Can we Stimulate the Intelligence of our Children?

There are 8 types of intelligences and all of them can be enhanced in children. Here we tell you some tricks.

Intelligence is the ability to order thoughts and coordinate them with actions. Babies and children, to develop their full intellectual potential, must have opportunities, from day one, to touch, see, hear and move.
Valuing intelligence solely by IQ is a thing of the past. Howard Gardner, a psychologist and researcher at Harvard University, revolutionized the concept of intelligence with his theory of multiple intelligences, based on the fact that each person has at least eight intelligences or cognitive abilities : musical, body-kinetic, logical- mathematical, linguistic, spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturopathic. Babies are already born with all these intelligences, so parents and educators must know and enhance them. Later, each human being will develop some more than others.
The theory of multiple intelligences forces educators and parents to observe the diverse capacities of infants, children and young people and to stimulate the intelligences in a new way.

8 types of intelligence

Below we review the eight intelligences that Gardner refers to and how we can enhance them in the little ones:

Linguistic intelligence

In boys and girls it is observed in their ability to write, read, tell stories or do crosswords.

How to enhance it

When they are small:

  • Speaking correctly to babies (not imitating their language or babbling …).
  • Read stories with them (adapt the level to the age).
  • Teach him letters through games.
  • Pay attention to the writing of your name, to the street signs …

When they are older, it is important to encourage them to read novels and poems so that they enjoy reading and develop their imagination. In addition, it is convenient to teach them rhymes and word games from a very young age and, if possible, in different languages.
Play with them to change the meaning of words and say tongue twisters , encourage them to look for arguments to defend their ideas, wishes or proposals, solve crossword puzzles and play games as a family that stimulate language, such as hangman, “I see-I see” … they are good alternatives. