I was given my first lacrosse stick when I was two. My dad gave me and my sister one, she was four. The story he tells me is that when he gave us our sticks to go outside, my sister was picking up the ball with her back turned to me, and I ran up to her and smacked her in the back with my stick. Turns out I ended up being a pretty good defender but probobly wasnt ready for a stick at the age of 2.
In a school setting with a lot of kids, long handled equiptment shouldn't be used. There is not enough supervision for children and they don't have the mental and physical control to use such equiptment. The first fundamental step would be throwing a ball correctly just in your hand. Throwing and catching should be almost perfected before moving on to a lacorsse stick.