What is the right age for the child's first pocket knife? If the child has been raised in a Montessori environment and is familiar with using knives, I'm thinking around five or six years of age? By seven, eight or nine years old - absolutely! Of course, it depends on the child and it is to be remembered that pocket knives are real tools, not toys.
Otis has Forest School once a week and it has left him feeling inspired. On his first day, he learnt how to make and light a campfire - and then they toasted marshmallows! He is now spending more time outdoors, tinkering around, building things. It was definitely time for his first pocket knife!
The pocket knife instantly empowers the child. "Need that rope cut?", "Yes, I can!", "Need that screw tightened?", "Just give me a minute!". I love how capable the child suddenly becomes!
The pocket knife is an invaluable tool, it helps to facilitate learning, it turns children into doers not passive observers, it is a tool that helps children to do things for themselves!
Our pocket knives are c/o Manine Montessori and are made specifically for children. They have; a screw driver, cork screw, nail cleaner, nail file, needle, tweezers, toothpick, bottle opener, can opener, a knife with a rounded tip, a saw, a pick and, scissors. They are useful indoors and out. Even for children who are familiar with knives and other tools, it's important to give a safety lesson and lay some ground rules.
"I need a branch!" Otis uses branches with the ends sharpened to secure his camouflage hide-out - perfect for bird and squirrel watching.
These outdoors skills are just as important and just as relevant as those gained inside. This is practical life.
I'd love to hear your thoughts, when did you give your child their first pocket knife?