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5 Cutting Playdough Activities for Child’s Fine Motor Development

cutting playdough with scissors flatlay
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Having little ones at home often leaves parents searching for ways to boost their child’s development. Did you know that engaging your child in cutting playdough activities can significantly improve their fine motor skills? This blog will guide you through easy, fun-filled playdough exercises that enhance precision and hand-eye coordination while nurturing creativity.

Let’s kickstart this enlightening journey into a world of colorful doughy fun!

Key Takeaways

  • Cutting playdough activities can significantly improve a child’s fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and concentration.
  • By engaging in cutting playdough activities, children can strengthen their hand muscles and develop important skills like hand separation and finger dexterity.
  • Rolling playdough into snakes and flattening it out to draw lines and shapes are fun ways for children to practice using scissors while enhancing their fine motor development.

The Importance of Scissor Practice for Children

A child happily plays with playdough in a colorful playroom.

Scissor practice for children is important because it builds hand muscle strength, develops hand-eye coordination, enhances concentration, and develops fine motor skills such as hand separation and finger dexterity.

Builds hand muscle strength

Cutting playdough helps kids build strong hand muscles. This fun activity uses the same muscles needed to hold a pencil or color with crayons. The more your child cuts, the stronger these tiny muscles become.

So let them have fun cutting playdough with safe scissors suitable for their age. In time, you’ll see their hands and fingers getting stronger every day!

Develops hand-eye coordination

Using scissors needs kids to track with their eyes. Both hands work together in this task. This is how eye-hand coordination grows stronger.

Cutting playdough can help children develop this hand-eye coordination skill that they need for paper cutting. As their cutting hand moves, the eyes follow along. They learn to control their hands and fingers based on what they see and attempt to cut straight on the line.

This activity not only develops important skills but also keeps your child engrossed in learning while playing. Soon, you will notice an improvement in their hand-eye coordination which spills over into other areas of early childhood development too!

Enhances concentration

This activity can also sharpen your kid’s focus. Kids need to think and be careful when they use scissors. This helps them learn how to pay attention to the task that they are doing. Constant practice makes their minds more focused on the task and can help them be more efficient in their scissor skills.

Develops fine motor skills

Cutting playdough is a great way for children to develop their fine motor skills, like hand separation and finger dexterity. When they use scissors to cut the soft dough, they have to coordinate their hand movements and use different fingers to hold the dough and manipulate the scissors.

While opening and closing their scissors, they work on hand separation which helps separate the two sides of the hand. As they learn to hold the playdough or in the future, the paper, they develop finger dexterity to manipulate the dough.

There are so many benefits in this simple playdough cutting activity.

Why do we cut playdough?

Cutting playdough combines sensory play with scissor skills, making it a fun and engaging way for children to develop their fine motor skills. Read on to discover the various cutting playdough activities that can enhance your child’s hand-eye coordination and concentration.

Combining sensory play and scissor skills

Combining sensory play and scissor skills is a great way to help your child develop fine motor and sensory integration skills.

By engaging in activities that involve both cutting and sensory exploration, your child can strengthen their hand muscles and improve their hand-eye coordination .

This type of hands-on interaction not only promotes physical development but also provides a fun and engaging way for children to learn and explore different shapes, textures, and movements and provide them with sensory tactile exploration.

Playdough is easy to cut

Playdough is a great tool for supporting your child’s scissor skill as it is easy to cut. It is an simple and easy to cut material when children are learning to cut for the first times.

The soft nature of playdough provides just enough resistance to encourage controlled cutting movements without being too tough for young hands to manage. It also provides tactile feedback once the material is cut, which is crucial for developing hand-eye coordination and precision. This helps them learn to control the scissors more effectively.

Similarly, playdough is easy to hold compared to paper. Paper will often become floppy and can be harder for children to manipulate. Playdough is thicker and can be easier for children to hold onto while they develop cutting skills.

Cutting Playdough Activities

Cutting playdough is a fun and effective way to develop your child’s fine motor skills. From rolling into snakes to drawing shapes, these graded activities will help develop your child’s scissor skills.

Read on for more cutting playdough activity ideas!

Roll into a snake

The first skill to learn is to cut a playdough snake. Cutting playdough snakes is an excellent exercise for honing a child’s cutting skills. Shaping playdough into snake-like forms and then snipping them into smaller sections with scissors encourages precision, focus, and hand-eye coordination.

