Do we all possess a natural Intelligence? In a way yes, bare with me here.
In 1983, Howard Gardner, an American psychologist came up with the theory of multiple intelligence. He realized everyone learns in their own way, using patterns unique to them. He broke the traditional way of learning in which students must “receive, memorize, and repeat” information.
Everyone has a natural way of learning they are born with, hence we all learn and process information differently. If we can distinguish what type of intelligence our children have, we can help them excel and feed their natural enthusiasm of learning.
There are 8 types of intelligence in Gardners theory and traits of each type can be seen in the early stages of development (even before their first words are spoken.)
While you're going through the different forms, remember to compare your child to each intelligence type. Don’t just pick the one you’d like them to have but see if the characteristics match. It’s true that we can posses more than one type however, only one will dominate.
Lets get started, this is exciting!
Children that possess visual intelligence like to use their eyes. They are easily intrigued by pictures, maps, graphs, and charts. They don’t do well with lectures, sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher talk all day is a nightmare. However, If they are given something they can look at and analyze they are gleeful.
Grab their attention and help them learn by buying books with pictures. For example, a geography book with tons of colorful maps will do the trick. Or perhaps, a book on animals and animal life with real and engaging photographs will have them interested.
Another way to help them learn is through demonstrations. If you say something along the lines of: “the human body has 206 bones” your child will likely forget that information pretty quickly. On the other hand, show them a picture of the skeletal system, chances are they will remember the new information and will be intrigued enough to learn more. Visual props do wonders with these kids, they process information better and are able to retain it with ease.
They enjoy reading so fill their rooms with tons book and if pretty pictures are involved, even better!
Another point worth mentioning, these kids naturally use visualization techniques to help them remember. Which explains why they have an excellent sense of navigation. They visualize maps and directions in their mind. You know how some people look at a map once and know how to get around without another glimpse (a trait I most certainly do not possess.) Well this is because they quite literally see the map in their mind, they memorize it with zero effort.
Details are easily remembered as well. If you're walking with your child and they’re constantly pointing out small details and changes from a day or week before then your little one most likely possesses visual intelligence. They are super keen on details. If you want to help them learn, think ‘memory games’ they are a favorite here.
And if you’re looking for an extracurricular activity for your munchkin look into art classes (come on, you had to see this one coming.)
Bodily - kinesthetic intelligence
If you’re baby started walking early theres a good chance he or she possesses bodily intelligence. These kids are sports driven, they have outstanding balance, and can pick up any sport with ease.
They are very well aware of their body and its functions which gives them amazing control of their movements. Gardner mentions: “The evolution of bodily movement is an obvious advantage of the human species.” It allows for flexibility of the body which in turn feeds into the flexibility of the mind. These children are very kind and non judgmental as individuals, they like to listen and understand whats being said to them.
They make great athletes, dancers, and gymnasts. Sign them up for sports from an early age, they will thank you for it later.
If you want to help these munchkins learn better try making presentations and include role playing as much as possible. This intelligence type doesn’t like sitting in one place all day. They physically cant do it, they will get fussy and cranky. Nobody wants that!
This intellect type is very interested in human anatomy and physiology help them learn about the human body. As an idea, let them give you a presentation on how the body works, they will have a blast.
Does your little one create a musical instrument from everything they see, do you have an orchestra of pots and pans at home? Well, its quite possible your raising a Mozart in the making. These kids have great rhythm, they love sound and love to sing. Have them choose an instrument they like and send them off to music classes, they are sure to excel.
Use music to help them learn. As an example, find out what music was popular during different periods in history and connect music to a history lesson. They will likely enjoy learning about different time periods in history and will better retain information if it’s connected to something they enjoy.
Encourage them to create songs and rhymes to better remember topics taught in school. They will have fun creating and learning will be easier. Since we’re on the topic of school, this intellect type does better when they study with light background music. Turn on some light classical music while they study. For this intellect type, background music, engages their mind.
Intrapersonal intelligence can simply be defined as, those who look with in. Often times these children are underestimated because they’re so quiet and to themselves. However, these little munchkins are self motivated and love knowledge.
Often times you may find these kids starring into the abyss: your first thought may be that they’re zoning out but on the contrary they’re actually in deep thought. Being that they’re deep thinkers, their brains never stop working, constantly trying to figure something out, solve a problem, or just wonder about life. It’s easy to underestimate these children because they’re so quite and and will almost never reveal to you what they are thinking. But don’t be fooled if one day they prove (or disprove) the string theory, you shouldn’t be surprised.
