The kids seem to feel pretty comfortable holding the boa.
(Used to have garter snakes as pets as child as they were then quite common.)
If one is unfamiliar with handling one, their skin might appear as being wet or maybe slimy, but actually snakes (at least the ones I messed with) are dry and possess very soft & supple skin. Also, provided that they have properly fed, they handle well. (A starved snake is another matter.)