Quantcast
Thoughts on getting a child started...
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 37

Thread: Thoughts on getting a child started...

  1. #1

    Thoughts on getting a child started...

    My eldest, 9.5yr old daughter, is showing a strong interest in my knives and has been asking about learning how to sharpen and how to use them. On on hand I really cringe at the thought of her cutting herself and feeling terrible about it but on the other hand I think this might be the perfect time to get her going with good technique and sharping skills (while she is very interested).

    Too young?

    I am thinking about getting her a Fujiwara 120mm petty FKH and dulling or taping the edge at first. Carbon will teach her to practice good knife hygiene and should be the easiest for her to learn to hone. Have her start with soft things such as cukes then teach her to sharpen a little at a time as she progresses with her skills.

    Sound reasonable? Other thoughts?

    Cheers,
    rj

  2. #2
    Senior Member Salty dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Caledonia
    Posts
    1,883
    First I would explain the facts of life................Safety.

  3. #3
    haha

    Yeah, tons of safety. I will be closely watching.

  4. #4
    Children can learn basic knife skills at right about that age. She's old enough! Just give her small, safe jobs, like cutting a piece of veggie, and learn to love weird shaped food bits. Safety, Safety, Safety.

    Be advised: She is going to cut herself while using a knife. Happens to everyone. Ideally never the same way twice.

  5. #5
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    4,227
    I started my daughter with a cheese knife and bananas. Now that she's got the claw thing going, I let her cut orange segments, etc with something sharper.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Deckhand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Costa Mesa California
    Posts
    1,737
    Tough call. My oldest son is 9 and it would be fun, but if he cut his finger off... Well I wouldn't ever forgive myself. And the wife wouldnt be pleased either. Can't believe I haven't cut my own finger clean off, but came close a couple times.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Justin0505's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,435
    I was probably around that age when I started really getting into knives and cooking. Safety is, of course, important, but you also want to make sure to keep things fun and not intimidating. Let her go at her own pace / level of interest and realize that even adults will eventually make mistakes /cut themselves.

    Mr. Drinky would be a good person to talk to: his daughter has her own mini santoku with custom Martel handle....

  8. #8
    Senior Member Johnny.B.Good's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    2,956
    Have you seen the Misono knife designed for children? Mr. Drinky here bought one for his daughter and had Dave put a new handle on it. Amazing.

    Here's how little I know about kids. I have a good friend at work who has a little boy that's coming up on his third (yes, third birthday. I honestly thought the little Misono might make a good birthday present, as he asked for a little (actually not so little) play kitchen for Christmas. So I asked Drinky in a PM what he thought of the idea, and he sent a very thoughtful response with some polite alternatives.

    Maybe he will chime in here...

  9. #9
    Senior Member Johnny.B.Good's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    2,956
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin0505 View Post
    Mr. Drinky would be a good person to talk to: his daughter has her own mini santoku with custom Martel handle....
    You stole the words right out of my mouth.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    mr drinky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    3,081
    Ok, late to the party. I can't remember what exactly I said about the Misono but I think all knives and children depend first and foremost upon parent awareness. I think the AP food editor gave his kid a real knife at 2 years but it involved very strict rules and a lot of parental 'support' which means involving the kid in a lot of other cooking, direct monitoring, and explicit rules for cutting.

    For my first daughter, 5 years was the sharp knife safety zone for me. I knew that I could communicate to her and she could understand cutting technique enough. The first thing she cut with her sharp knife was raw fish for sushi. She was safe -- but it wasn't that great of cuts. (Just kidding)

    With that said, there are many tool options for cutting -- some safer than others (regular but smaller knives, mezzaluna, plastic lettuce knives, serrated table knives, and butter knives to name a few).

    Here are some of my thought/rules/ideas:

    * Don't think of cutting with knives first but just cooking in general. Food is the gateway drug.
    * Know your kids and monitor them. This is probably the most important rule. Some kids are Ok at 2 others at 7+.
    * Let them learn the 'burn' lesson before giving a really sharp knife. If they still want to cook after the burn, let them cut.
    * Use a big cutting board. Cutting boards are more important when young. They need space because they are really inaccurate.
    * Let them have their own knife and cooking gear if they seem interested. It makes it special and they take ownership more.
    * Teach them a bit about honing and sharpening -- they will probably find it interesting. I stayed up sharping a paring knife with my daughter once until midnight.
    * Teach good technique BUT you may have to let some things slide for safety sake.
    * And lastly, teach them never to join a knife forum. Make up some story, but protect your children

    k.
    "In Japan they don't call it Japanese food, they just call it food." -- Children's Hospital Quote

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •