I wouldn’t say that we are a big knife family but we have them around. My husband always has a pocket knife on him and we have pocket knives in every one of our cars. Why? My husband is an Eagle Scout and the Boy Scout Motto is “Be Prepared.” So we have pocket knives where we might need them. Which means every one of my kids will have a training pocket knife and will be taught the proper way to use and respect a knife.
Why Every Kid Needs a Training Pocket Knife
You have no control over what your child will be exposed to when you aren’t around. We teach our kids not to let others touch them in their privates. Why? Not because we plan on it happening but because we want them to be prepared in case it happens. Same with a knife. When your child goes to a friends house, the park, the outdoors, etc. you have no control over older siblings, other parents, or lost items left behind. You need to teach your child how to handle a knives safely.
I started teaching my kids knife safety in preschool, age 3, when I gave them a plastic knife or a pumpkin cutting tool to help cut grapes, celery, cucumbers, and other snacks. We taught them how to hold the knife and keep it away from the other children lined up next to them. Do I trust my small children with one of my sharp kitchen knives now? No, but they know how to hold it in a safe manner. Do I trust my 8 year old with my kitchen knives? Yes, because I started teaching him at age 3 and continued to teach him while he helped in the kitchen as he grew older. Do I trust him with a Pocket knife? Yes! It all started with a training pocket knife that was safe to handle, use, and manipulate.
How do you teach a small child to handle a knife safely?
You could just hand them a knife but I don’t recommend it. First, get them one they can experiment with in a safe manner. We love, love, love this Spyderco Dragonfly Wooden Knife Kit (They also make it in a plastic glow in the dark Spyderco PLKIT1 Delica 4 Knife Kit with Folding Plastic Blade Drop Point). It is replica of the Spyderco Dragonfly Stainless Steel Plain Edge Knife pocket knife Chad carries around the most. We bought it for our first (now 8 year old) son, Chadburn, when he was 5 and now it’s Jack’s favorite! Jack takes it almost everywhere he goes and sleeps with it under his pillow at night.
Why we love this knife?
- There are no sharp edges or points
- You get to build it with them in about 5 minutes and it becomes a fun bonding and teaching project.
- It has a “locking” mechanism so that you can open the blade, lock it into place, then teach them how to safely unlock and close the blade.
My kids don’t need to know that!
They really do! My husband, Chad, tells stories of when he was a child and would find his dad’s pocket knives hidden in drawers. Chad would open them up and look at them and then realize they were locked in place and had no idea how to close them. He would put them back in the drawer in the open position and would totally get in trouble for it later. After that, he promised he would never let that happen to his sons.
We have taught them to respect knives and we trust them! We know they will let us know if a friend pulls out their dad or brother’s knife and that they will know how to handle it appropriately. They will confidently let their friend know that they shouldn’t be playing with it. At home, under supervision, is the time for them to explore and learn. Learning about knives shouldn’t be with a friend, behind closed doors. Let me know if you have any questions about how we do this!