I started when I was around 10 yrs. old, and I loved it. My 2 sons now are 5 and 7. The seven year old is getting his first BB gun for his B-day next month. Both of the help me re-load, have watched safety videos, and I tell them all the time what they should and should'nt be doing. (I quiz them) I believe that you should take the curiosity out of the child as soon as they are old enough to understand common rules about gun safety. I let them hold my shotguns, and even my handguns, unloaded of course!!!!! just my 2 cents! enjoy them while they're young, and get them involved in the outdoors as soon as possible. They are the future!!!