Kids and Knives – Part II

Hi rffhddrkrd
Readers — A few weeks back we ran a little piece about an outdoor knife skills class for kids 8-12. Here’s the follow up! – L
Dear Free-Range Kids: You’ll be happy to know that the maiden voyage of the Sharp Kids program was a great success.  The morning class was a little sparse with just 5 kids (no one likes to get up early on Sunday), but the afternoon class was filled!  The kids were busy for the whole four hour class.  They got in to it so deeply that we didn’t even get a chance to attempt half of the projects that I had planned.
We did have two minor injuries during the afternoon class, but even the girl with the deeper cut (It’s just a flesh wound!) walked away from the class with a smile and an armful of extra sticks to whittle on while at home.  So, despite a little blood and tears, I’d say it’s safe to presume that there was no long-lasting psychological trauma.  The kids really jumped in to this course with both feet. (Which remained attached throughout!)
The most unexpected result of the course was that I had three separate parents mention to me that they thought it would be valuable to hold a similar program for the adults!  It appears that the reason that many of parents never let their kids have a knife of their own is because that they were unfamiliar with the topic themselves. Looks like I may have to plan a Sharp Kids 2 – Basic outdoor knife skills for the PARENTS of responsible girls and boys.
Be well and thanks again for spreading the Free-Range gospel! - Mike Leggiero, Gouldsboro, PA
Every whittle bit counts!

Every whittle bit counts!


8 Responses to Kids and Knives – Part II

  1. sayford ford October 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    good story,when i was in scouts(baltimore troop 35)we all had to take a course called”totin’ chip” about how to use knives and axes safely

  2. Jack October 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    Our local rod and gun club puts on a heck of an event for our kids every year. Maybe yours does, too?

  3. Steve S October 15, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Sounds like a wonderful program. Good job!

  4. Mark S. October 15, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    My 9 year old son is in Cub Scouts and is learning knife skills. He learned the safety rules and got his “Whittling Chip”. If he wishes to practice with his knife, he just needs to show an adult his Chip and he’s free to practice.

    I should point out that the picture you have above is not very safe. The knife should never be used with the sharp end going towards you. It should always go away from you.

  5. Papilio October 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    What – you mean they all LIVED??!!!

  6. Kris October 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    My left thumb bares a scar from a similar accident while attending day camp when I was 8 or 9. Now, some 30+ years later, I still smile when I see it! My boys got their pocket knives when they turned 8. Both have been cut, both have healed and, briefly, a small business was born because of their skills.

  7. Suzanne October 15, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

    Don’t thin you’ve mentioned this yet, but Gorden Ramsay’s new cooking contest show “Master Chef Junior” has 8 to 12 year olds using very large, sharp cooking knives – and using them very skillfully – while their parents watch proudly from a distance.

  8. Annie Wegner LeFort October 15, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    In my daughter’s primary classroom at her Montessori school carrot cutting has been her favorite work since her K-3 year. She helps me cut carrots (and other veggies and fruit) at home too with a sharp paring knife. Yes, kids have knicked themselves in her class, but so have the adults in the Basic Knife Skills classes I teach.