Hmmmm... a very interesting question since I constantly ponder why and what is it I am teaching young children (my 2 boys included, 6 and 8 respectively).
I don't necessarily agree that the moves are too complicated or technical. Perhaps it is because we tend to rationalize/analyze aikido, and in the process, make it more complicated than it needs to be.
Aikido is in actuality quite simple (yet profoundly deep at the same time). I remember one of my sempai once remarked that it [aikido] was so simple that it eludes most people.
Kids in my class range from 6-17 (6 being my 2nd son, who is the youngest in the class).
Despite the vast age difference, I am constantly amazed at the ability of the ones below 10 to execute simple gross movement techniques, in comparison with the older ones, who supposedly have finer motor control skills between 9-12. For some perculiar reason, the 12-17 age group in my class seems to be "coordination challenged".
Perhaps my boys have had the luxury of me as their father, who prefers to "play" rather than teach as such, or perhaps I have been "playing" and "throwing" them around (and being "thrown around" by them) since they were able to walk. Not sure which has been a greater contributing factor...
I remember, my teacher certainly had a wonderful way of keeping it simple, although, I think our brains keep interfering with that simplicity.
In some small way, it undoubtedly reflects on the ability of the teacher, not that I'm suggesting I'm any good as a teacher, but perhaps I am better at "playing at kid's level" than others. (One of my sempai for example has no kids, never had kids, and finds kid's classes quite "boring").
As my teacher used to say "forget technique, just play".... which I suspect he meant quite literally...
Thanks for reminding me! Now I know what I'm going to teach...er... I mean "play with" tonite.