Before learning to knit, I treat the children to a story (which I hope to type out tomorrow). The story sets the stage for their knitting skills, puts them in a listening place, and allows for a "sleeping". In other words, they take in information from the story, let it rest for a day or two, and then we proceed with knitting.
After we have cast on 12 stitches for a Curly Cat, it is time to make our first stitches. I use the poem, "In through the front door, run around the back, peek through the window, off jumps Jack."
Now repeat with the remaining stitches on the needle.
When all the stitches have been transferred to the other needle , switch hands and begin again. The last and first stitches are hard for children...teach them to make the first and last stitches a bit more snug. Keep the work pointing down and it will be easier to get in that first front door.
Repeat forever and ever and ever until you have effectively established a good knitting rhythm, and a very nice knitting habit.
(thank you, Kristin, my dear, beloved friend and now hand model.)