They set high goals for themselves and make decisions based on facts vs feelings. Which explains why they have such high achievement capabilities. They will always set goals, make decisions based on facts, and bring their latest project to completion.
They do have an intense need for perfection which may (at times) hinder them more than help them. These kids will likely deny the concept of “nobody is perfect” perfection exists for them, its something they strive to, a way of life. On the other hand, the need for perfection makes them meticulous in performing any task and they do it in the most effective and efficient way they can.
Help make learning fun by giving them a project to work on. I know this sounds far from fun but believe me these kids love projects. Since they are introverted they like to work alone so give them a comfortable space to work in and let them do their magic.
Can you’re little one methodically talk you into eating cookies for dinner? Or perhaps their sarcasm is better then yours and you cant figure out where they get this wit from. Well good news, bad news here: good news, these kids grow up to be amazing politicians. Bad news, they will almost always figure out a way to out smart you.
Interpersonal intelligence describes the behavior between people in an encounter. How skillful a person is in understanding and dealing with others. These kids are natural charmers and love to socialize, see why they make great politicians?
They have no problem conversing with new people regardless of their age differences. They will always find something to talk about. They are very outgoing, they get along with everyone, they love people, and love to communicate.
When it comes to learning, group work is the best way to keep them engaged. They do best when working and learning with friends. Take a trip with a few of their friends to a museum and watch them learn together.
Those who possess linguistic intelligence are always early talkers. They say their first words way before anyone in their age group (in some cases as early as 6 months) its almost unbelievable how early they start talking.
They experiment with words, creating new songs, riddles, and stories.
Play scrabble and crosswords with them, they will enjoy anything that involves putting letters together and finding words. You can also make a habit of learning a few new words together each week. New words give them a broader vocabulary and increase their confidence and power to create new sentences.
Fill their room with tons of books if you can build shelves on the walls, make a “library wall.” They will enjoy looking at all the books, reading, and rereading. Give them a soft comfy chair so they have their own special place to read.
Logical - mathematical intelligence
These monsters (in a cute way off course) are all about the logic. If you’ve ever spurted out “because I told you so, thats why” You already know thats a phrase that will not work. Unless its backed up with logical reasoning you’re getting nowhere with this one. Logic and math are their friends. These kids like the idea of a correct answer. They enjoy problem solving and calculating. I know its hard to believe that someone out there enjoys math but at least you’ll never have to persuade them into doing their math homework they’ll likely do it just because they like it.
These kids are the future architects and engineers of the world. Help them reach their potential by giving them puzzles and playing games involving problem solving techniques. Building toys are the best tools to help them learn. Toys like Wodibow toys are my favorite organic building toy for this intellect type. You can be certain your little one will use logic to figure out how and where to place each piece.
Another fun activity, have them come up with a theory and prove it. You can even use Wodibow My Way for this. They can come up with the most efficient road given some road blocks that you will set up beforehand. Have them prove to you why their method is the most efficient (try to prove them wrong, this should be fun.)
These sweethearts love the outdoors. Anything to do with nature puts a smile on their face. They’re fascinated by climate changes, how seasons change, animals, edible plants, everything to do with mother nature. Somehow they’re capable of easily distinguishing diverse plants, animals, even cloud configurations
Let them plant something, anything! They will be gleeful seeing seeds turn into leaves, and growing bigger and bigger.
During fall foliage take them to a scenic area, let them roll around in the leaves, or take a hike (when they’re older) they will talk about it for months to come.
With an intense interest in learning about nature you can feed their curiosity with books and diagrams. Buy them a books on botany, animals, oceanography, or anything else involving nature they will bury they little noses in their books.
A great place for them to study is the outdoors, it has an effect of putting them at piece. If you have a balcony or a backyard, set up an area just for them where they will be comfortable reading and learning. If you don’t have outside space in your home go to a green park nearby and grab their favorite book. Let them sit on the grass surrounded by trees and plants and read. Bring snacks because its likely they will want to stay all day (and night)
Did you figure out which of the eight types of intelligence your child has, its not always easy but if you remember their earliest days it should give you a hint.
Did your baby start talking early? - Linguistic intelligence
Did your baby start walking early? - Bodily intelligence
Do they love music? Can you calm them down by singing or playing a song - Musical intelligence
Their are many hints but remember we all posses multiple types of intelligence but only one is dominant.
What type of intelligence does your sweetheart have?