I guess you could try two needle fingerless mittens.You basically knit a square and seam it up most of the way on the bottom and only a bit on the top to create the hole for the thumb.I thought they were girly at first but I've gotten a lot of requests from guys to make them.The pattern doesn't need to be reversed for L and R either.
You can do basic ribbing on the bottom, stockinette in the middle and another tiny bit of ribbing at the top for the older kids.I guess early beginners could do straight stockinette or garter on doubled or thick yarn and for the more advanced, they can try patterns in K,P like a waffle or basket.I definitely think they can handle it. I've seen young kids knit some pretty impressive stuff and post it on their parent's knitting blog.
"I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?
All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment..."