Yesterday I was teaching a group of kids from grades one to three. I wanted them to reflect on the Holidays and examine this season of gift giving. Could they come up with meaningful gift ideas to give to loved ones, gifts that don’t cost anything? How much are these children thinking of the holidays in material terms?
Teaching Children About Truly Meaningful Gifts
For this lesson plan I brought in my Puppy puppet and made up a story about trying to give Puppy a gift for Christmas. But what to get a puppy?
At first I thought of how popular Harry Potter is, so I bought Puppy a Harry Potter novel (all the kids cheered). It said in the store that it makes a great gift but Puppy just sniffed the book. He didn’t really want that book because a dog can’t read.
He loves balls so I got him a new orange ball. When I gave it to Puppy, he just took it over and put it in the pile of the five other balls he had already sitting beside his pillow.
This was a tough problem! The best thing to do was meditate on it. I sat down and lit some incense and tried to clear my mind so I would know what to get Puppy. Just as I was starting to get in the zone, I felt Puppy nudging my hand.
I ignored him.
He nudged again and started licking my hand.
I pushed him away and felt the leash hanging from his mouth.
Then it came to me – what Puppy really wanted was my love and attention! Spending time with Puppy would be the best gift.
What do We All Really Want? Love
This little story got these kids thinking of what meaningful gifts that they could give, gifts that don’t need money.
Many of us live in a consumer society and it showed in how difficult it was for the kids to think of non-monetary gifts. A few ideas and suggestions later and the ideas slowly started flowing. Children need time and space to discover and express what is meaningful to them.
Later when I talked with the daycare Director, she told me that some of the children get dropped off at 7:30 am and picked up at 6 pm. The parents are working so hard and feel guilty that they often buy the kids gifts to try to make up for it.
These are the times we live in, times when material goods are used to manage feelings and emotions.
5 Inspirational Yoga Gifts for Kids and Adults
Since gifts are a part of the holidays here are a few gift suggestions that will give kids a meaningful yoga experience and can also show your support for what is meaningful to you:
- A Family Yoga Coupon – you can have a great time doing yoga in a studio near your home. But you can also do family yoga in your own living room without spending a penny. Give your kids a family yoga coupon (see the picture above) and your kids can ask for your time and attention for some fun yoga sessions at home. You’ll be creating happy memories and a healthy lifestyle. If your kids don’t want it, why don’t you ask them for a coupon as your gift. Just ask in the comments and I’ll e-mail you the coupon above to print out.
- Yoga Man vs. The Stressor: You probably know this is my first download kids yoga training. But I’ve been printing out the Sun Salutation Coloring Book as gifts for the kids in my yoga classes, and also for the kids in my extended family. I teach over 100 kids every year so it is a great tool for teachers too. Plus the 10 Games will give you lots of ideas for your yoga sessions with kids. Support Young Yoga Masters and give your kids yoga all at once with this package. Consider the Frog Yoga Alphabet Teacher Training Double Pack too.
- Support Your Favorite Yoga Places: Most yoga teachers struggle to make ends meet. Increase your own yoga and encourage more yoga in the world by supporting the yogis in your community. Here is a link to my favorite yoga books available at my Amazon link. Check it out for a list of some of my favorite kids yoga books, music, and more. I like to buy my gifts from people I know whenever possible and most of these yoga resources are written by other kids yoga teachers. Its an opportunity to teach your kids about the power your dollars wield by spending to support what means something to you.
- A Great Kids Yoga Book: there are many good ones out there. To spend more time with your kids, a great yoga book can be used over and over again. One of my current favorites is What I see I can Be by Janet Williams. It comes with a CD that will guide you through the book. A few more of my recommendations are here at Amazon.
- Soothing Yoga Music: Developing an appreciation for music is a valuable gift to give kids. Especially when it is uplifting music. One of my favorite places for yoga music is Spirit Voyage. Here’s a play list with some of my most favorite and most played songs:
Kids learn about what is meaningful from their parents, teachers, and community. Let’s make this holiday meaningful on all levels, what we do, how we spend, and how we love.
What are the most meaningful gifts that you have given or have received?