Helping adults prepare children for kindergarten and life.

Newspaper Fringe (Fine Motor)

Cutting fringe 

Month 7 · Activity 21 · Physical Activity  


  • Gather thin paper and rounded or blunt scissors
  • Draw a line about 2 inches from the edge of paper (can use a ruler)
  • Hand child the scissors and  let child cut up to that line
  • Make a row of fringe about 12 inches long
  • This activity requires practice from the child and patience from the adult
  • When a child can use normal children scissors - fringe cutting is often the best way to begin.

* Newspaper and tissue paper work the best.  Remember to be careful with scissors and teach scissor safety - always handle with pointed edge downward


There is available a four hole adaptive scissor where an adult puts fingers in the top 2 holes and the child places fingers in the bottom 2 holes. These help to teach the proper grasp and how the scissors feel to open and close.  They are called Dual Control Training Scissors
The next level up is a scissor with a spring called a self-opening scissor. These allow a child to apply pressure to cut and then opens up automatically when the pressure is released. It teaches the first step in cutting - applying pressure to close the scissors.

Practice cutting playdough or index cards  


Cutting is a necessary skill for preschoolers and elementary children. Children that are two years old can begin learning how to cut with scissors. Cutting builds up the muscles in the palm of their hand which will be used for gripping - pulling clothes on, brushing teeth, or painting.  It is also important for building eye-hand coordination which is using their field of vision,  processing what they see and then move their hand while looking at something.  Just watch a one year old work on this skill - it can be difficult and needs lots of practice.  (feeding themselves with bits of food or a spoon) Older children use eye-hand coordination for zipping up jackets, tying shoes, throwing balls, etc. Cutting also encourages bilateral coordination - using both hands but each hand is doing something different.  Think of cutting out a paper circle - one hand is using the scissors while the other hand is moving the paper.  Encourage the use of cutting by having an art box ready to share with different types of papers to cut and glue


  • thin paper
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • ruler (optional)
  • Motor Skills