The Lithuanian Children Games have been organized since 2015 and is the biggest Lithuanian project for children, parents, educators, and administrative employees of educational establishments. Its main goal is to help the society’s youngest members – preschoolers – to experience and understand the joy of physical activity.
In 2019, 276 Lithuanian preschools participated in the Lithuanian Children Games. During the five years of its existence the project expanded three times over and now includes more than 22,000 preschoolers.
In the last seasons of the Lithuanian Children Games, its young participants were visited by the LNOC President Daina Gudzinevičiūtė, the Minister of Health Aurelijus Veryga, high-jumper Adrijus Glebauskas, beach volleyball player Vytenė Vitkauskaitė, boxer Tada Tamašauskas, racewalker Brigita Virbalytė, marathon runner Remigijus Kančys and others.
The Games aim at propagating Olympic ideas among preschoolers, shaping positive attitude towards physical education and sport, fulfilling the children’s natural need for movement, encouraging communication and collaboration among educators, as well as their mutual support and help to each other in educating healthy and physically active children.
The Lithuanian Children Games are centered around different relays competitions that are held in three stages. During each stage educators and the project’s organizers attempt to ensure opportunities for children to experience joy of engaging in sport, spending their free time actively and developing their physical skills. Also, more and more emphasis is put not on competing, but rather on good practice and on shaping the habit of physical movement.
The relays are specifically designed with the aim of developing various physical skills of preschoolers, ensuring proper physical education of children, and implementing various Olympic values, such as friendship, joy of engaging in sports, and respect.
Final festivals of the Lithuanian Children games in 2019:
The project usually begins right after the New Year and takes place in three stages:
The Lithuanian Children Games is an effective way to encourage children’s physical activity and positive attitude towards physical education and sport, introduce the ideas of fair play and opportunities for communication and collaboration.
According to the 2007 international family life survey, physical activity of about half of Lithuanian preschoolers was inadequate, i.e. they did not exercise at all (41.1%) or exercised rarely (12.5%). Children spent a lot of time passively, watching TV or sitting in front of a computer. Children who attended preschools had 2 weekly physical education lessons, which, however, is not enough for a growing child. One of the objectives of the 2008-2020 strategy for increasing physical activity of Lithuania’s population is to promote physical activity among various social groups and to make it an integral part of the general culture.
With regard to positive feedback from the participants of the Lithuanian Children Games and the constantly increasing number of participating establishments, the organizers plan to expand the project further.
Final festival of the Lithuanian Children Games 2019 in Jonava:
The project organizers pay a lot of attention to improving educators’ qualification and propagating good practices. Seminars, meetings, methodology recommendations, and various activities provide educators with an opportunity to improve their professional competencies, to unravel creativity and to share ideas with colleagues from all over Lithuania about improving the educational processes.
The survey of the project’s participants revealed that 98% of educators view the Lithuanian Children Games very positively. Activity tasks and methodology recommendations prepared during the project have been integrated into education programmes of many of the preschools.
The Lithuanian Children Games are organized by the LNOC together with the National Association of Preschool Physical Education Teachers.
For complete news about the Lithuanian Children Games visit the website www.mazujuzaidynes.lt.