This may seem obvious, but most guitar teachers don’t act on it. The first Secret in successfully teaching guitar to young kids is not cram too much information into one lesson. Let the child focus on one thing at a time. Remember, young children are trying to make sense of the world and their environment…they still believe in Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy and their cognitive and fine motor skills are very much still developing. Prepare interesting, engaging and educational activities that challenge their fine motor and cognitive skills but don’t stress and frustrate the children. For example, when implementing a cognitive challenge, you could explore the relationship that exists between the position of a note on the stave, whether it sounds high or low and where the high and low sounding open strings are on the guitar.
In effecting an activity that challenges the fine motor skills of the young beginner, remember that the simple act of moving the thumb that they strike the string with in time with music will be challenge enough! You could prepare some songs with backing tracks and give the child a real sense of accomplishment by allowing them to play along with a recording that will be engaging and relevant to their expectations. As young children struggle with their fledgling fine motor skills, a simple song at a moderate tempo, just using the first two open strings will be fine.