When hunting for the best art supplies for kids, you’ll regularly see crayons, colored pencils, construction paper, paints, and scissors. But rarely will you see a cutting tool other than scissors included. Yet, cutting materials is key to many crafts for kids. And scissors are not ideal for all cutting situations.
Kids Craft Supplies: Scissors Don’t Always Cut It
Of course, that’s not to say that scissors aren’t an important cutting tool in your craft kits for kids, but there are additional cutting tools to consider. Also, a lot of kids’ scissors are less than great when it comes to the work they're supposed to do. We discussed this in a previous blog addressing art supplies for children, which specifically explored children’s scissors.
Why consider other cutting options in your art stuff for kids? Simply put, scissors are not always the best tool for the job. That’s why crafters use such a wide variety of cutting tools. While scissors are great at making straight lines, they aren’t ideal for tasks such as the following:
- creating fluid curved lines
- making circles
- doing small detail work
- cutting along a straightedge tool, like a ruler
- following a pattern
- cutting through extra thick material, such as corrugated cardboard
Some good options for kids to fill in where scissors fall short are craft cutters, pen cutters, and precision cutters. These tools are typically used much like a pen or pencil and have a nice grip surface on the handle, making them easy for little hands to use. In some cases, kids’ craft supplies might also include box cutters, if you’re planning to make large-scale projects with corrugated cardboard.
Razor-Sharp Cutters on the List for Art Supplies for Kids?!
A small child wielding something with a razor blade sounds like a terrible idea! In fact, both the Boy Scouts of America and Popular Mechanics agree that nine is an ideal age to let kids use knives. But this recommendation assumes that the only cutting tool of choice is a dangerous metal blade.
In fact, with traditional metal blades, the sharper the blade the safer the cutting tool. Because of this, lacerations happen, regardless of how careful someone is. So what to do?
Safe and Effective Options for All Ages
Cutting tools made by Slice® feature ceramic blades that are designed to cut materials but resist lacerating skin by means of a technically-advanced finger-friendly® design. These can be used by both older children as well as younger children. But again, teaching safety is a must; even though Slice products are safer, they are still cutting tools with pointed ends. This video provides a good place to start with any knife safety training.
Once you’re sure that your little ones are handling the tools safely, Slice offers a variety of cutters that are excellent for kids arts and crafts projects, including the Safety Cutter, Precision Cutter, and Manual Pen Cutter. Additionally, Slice’s blades last 11 times longer than their metal counterparts, making for a durable addition to any kids’ craft kit.
So just how finger friendly are these tools? Several facilities have seen no lacerations since switching to Slice products. For example, Christopher Allen, Director of Health and Safety at NBCUniversal's facility in Universal City, California, says: "We had nine hand injuries from knives in the first quarter [of 2016]," he says. He introduced Slice safety cutters and, "We haven't had one since."
There are ways, then, to successfully and safely include cutters beyond scissors in your art supplies for children. They can make children’s crafting experiencing more fun because kids will have the correct tool for the job. For the little ones, they’ll also provide an opportunity to cut without using scissors, which young kids tend to have trouble with. So on that list of the best art supplies for kids, consider adding Slice’s excellent cutting options.