I teach a kids class aged 5 & up. I do not do "games" of any kind, I gear the class to the age level but still teach Aikido. I have witnessed a few kids classes at other Dojos and frankly was appalled at what I saw! Silly jumping about etc. It is just my opinion - I think that the kids are there to learn a Martial Art and the parents are paying for Aikido Instruction - not games.
I feel exactly like Lisa does. I have also had the privilege of teaching hundreds of kids at the YMCA over a 5 year period. At one time, we had 30 kids from ages 6 to 10 and 25 kids from ages 10 to 14. I never played a single game. We ran a regular class just like the adult class with modified (simpler) versions of the techniques. Just like the adults, we taught breakfalls and all sorts of ukemi and every aspect of Aikido. I think our kids have had a ton of fun but I also am glad they learned Aikido techniques. I have kids that have been with me from 5 to 7 years. Of course, we also have the normal turn over.
I feel that kids can play almost anywhere and usually do. I wanted the dojo to be a different place for them where they could practice self discipline as well.
What we teach and do in our classes is here.
My kids have learned that you don't have to play all the time and that you don't always have to be entertained. They have learned to have fun behaving and learning.