Since the kids helped dyeing yarn with Kool Aid and making our own knitting needles, they're keen to try knitting. The book Kids Knitting recommended starting kids with a French knitting spool. It's easier than knitting with needles but it shows them how knitting works, by hooking loops of thread through the loops on the row beneath.
So Eleanor and Sam have been French knitting. That's a picture of Sam. He's 6, and he has mastered it very quickly.
When I was researching French knitting resources on the Internet to include in this post, I found this site about Knitting Nancies. I never realised there was so much to say on the topic of French knitting, but this fascinating web page uncovers the history of it from the medieval lucet through to a plastic toy which is basically a 45-loop mechanical knitting Nancy. Check it out.