Why are the scissors on the table?

You may notice that the Montessori classroom includes materials that are easy to reach...including scissors. This is a purposeful choice made in both the toddler and primary environments.

We ensure toddlers are taught how to use scissors safely. We start by introducing each child to the scissors and instructing them on proper handling. The initial cutting works are not complex, with children simply cutting small pieces of paper or easy-to-hold foam strips. We find these works give children the opportunity to feel mastery over the act of cutting. As skills develop, instruction for cutting activities become more intricate, such as in flower arranging. In this way, we connect the practical life skill of cutting with an enjoyable activity that brings joy to the community.

Although scissors remain available to students, we expect them to be used only for the identified work. They remain on the tray of each activity and we expect the child to use them only in this way. And of course, guides in the room are able to direct and redirect children in the proper handling of the tool.  

If you choose to practice using scissors in the home, we recommend using a high-quality pair of child-size scissors that match your child's handedness.