Now that I have your attention, I was just wondering if anybody can help me out with tips on how long tasks should last when teaching 3-5 yr olds. I am off to work in Japan on the 27th and I need to present some written work on this at my orientation day tomorrow. Somebody has suggested 2 minutes, tops, for each, but that seems to make for a pretty schizoid lesson and I feel I'd have to hammer the espresso pretty hard.

Yeah, I know, those kids weren't this young...

Hi Davebeard
Welcome to the English Forums.
All I can say is GAMES, GAMES and more GAMES. Lots of Colours. Children do have a very limited attention span. I think games that are less than 10 minutes are fine at that age.
Check out the following site which talks about teaching young kids in Japan. It has links to class activities too.
This page is about using games with children
For teaching tips or thoughts...it's sometimes better to post them in the TEFL section.
Many people are on vacation at the moment, that's why it has taken a bit longer to answer.