Skits are usually never longer than 3 to 5 minutes and are ideally somewhere around 90 seconds. Possible sources for your skits can be imagination, jokes from books, Reader’s Digest, campfires, kids, or other leaders. Try to keep it simple; kids can forget what they’re supposed to say and do, so don’t overcomplicate it.
Generally, a good way to get the kids involved in a good skit is to provide them with a choice of about two or three skits and let them choose a tried and proven skit. Then help them modify it to the number of kids available and the relevant theme.
It’s tempting to let the kids develop a skit from scratch, hoping to develop their creativity. But after witnessing many, many skits (developed by kids and dads) it’s easy to tell which ones are from scratch, because they usually aren’t funny, are too long, and don’t make much sense.
If you feel your kids are old enough, and have a knack for developing good skits, then reserve the right to edit or veto their skit, within reason of course. I have seen some original beauties from kids, as well as some wonderful modifications from them, with little leader intervention.
Rehearse the skit beforehand. It will increase the kids’ confidence and can help avoid whispering, fumbling, amnesia, arguing about who says what, and other problems.
Just remember, the kids have to speak up so that everyone in the audience can hear them. Who cares how good the joke is if you can’t hear it. That’s where rehearsing comes in handy.
Above all, make your skits enjoyable!
Avoid swearing, hitting, and stupid, nonsense skits. And know your audience. Gambling or politically themed skits may not be appropriate for an audience of young children.
Cue cards can be useful for the kids, to help them remember their lines. Make poster size cards with large, simple writing. A far out idea, but can be useful if the kids can read. And hey! It may unintentionally turn out to be the gag of the weekend! (How about a skit involving cue cards, and the punch line being “But Sir! We can’t read!”)