Last time I was at my local Walmart, they had a pair of VERY short knitting needles with a square "how to knit" type book. I'm guessing the metal needles were about 5-6 inches long. You could use something like that.
Also, at Cracker Barrel restaurant they have a Knitting Kit that includes a pair of kids size needles and 2-3 skeins of yarn. Any kind of "kids knitting kit" would probably have some shorter needles.
Just a thought,