On Easter, my 5 year old cousin saw me knitting and told me that when she grew up, she wanted to learn to knit. I told her that she was old enough already and the look on her face--you would've thought I'd told her that I'd arranged a play date for her with the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.
I didn't have any spare sticks and string with me, but I brought her some from our late grandmother's stash the next time I saw her (on Passover). We have one of those families--just go with it.
Now, I don't see her often enough to give her regularly scheduled help, so the first thing I did was to tell her mom about some online knitting help sites. Because I have no delusions about her ability to remember what I taught her the next day.
Katie did not want to make a scarf or a bookmark. She wanted to make a doll blanket for her American Girl doll. Before her first lesson and she's already a finished object knitter.
So I cast on a bunch of stitches and knit the first row and then taught her the knit stitch using a rhyme I'd found online (and printed so she could refer to it later on). It was slow going, but she was doing it on her own after a couple of dozen stitches. She dropped a bunch of stitches and made a few other mistakes, but my first piece of knitting was such a mess that I frogged it so I could re-use the yarn, so the first knitted item from a 5 year old ain't gonna be perfect. It's also not going to be finished any time soon. After every single stitch, she looked at what she had done and said, "This is going to be the best ever!".
And then she'd do another stitch, and say it again.
"This is going to be the best ever!"
It was so cute I may have ovulated.