I think it's great that kids start aikido that early. If it is already a big part of their lives by the time they reach puberty perhaps it will be a positive influence during their teenage years. I agree with those who said that aikido is ok even for young kids as long as care is taken with their joints.
we here in the philippines have a stereo-type to make our children enrole in taekwondo coz that's where the the good families are enroling their children. But since my kids wants to learn my art(maybe to impress me) i teach them. But its more of games. And yes i agree w/ you it does influece them.
The question is what technique could youngsters aprreciate?
irimi?, shionagi?, suwari-waza?,.......... what technique?