Practical Life: Cutting

The purpose of the cutting activity is to teach the child how to cut paper in preparation for other activities using scissors. The lesson is simple but what is important is a neat, ordered environment, which is essential to the confidence of the child in the new skill he are about to learn.

Montessori tutorial on cutting with children

For this activity, you’ll need a bowl, tray, scissors and strips of cardboard/paper.

Have a look at the below tutorial by Ashley Gale to see how the lesson is applied.

Note that the whole activity done in complete silence. The child watches the slow and deliberate movements of the teacher and then copies.

  1. Select a piece of unlined paper to cut and place it on the tray.
  2. Take the material to a mat or table.
  3. To hold the scissors, place the thumb in the smaller of the holes in the handle, the fingers go in the larger hole.
  4. Hold the end of the paper in the other hand. Be sure to hold the paper over the tray.
  5. Cut a small piece off the end of the strip. Allow the piece to fall onto the tray.
  6. Continue cutting until all of the paper strip has been cut into small pieces.
  7. Clean up: leave the scissors at the mat or table while you dispose of the paper. The paper pieces may either be thrown in the recycling, put in an envelope for the child to take home, or put in a tub to be used for making collages.
    Go back to get the scissors, then return the tray with the scissors to the shelf.

Once the child is confident, the lesson can be expanded to cutting along drawn lines and then cutting out patterns and shapes.

If you’d like further information about this tutorial, feel free to contact us at info@saintandrewsmontessori.com. We’re happy to answer any questions.