At preschool we think nothing of handing kid sized scissors to students (under supervision), even to two year olds.
How will kids learn to cut if they are never allowed to hold scissors until kindergarten?
Parents, grandparents, caregivers---go ahead and hand over the scissors to your kiddos, but keep a sharp eye on them because kids LOVE to cut!
Here's some helpful tips I've learned while working with little ones.
At two and three years of age I encourage exploration of using scissors. Here we have a two and a half year old cutting with two hands. He isn't cutting correctly but he is learning by doing. Children at this optional table can cut any way they want. They watch a teacher cut paper. They watch other kids cut. They try. They learn what works and what doesn't. No pressure. No required craft or activity. The only thing I ask is for them to try to get all the tiny pieces into the tin bucket. They can pick them up with their fingers. (Another fine motor skill.)
Thumb in the small space...Fingers in the large space--- Many young kids can operate scissors successfully without heeding to this rule, but I've found most children cut with more accuracy when they do.
Open and close like an alligator--- Cutting strips of paper works well since there isn't a right or wrong way to cut, giving the child success even if the skill isn't quite mastered.
I've taken kids outside on warm spring days with scissors and we cut the grass. Fresh air, sunshine, and an abundance of cutting without clean up!
Below are young four year olds cutting along lines. This activity was for a dental unit and I asked them to cut the tooth out. Different kids cut in different ways. All were able to cut. If a child became frustrated, we talked about Alligator Eye and where to place their thumb. For many, they watched other kids and adapted successfully on their own.
Under supervision, kids can sharpen their cutting skills with ease.
Have fun cutting!