Back in the day, many a child was happy to find a new rifle (or even a used one) under the Christmas Tree. The closest I ever came was finding an air rifle under mine, one that could not even shoot BB, just corks. You can bet I would have been happy to have found a nice Remington or Winchester bolt action 22 waiting under my tree on some Christmas morning long ago.
I don't recall if it was for a birthday gift or a Christmas present but I gave an Armscor 14y (a youth model bolt action rifle in .22LR) to my son when he was about 9. I am pretty sure that was the age though he might have been 10. I had hoped to give one to my daughter some years before but she who must be obeyed was against it then. It took almost all my persuasive powers to convince the wife and mother of my children it would even be okay to teach them to shoot. I guess by the time my son was that age she had figured it was fairly safe, safe enough at least that I could give him a rifle he could only use under my supervision.
If you are looking for a youth model rifle, and I strongly recommend teaching a child to shoot using a youth sized rifle, and need some suggestions as to where you might be able to find one, I have a source of information for you that you might not believe. I would be willing to bet that the people who compiled the source I am about to recommend never, not in a million years anyhow, would have thought their list would be used to help facilitate the search for a youth model rifle. I kind of get the impression their informative list was meant to do something completely different - like to help put an end to gun rights, to make sure that kids never learn to shoot, and to discourage manufacturers from making youth sized models. What the heck, it is good, informative information for you if you are in the market to buy a youth sized model and you are therefore looking to find out which firearms manufacturers make youth sized models. See the page at the following web address. Please cut and paste this one into your browser bar to be surprised to find who it was that was nice enough to compile a list of manufacturers of youth model firearms:
All the best,