Fun or Useful Gifts a trainer can give as rewards to kids and adults, IDEAS? Dumb ideas welcome. We're desperate.

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    Jun 04, 2012 4:14 PM GMT
    My trainer buddy is launching a fitness program working with both kids and their parents. She wants to come up with cool things to give as rewards. I told her I can print her tee shirts because that's my business. Any other ideas you guys can think of will be very appreciated.
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    Jun 04, 2012 6:55 PM GMT
    Tee shirts should be a mid- to high-level accomplishment reward, given the cost of producing them.

    Reward the behavior you want to encourage with more of the same. With this in mind, do not reward exercise with junk food and/or tv time. Think in terms of giving rewards that foster and/or encourage more of the same behavior, but at a deeper level (i.e. for achieving a certain measure of success in swim classes, offer an additional private lesson next time they pay for a block of classes; for aerobics classes, give them an iTunes card, so they can buy more dance music for future classes; for weight training, give them gloves, so their hands are protected as they graduate up to heavier weights).

    Those are expensive gifts to be handed out to higher achievers, but public accolade is inexpensive and highly effective for beginners. If you have a newbie who finally completes x activity at the basic level, everyone in the group gives them group applause/hugs/whatever. Make the group recognition a ritual, so that the newbie has a particular goal with a particular anticipated recognition time to shine on his/her own. Do not applaud groups of kids for reaching the milestone (unless you are acknowledging the performance and success of a group activity that involves team work). Each has to be singled out for special time to be given solo time to shine before the group.
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    Jun 04, 2012 7:31 PM GMT
    Where possible, seek out "everybody is a winner" type rewards to avoid unintentional "winner/loser" outcomes.

    For example, everybody has a chance to win "X", if they accomplish a certain "improvement in student learning gains" by "X" date. In other words, don't just set some kind of "50 push ups" standard because not everybody can do "50 push ups" and this sets up a scenario where competition between peers may cause those with low self-esteem to feel worse about themselves.

    Consider something that is more akin to "personal percentage improvement" goals where the student is competing with themselves.

    At the group level, perhaps some sort of reward for the entire group meeting their individual goals is a way for students to provide help and encouragement to others so that the entire cohort experiences a "team win". Again, without unhealthy competition where possible.
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    Jun 04, 2012 8:34 PM GMT
    Gift certificates to chain restaurants.
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    Jun 04, 2012 9:08 PM GMT
    Tablespoons of Crisco.


    Mmmm...lardy.....
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    Jun 04, 2012 9:12 PM GMT
    You should study classroom books that cover concepts about positive reinforcement and reward systems. Teachers have to do this in K-12 classrooms every day.
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    Jun 04, 2012 9:16 PM GMT
    dancerjack saidYou should study classroom books that cover concepts about positive reinforcement and reward systems. Teachers have to do this in K-12 classrooms every day.
    Same with flight instructors; but like you, I'm not gonna divulge info that can be easily researched. icon_wink.gif
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    Jun 04, 2012 9:18 PM GMT
    Exactly! Why should a sex worker tell you how fuck and suck better when the Kama Sutra is available on Amazon? ;)
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    Jun 04, 2012 9:19 PM GMT
    dancerjack saidExactly! Why should a sex worker tell you how fuck and suck better when the Kama Sutra is available on Amazon? ;)
    Because hands on experience is the best teacher?

    Just a hunch.
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    Jun 04, 2012 9:24 PM GMT
    How about something practical that can be used outside of sessions while still encouraging exercise and physical activity? Some cheaper, low-tier rewards could be hula hoops, frisbees, skip-its, badminton rackets/birdies, things like that.

    Not gonna lie though, if someone gave me a skip-it I've have a lot of difficulty actually using it due to the weight of my gigantic nostalgia boner.
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    Jun 04, 2012 9:30 PM GMT
    catch said

    Not gonna lie though, if someone gave me a skip-it I've have a lot of difficulty actually using it due to the weight of my gigantic nostalgia boner.


    I'd slip and break my ankle on my huge nostalgia ejaculate icon_redface.gif
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    Jun 04, 2012 9:33 PM GMT
    Here, Subway has been really good about providing lunch for classes who raised the most money during the Heart Association jump-a-thon. And there are actually some nutrition lessons that can be taught at Subway.
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    Jun 04, 2012 9:38 PM GMT
    Kids love stickers, particularly if you make it a collection game where they get a different sticker for activities they complete....collect all the Disney Princesses for the girls or all the Cars characters for the boys. Moms like a little attention every so often. Probably Dads too.
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    Jun 04, 2012 9:39 PM GMT
    chocolate bars or chicken nuggets. I use to love those and still do.
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    Jun 05, 2012 5:50 PM GMT
    Thanks Guys, you've given me lots to consider. This is going to be interesting to see what appeals most.
    Especially appreciate the reminders for the kids.
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    Jun 05, 2012 5:51 PM GMT
    catch saidHow about something practical that can be used outside of sessions while still encouraging exercise and physical activity? Some cheaper, low-tier rewards could be hula hoops, frisbees, skip-its, badminton rackets/birdies, things like that.

    Not gonna lie though, if someone gave me a skip-it I've have a lot of difficulty actually using it due to the weight of my gigantic nostalgia boner.


    Thanks. These are some cool ideas I think the kids will love.
  • Timbales

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    Jun 05, 2012 10:13 PM GMT
    Water bottles
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    Jun 05, 2012 10:23 PM GMT
    We've had a lot of success in giving out tokens to the kids when they accomplish something and then at the end of the year, usually field day, they can trade them in for prizes or to get to do something special. The more tokens they've collected through the year, the more they can purchase.There's also a continuing debate if we should take away tokens as a disciplinary measure. We haven't done that yet.
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    Jun 05, 2012 10:27 PM GMT
    one observation: don't be desperate. ever. your thinking gets clouded.