I have a 5 yr.old daugther who has watched me from birth w/ my herps. She began handleing them at 3.5 yrs. I started this process by letting her pet my calmest herps (turtle,snake,or monitor). I would always tell her to move slow, not yell,& wash her hands after handleing. Now she holds my calm animals while I clean their cages. You have to let your children observe your handleing & treatment of animals. select the calmest of your herps for them to pet & then gradually move up to holding.