Free The Animals

Pinterest pin of toddler cutting paper wrapped around toy animals to free them

I recently purchased safety scissors for my daughter (3 years old) and thought it was about time to make a fun activity to help her improve her cutting skills!

Since this was only her second time using scissors, she struggled to grip them properly and became a bit flustered. An easy solution that helped her immensely was wrapping yarn around the handles to give them better grip and comfort.

Child cutting paper wrapped around toy animals

I was impressed at how fast she was able to focus and cut the paper off the animals! She was tempted to use both her hands to make the task easier, but I continued to encourage her to try with one. Eventually she got the hang of it and was over the moon with joy when she freed the animals!

*Adult supervision is always advised for the activities posted on this site.*

  • Safety scissors
  • Construction paper
  • Plastic or wooden animals
  • Tape

Of course, if your toddler is really into dinosaurs or other critters, then use those! My kids have always loved their AnaMalz, which are super durable and have limbs that you can articulate for different positions and movements! Engage your tot even more by mixing it up a bit and telling a story to go along with the activity.

Toddler cutting paper wrapped around a toy animal


Cut out a long strand of paper and tape one end to the animal. I cut out varying widths of paper to give my toddler different cutting challenges. Wrap the paper around several times and tape the other end to the animal so it doesn’t unravel. Make sure there is enough space between the animal and paper so your child can slip their scissors under to snip the paper off.

What your child is learning and improving
  • Hand-eye coordination (aiming the scissors to cut paper)
  • Fine motor skill (opening and closing scissors with thumb and index finger)
  • Hand strength

Toy animals and strips of coloured paper scattered on a table

Giving your child scissors is a little daunting and challenging at first but it’s an important skill for her to learn. Think of all the fun crafts she’ll be able to help with once she has mastered the art of cutting!

When you introduce scissors, sit down and enforce rules so your child won’t hurt herself or others:

  • Never run or walk with scissors
  • Don’t point scissors at others
  • Only cut paper or yarn

If you’re teaching your toddler to use scissors, give this activity a whirl and let me know how it went 🙂

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4 Responses

  1. Judy says:

    Thank you for the fun idea! I did this with my 5 year old and she LOVED it. I blogged about it with a link to your post here:

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Judy,

      Sorry for the late reply. It made my day reading your comment! I’m so happy your little one enjoyed this activity! Thank you so much for taking the time to blog about it 🙂

  2. Mary says:

    Very clever idea! I always love finding unique and fun ideas to do with my granddaughters. I know that they’ll enjoy this!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Mary 🙂 Simple activities really let their imagination shine. I hope you have lots of fun with your granddaughters!

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