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Encourage Healthy Habits in Preschoolers

MINI-OLYMPICS AT COLEGIO MENOR Article contributed by the Colegio Menor Play Group Core Teachers: Catalina Almeida, Catalina Bossano, Ana María Egas, Cynthia Erazo, Ana María Pólit, Verónica Rivadeneira, and Daniela Silva


Childhood should be the start of a healthy lifestyle for a better adulthood. However, in our modern world many basic activities, like simple outdoor play, have been replaced by technology. Children are immersed in the new trend of learning and playing with digital media, and this often hinders their gross and fine motor skill development and also takes creativity away from their learning activities.

At Colegio Menor San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador, we believe motion is a vital part of early learning; therefore, on a daily basis we include gross motor activities that are connected to the concepts and skills taught in our curriculum. In addition, we organize our annual Mini-Olympics for students and parents in order to showcase our philosophy about physical activity. The main objectives of this event are to have the children participate in various outdoor games and to encourage parents to share a day with their children and interact with the other children and adults in our early childhood community. In addition, we provide parents with new ideas about fun games that they can share as family to promote healthy motor activities at home.

During the Mini-Olympics children and parents participate in a circuit of 14 games, each one appropriate for the age and motor skills of the grade level (play group, pre-kinder or kinder). The games help the children develop skills such as balance, coordination, strength, agility, and spatial notions. They also have the opportunity to practice the social skills of taking turns, respecting rules, following instructions, sharing and self-control.


We hope that these activities in the Early Childhood section at Colegio Menor are just the beginning of the healthy choices children will make throughout their lives. The children’s excitement and joy as they participate in the Mini-Olympics and the daily motion activities motivate us to find new ways to promote healthy habits.


To learn more about the games included in the Mini-Olympics, please contact Susan Mills, our Early Childhood principal, at


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