So how do you teach a child to use scissors? I am sure there are many ways, but I have my own. It is called the "Thumbkin Technique".
Most of us know the "Where is Thumbkin" song. If you don't, "google" it.
Step 1 in my teaching children to cut is to teach them this song. After they know the song and the names of each finger, we are ready for step 2.
Step 2 is to show them the scissors and talk about the different size holes. Here is what I say to them. "Okay kids, you have a small hole and a larger one. Remember Thumbkin? Well, he has a VERY important role in cutting. He gets to be in the driver seat (the small hole). His friends, Pointer and Middle Man, get to be the passengers (large hole)." Show the children what you mean by demonstrating how to position your fingers.
Step 3 is said this way, "The most important thing to remember is Thumbkin NEEDS to be able to see where he is going so he can show Pointer and Middle Man the way. The way Thumbkin can see where he is going is by ALWAYS looking at the ceiling. If he is not looking at the ceiling, he gets lost and starts to turn around." At this point, show the children what it looks like to have your wrist twist around resulting in your thumb pointing down. You can also show how hard it is to cut paper this way.
Step 4 is encouraging the children to make sure Thumbkin is looking at the ceiling. If you see their wrist turn, simply say "Where should Thumbkin be looking?"
The names of the fingers can also be used when teaching the pincer grasp. Place the pencil toward you. Have Thumbkin and Pointer "pinch" the top closest to the lead and have Middle Man "kick" (flip) the pencil over. The "kicking" made Middle Man tired, so now he needs to rest on Ring Man and Pinky while at the same time letting the pencil use him as a pillow.
Just remember the next time you tie your shoe, zip your zipper, or button your shirt that SOMEONE taught you how to do that. Our little friends need guidance and patience and being a part of a child's first skill learning is priceless. YOU are a teacher. Be proud.