How to do this:

  1. Use both hands to roll the playdough into a snake-like shape.
  2. Ask your child to pick up the playdough in one hand and cut with the scissors in the other hand.

You can encourage them to roll it into different sizes and lengths, allowing them to explore various shapes and movements.

Flatten out and draw straight lines

The next skill is to be able to follow a line. We can do this by flattening out the playdough and drawing straight lines on the dough for the child to cut. You can flatten the playdough by getting your child to push down with both their hands or using a rolling pin. This activity encourages the child to cut along the line, and therefore further developing their hand-eye coordination.

Initially you may want to draw straight lines far apart from each other with only 1-3 lines on the playdough. As your child develops the skills to cut along the line, you may want to draw the lines closer together.

Flatten out and draw curly and zigzag lines

Cutting along curly and zigzag lines are the next step in this skill development. Cutting along curly and zigzag lines using playdough is a fantastic way to challenge your child’s cutting skills. These irregular lines are more challenging compared to straight lines, encouraging children to exercise greater precision and dexterity with their scissors.

This further fosters their concentration skill by focusing on cutting along the lines and making real-time adjustments to stay on track. It can also help develop their problem solving and emotional regulation skills when they come across a challenging task for them.

Flatten out and draw shapes

Teaching children to cut shapes out of playdough using scissors is the next step. Encourage your child to flatten out the playdough and draw different shapes, including circle, square, triangle and stars.

Get them to cut along the outline of these shapes with the scissors to further work on timing and precision required for cutting.

Start with a larger canvas with big shapes and gradually make the shapes smaller to cut.

This is also a fun way to practice shape recognition and drawing.

How Can Tongue Twisters Improve Fine Motor Skills in Children?

Fun tongue twisters for kids can actually improve their fine motor skills. By practicing saying these challenging phrases, children are able to enhance their coordination and control over their mouth muscles. Tongue twisters require precision and focus, helping children develop dexterity and articulate words with greater accuracy. These playful exercises can be a simple yet effective way to promote speech development and refine fine motor skills in children.

Playdough scissor recommendations

Playdough scissor recommendations:

  • You can use playdough scissors when your child is just starting out.
  • Consider using plastic or blunt-tip scissors for younger childre
  • Choose child-sized scissors with rounded tips for safety.
  • If your child is leff-handed, look for left-handed scissors.
  • Look for scissors with comfortable handles that are easy to grip.
  • Opt for scissors that have a spring-action design, making it easier for children to open and close them.


In conclusion, cutting playdough is a fantastic activity for your child’s fine motor development. It helps build hand muscle strength, develop hand-eye coordination, enhance concentration, and improve fine motor skills such as hand separation and finger dexterity. By combining sensory play with scissor skills, your child gets to engage their senses while honing their cutting abilities. Whether they are rolling the playdough into snakes or flattening it out to draw lines and shapes, these activities provide a fun and educational way for your child to practice using scissors. Consider providing child-safe scissors specifically designed for little hands to ensure a safe and successful cutting experience. So grab some playdough today and watch as your child’s fine motor skills flourish!


1. What are some other fun play dough activities for children?

Cutting playdough with plastic knives or cookie cutters, rolling it with pins and forming letters are fun ways to help children learn hand-eye coordination.

2. How can homemade playdough benefit a child’s fine motor development?

Making homemade playdough is not only an easy sensory play recipe but also helps develop their grip when kneading the dough and forms small objects enhancing fine motor skills.

There are many easy playdough recipe online.

3. Can playing with store-bought or homemade playdough improve social skills in children?

Yes, both store-bought and homemade play dough can encourages social skills when working with other people. Children can learn to share tools like rolling pins and scissors during group plays hence improving their social skills.

4. In what other ways does cutting Play-Doh benefit early childhood education?

Play-dough activities increase a child’s imagination, improve emotional regulation, enable different learning styles adaptation making it a classic toy in any preschool classroom setup. Simple play activities with playdough can help childhood development in many ways.

5. Is there a right or wrong way for kids to use Play-Doh?

No! There are endless ways to play with Play-doh. If you are worried about your child eating the playdough, you can also make safe to eat homemade playdough.

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