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Old 26.09.2011, 21:47
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Pocket knives in kindergarden?

My daughter started kindergarden this year. Every Friday, they have class in the woods, which I think is great. What I find a bit odd, though, is that the kids have been told that they can bring pocket knives to class from after the fall holidays. I realize we are living in Switzerland, home of the Swiss army knife, but really, four and five-year-olds being encouraged to bring knives to school??? My husband (Swiss) assures me that I should not be worried - if it weren't under control, they would no longer be doing it. I still feel a bit uneasy. Is anyone else in a similar situation? Am I just being overly protective and slightly paranoid?
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Old 26.09.2011, 21:59
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

Having come from the UK where kids are wrapped in cotton wool we were also "surprised" that children in K/Garten took knifes on " Waldtag" trips.
Here it is second nature and we have grown used to it and not heard of any atabbings or amputated fingers.
Now our daughter wants one, so Santa will provide!
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Old 26.09.2011, 22:08
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

Knives are essential tools. We all use them. Isn't it a good thing to learn how to use them under the supervision of a responsible adult in an appropriate setting?

It's certainly better than me learning how to use a pocket knife down the brook with Gary Benton, with the single instruction from my father ringing in my ear: "Always point towards your friend..."
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Old 26.09.2011, 22:34
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

It's definitely the norm here - and here also in the scouts / pfadi kids are asked to bring one.

I'm really wary of them though to be honest - having been one of those kids who actually really did nearly amputate my own finger with one while playing in the forest with my Dad at around 8 years old...... My "accident" happened because I was trying to close it, but instead of pushing the blade the right way, I put my thumb on the sharp side of the blade and pushed hard...... I sliced my thumb very deep. Still have the scars.

So, to be honest I'd rather they learnt to use "real" knives for cutting things than those bloody folding Swiss army things. My son (age 7) hasn't got one and won't be getting one any time soon in fact it was one of my reasons for not letting him go to the Pfadi yet because he's just not ready for that.
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Old 26.09.2011, 23:07
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

They are not allowed in our school until the child is 7 years old and then only under supervision on days in the woods.

We were sent a letter explaining this rule. I have dug it out and it states
that they are not allowed because (rough translation coming)
the children:-
  • lack the necessary fine motor skills and dexterity; and
  • lack the necessary cognitive planning skills
to use such an implement correctly.

By the second, I assume they mean an inability to forward plan sufficiently to realise that if you slice the knife into wood in that direction, it is possible it will veer off and slice through a body part .. and with that I would heartily agree.

If you excuse the pun, I think 7 years is a good cut off point.
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Old 26.09.2011, 23:10
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

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My daughter started kindergarden this year. Every Friday, they have class in the woods, which I think is great. What I find a bit odd, though, is that the kids have been told that they can bring pocket knives to class from after the fall holidays. I realize we are living in Switzerland, home of the Swiss army knife, but really, four and five-year-olds being encouraged to bring knives to school??? My husband (Swiss) assures me that I should not be worried - if it weren't under control, they would no longer be doing it. I still feel a bit uneasy. Is anyone else in a similar situation? Am I just being overly protective and slightly paranoid?
Here we go!

Tom
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Old 26.09.2011, 23:17
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

I suspect that most children are going to be just fine with those pocket knives. There are scissors in all kindergartens - and it's only on rare occassionas that a child actually points the blades at a classmate = or puts the blades in there own mouth..... generally, hunks cut out of hair is as bad as it gets. :-)

In NZ, every kindergarten has a carpentary table with real nails, saws, hammers and a vice, used freely by three and four year olds. They have been the norm for over fifty years and I thought nothing of it until last year, when I saw an email from a newly arrived British mother who was absolutely horrified that these little children had access to such "potentially harmfull" tools. In actual fact, I have seen far more blood from sandpit "incidents" than from either hammers or knives.
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Old 27.09.2011, 06:32
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

better to learn in a controlled environment based on decent theory (as both of my sons were taught here in the public schools) than by playing mumbley-peg as an introduction. Both told me how they were taught, and the approach was better than I could've done. It's been a while, so can't recall all of the details.
best,
-tony
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Old 27.09.2011, 08:09
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

Better than playing "chicken" in the back garden with your sister. As I was to learn to my own disadvantage.
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Old 27.09.2011, 08:13
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

There's a special version for kids - My first Victorinox
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Old 27.09.2011, 08:17
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

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There's a special version for kids - My first Victorinox
If I were a kid who got one of those, I'd be pissed at Santa. WTF can you cut with that?
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Old 27.09.2011, 08:25
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

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If I were a kid who got one of those, I'd be pissed at Santa. WTF can you cut with that?
you do know the difference between stab and cut, right?
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Old 27.09.2011, 09:14
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

My son has got his first Waldmorgen coming up and they have specifically said "no knives".

I think the older kids can have them (7+) but I don't think the teachers would be happy with a band of armed 5 year olds when they tell them "no more marshmallows."
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Old 27.09.2011, 09:41
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

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If I were a kid who got one of those, I'd be pissed at Santa. WTF can you cut with that?
Just about everything. It actually teaches you to cut properly (instead of the dreadful "stab and wiggle" method that appears to be the reason why so many people are unable to cut bread properly).
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Old 27.09.2011, 09:47
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

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Just about everything. It actually teaches you to cut properly (instead of the dreadful "stab and wiggle" method that appears to be the reason why so many people are unable to cut bread properly).
It just looks so short and so dull that it doesn't look like it'd cut much of anything in the picture. I'm usually pretty suspicious of any 'My First $product' as they're usually aimed more at the buying end of the equation than at the using end. I'll take your word for it though.
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Old 27.09.2011, 09:57
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

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My son (age 7) hasn't got one and won't be getting one any time soon in fact it was one of my reasons for not letting him go to the Pfadi yet because he's just not ready for that.
Maturity is learned. Aren't you afraid of interfering with your son's autonomy?
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Old 27.09.2011, 09:59
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

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There's a special version for kids - My first Victorinox
I love that... I think it's a great idea* but with my warped sense of humour I do find it funny that a knife aimed at lil kids comes with a bottle opener.

start as you mean to go on I guess.



*I had my first pocket knife probably age 6 and I've never done any serious harm with it... sorry about the bannister mum.
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Old 27.09.2011, 10:16
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

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I do find it funny that a knife aimed at lil kids comes with a bottle opener.
Pop used to be sold by breweries and come in standard beer bottles.

I was in Bavaria some time ago and was horrified to see a bunch of kids, all about 9 - 10 years old, swigging from brown beer bottles. A closer look revealed that they were having a fizzy cola-orange drink (Paulaner no less).
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Old 27.09.2011, 10:52
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

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It just looks so short and so dull that it doesn't look like it'd cut much of anything in the picture. I'm usually pretty suspicious of any 'My First $product' as they're usually aimed more at the buying end of the equation than at the using end. I'll take your word for it though.
Although the tip is rounded, the blade is just as sharp as a pointy-tipped one. Thus, the "point it at your friend" admonishment is less likely to get someone hurt, while still being plenty useful.
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Old 27.09.2011, 21:11
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Re: Pocket knives in kindergarden?

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*I had my first pocket knife probably age 6 and I've never done any serious harm with it... sorry about the bannister mum.
And your mum agrees with that? See, we must be coming at this topic from different view points
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