Is it safe to let my son use scissors?

As a parent, the thought of handing your small child a pair of scissors can be nerve-racking! But by 4 years of age, children are old enough to use scissors, and it is a great way for them to practice fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. The most important thing is to teach your son how to use them safely and keep them out of reach when you are not there to supervise. Explain to him that he is only allowed to use scissors when an adult is around to help him and that it is important to keep his fingers away from the blade. Show him how to hold the scissors properly and use his other hand to hold the paper. Blunt, child-size scissors are usually the safest scissors to start with, but if you child has difficulty opening and closing the scissors, try Faber-Castell’s My First Scissors, which do not have finger holes.

Jennie Ito, Ph.D.

Child Development Expert

Jennie Ito is a mother of two and a child development consultant who specializes in children’s play and toys. Before becoming a consultant for LeapFrog, she was an intern at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and later worked as a content expert for the Association of Children’s Museum’s “Playing for Keeps” Play Initiative. Jennie earned her doctorate degree in developmental psychology at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.