Ball pythons are great first time snakes IF they're greatly domesticated & handled regularly.
But you must know snakes live for a long period, & they need proper care. I'd say they're pretty hardy. If you want one, I'd also advise joining online reptile forums for any questions you may have.
The B.P.s I've had have been handled by children, with adult supervision. They do coil & squeeze, but it's fairly easy to uncoil them. Start with babies, because when they finally get big enough, & get stronger, your child will be old enough to hopefully uncooil the snake themselves, if needed.
Another reptile that's GREAT is a leopard gecko. If you're just starting off with reptiles, I'd suggest one of these instead, until more experience with reptiles is gained. I wouldn't advise garter snakes because they tend to have respiratory issues & they're usually too fast to handle for children.