hold the scissors and cut correctly is a complex task that develops many areas of your child’s learning for example :

  • The continuous opening and closing as your child is cutting with scissors helps to strengthen the tiny muscles in their hand and palm.
  • Cutting enhances a child’s hand- eye coordination as they need to be able to see where they are cutting as they move their hand.
  • It encourages s child to use bilateral coordination. Thus means your child us able to use both sides of their body at the same time. An example is that they can cut with one hand whilst moving the paper with the other.
  • Learning to cut assists with developing early writing skills.

Cutting playdough

To encourage young children to develop their cutting skills you can have them cut playdough.

Playdough is a great medium as children are already familiar with it. It is soft, easy to make and you can control the size and shapes you want to cut.

It’s great for teaching snipping and easy to clean.

Also, playdough is not as restrictive as paper for left handed children.


We started our activity by first rolling the dough into long sausages and then Hamish cut the dough in short snipping motions.

Some parents mark out the interval to snip at but I left him to snip freely.

Although the playdough is soft, it teaches the hand how much resistance is needed to open, close and cut the dough.

You could also try to freeze the dough. Whilst the dough won’t freeze completely ot will be cold and harder to cut, adding more depth to the sensory play.

What are some of your favourite playdough activities?