Montessori At Home

Pre-Writing Skills: Scissors Work


Scissors work is one important aspect in developing pre-writing skills for toddlers and preschoolers. They develop fine motor skills and hand eye coordination – which are essentially important skills when they learn to hold pencils and write.

I’ve introduced scissors to Big E when he was around 18 months. We started with safe plastic ones (which he still uses every now and then) and eventually moved on to metal ones when he was 2 years old.

He had cut papers, tissue, strings, play dough… Once in a while, I’ll print out shapes or line templates for him to cut.

He’s at the in between stage of learning to hold a pencil properly as well as fine tuning his pre-writing skills. We do it though lots of play activities. I don’t present them as “lessons” because he just learns & corrects himself as we play.

Other activities which encourage strong pre-writing skills include:

  • Practising letter tracing on sandpaper cards
  • Making letter shapes in sand
  • Writing or making shapes in the air
  • Finger painting
  • Gluing letters
  • Drawing
  • Using tweezers
  • Pouring water


Two more useful pre-writing activity links here:

10 Pre-writing activities

Teaching handwriting






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