It might seem an obvious point, but when I perform for children, I perform for children. I know! It sounds too simple, but children, in all phases of life respond differently to different kinds of humor and different kinds of storytelling. I will do physical comedy for the young ones. Falling down or a bump on the head is always funny to a five year old. However, I will avoid a lot of excessive verbal humor with this age group. Not only because they won't get it, but more because smaller children just love the story. I keep it simple, because they will respond better to the story, simply told.
I will make things a little more verbal and random with the older kids. They like humor that lets them in on the joke. They figured out you were trying to be clever, and enjoy figuring that out for themselves.
The oldest children like you to be a little jaded, a little sarcastic, but don't imagine that they won't like the story. They want you to believe they are more mature, but inwardly still enjoy, like smaller children, a good tale.
My FAVORITE thing in the WORLD is doing a play or musical in the theater, and hearing only children laughing at a gag I've performed. I will do things, I am certain, only children will laugh at. Why?
Well, they're part of the audience too! I can't explain how wonderful it is to hear children in an audience laughing louder than their parents. You know, the uncontrollable giggling that is hard to stop. That's why I like this review I was given by a parent who's daughter saw my performance at her school last week.
"Well my daughter personally loved it!! She talked all through dinner about each and every story. 'This teacher had to say this... and this student said this...' and then she'd giggle and I do mean ALL through dinner."
That sums it up perfectly. When I perform for children, I perform for children.