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Why Is My Child Fumbling With Scissors?

By Nelson Dorta, PhD

Question: My child is halfway through first grade and is still fumbling a lot with scissors. What can I do to help?

Answer:

Cutting with scissors is actually a tricky skill for kids to master. It requires:

  • The ability to make small movements with hands and wrists (called fine motor skills)

  • The ability to coordinate movements with a visual target, like cutting out a pattern or catching a ball

Is using scissors the only thing your child is struggling with? It could be that your child just needs more practice.

Or is your child having trouble with other things that require motor skills, like:

  • Eating with a spoon or fork

  • Using zippers or buttons

  • Writing their name and simple words

  • Playing with toys like LEGO blocks

  • Catching a ball

If your child struggles with most of these, you may want to talk to your health care provider about what you’re seeing. With practice, your child’s motor skills can improve. But some kids need extra help with movement and coordination.

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  • Coming soonGoogle Classroom