Because fountain pens are somewhat more peril-sensitive than other writing instruments, and because there is a dwindling range of “so cheap I don’t care if it’s wrecked” models, some people decline to get them for children under a certain age. This gallery is meant to provide a quick reference for those who can overcome the disinclination; these are pens meant specifically for the younger crowd, and the sooner the youngsters start to understand the notion of caring for quality goods, the better, right?
Hero 616: Cheap, relatively sturdy, not too exciting but doesn’t look like “kid stuff”. It has, though, a fixed filler rather than a cartridge; dare you let your child have a whole bottle of ink?
Lamy ABC: Really meant for the younger set, but very sturdy so that’s OK
Lamy Safari: Popular with all ages, and built to take a lot of abuse.
Ohto Dude: Relatively sturdy metal body, interesting to look at, and not quick to roll off a desk.
Parker Vector: Sturdy, cheap, and uses large cartridges; if your child can stand to be seen with one, it’s a good bet.
Pelikano: Perhaps less sturdy than the Lamy Safari, but not by much, and possibly less brutalist in appearance
Pelikano Jr.: Aimed at a similarly young set as the Lamy abc, but a little more able to travel into older age brackets. It’s also less likely to see its cap lost.
Pelikan Future: A Pelikano that’s put on a decent shirt.
Pelikan Griffix: Purpose build for the wee ones, much like the Lamy ABC
Pelikan Twist: A Pelikano that thinks about going to Burning Man.
Pilot Kakuno: Very like a Pelikano Jr, with a more specific requirement of cartridge and a lesser one for grip posture
Pilot Metropolitan: Something sophisticated for the older kids who worry about looking immature, and really inexpensive to please the parents.
Pilot Varsity: Something deeply unsophisticated for the kids you know will lose the thing in under a week.
Platinum Plaisir: Like the Metropolitan above, a somewhat more sophisticated exterior that, if it suits the child, might see them through the the world beyond school
Platinum Preppy: So cheap it won’t cause a great outcry if it’s lost, stolen or broken.
Rotring Core: Teenage Mutant Pelikano– out of production, but there are second hand models about. A specific sort of kid will adore it.
Sheaffer cartridge pen.: Out of production, but they swarm in online auction markets; excellent starter pens, to judge from how I turned out.
Sheaffer School: Leans upon “so cheap I don’t care”. Not terrible, but not the best bet for the kids.
Sheaffer VFM: Relatively mature styling. The small ink capacity helps teach the importance of checking the fuel gauge before starting on anything major.
TWSBI Eco: Has most of the attributes of an “adult” pen, but with slightly junior styling and an extremely low price. Built-in filler means trusting kids with a bottle of ink, and it also wants occasional re-lubrication of the seals; two elements which may nuture responsibility in the young.