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Introduction to Scissors – Cutting Play-doh

Sweet Pea is 29 months old.


From: This activity was from the book First Art by MaryAnn F. Kohl.


  • Plastic safety scissors or training scissors.  (I found our training scissors in the “Back-to-School” section at Target, but I don’t think they carry them during the rest of the year.)
  • Play-doh (or make your own).



The instructions in the book for this activity were surprisingly relaxed.  Ms. Kohl suggested that I let Sweet Pea “explore” the scissors by holding them anyway she wanted, and that I allow her to poke, prod, cut and stab the Play-doh.  I am a bit too high-strung to follow such a lackadaisical approach when it involves my darling baby and objects containing blades, so my procedure is a little more structured than hers.

  • Roll out several Play-doh snakes about 1/4 inch in diameter.
  • Instruct your tot on the scissor safety rules for your house.  (i.e. Scissors aren’t toys, are only to be used with your supervision, while seated, etc.)
  • Demonstrate how to hold the scissors with your thumb in the top loop and  your pointer and other fingers  in the bottom loop.
  • With your other hand, hold the Play-doh snake steady.
  • Use the scissors to cut the Play-doh snake into many pieces.
  • Help your tot hold the scissors and cut a snake into pieces.


Using the scissors was a challenge for Sweet Pea.  She kept turning her hand over and she had a really hard time keeping her thumb on top while cutting, but got better the more we practiced.


I don’t know if I have ever seen Sweet Pea so occupied by any other activity.  She was amazed by her ability to cut the Play-doh “worms” into multiple pieces.  I would highly recommend this activity for other tots.


Sweet Pea was truly enthralled, but alas all good things must end.  Eventually, I had to force her to stop.  I am fairly sure there were some tears when I took the scissors away.  We will definitely be doing this again soon though.

Notes from the Trenches: I really hope it isn’t necessary to remind you keep both of your eyes on your 2-year-old as they play with scissors.

Rating: 2  Stars * (Fun, Easy)


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