I have a daughter in the League and she attended as a nine, ten and eleven-year old.
When she was eight, we went to a different fest LARP which I will not name here. Their kids’ plot was minimal, short and basically consisted of chasing one or two volunteers while beating them with foam swords until it was time to go back to their nations.
We went to Empire expecting something slightly better (after that previous LARP, I looked for kid-friendly ones and Empire ranked second highest on the list) and yet I was shocked by how much better it was. Most of that is the Academy, which is an amazing place where your children can learn actual skills for Empire, but also the structures for turning a child into a citizen.
The Academy helps teach your kids about the world to a level which most adults cannot match. They learn about The Way (in-game religion) and history, they learn how to fight and get their own skirmishes. They go on missions into the other camps to trade for resources and learn how Navarr brokers differ from League merchant-princes.
And when they are ready, the Academy is where those kids use that knowledge to take a test of citizenship. [proud father] My daughter took her test recently and passed, showing her knowledge of the Empire and the Harlequin (one of the spirits of the League) awarded her with a ring (to represent full membership of our carta) and her first coin as a citizen. [/proud father] Because of her experience there, she not only knew that she wanted to be an alchemist, but she also know which alchemy skills she wanted to support her nation and carta.
There are ‘cadet’ missions where kids go out on adventures set up at their level, which my daughter loved.
I know the League holds that kids are just small adults once they pass the test of citizenship (there is a second test later before they can go to battle) but that seems to be an underlying theme in Empire; very little content is withheld from kids if they are capable of joining in. Even before they become full citizens, kids can trade and take part in non-combat plots, etc. Once they are citizens, even a ten-year old could hold a political position (in theory) or brew potions to sell to warriors setting out for battle or craft weapons and armour or join in rituals to make other players’ farms grow higher or stitch up patients in the hospital.
You can also ‘lend’ your skills to anyone without skills (like all kids prior to citizenship) to simulate training; a child can perform surgery under the tutelage of a trained surgeon, use magic as they are trained by a magician, etc. They use the mana and resources of the teacher, who must do nothing else but teach them, but it lets kids join in in a meaningful way.
So, before this gets even more rambling, let me just say that there is a lot of game for kids if you are ready to put in the effort to help them; Empire rules facilitate kids’ plot and game in a way many other systems do not; it’s up to the players to make it, but so many of them do.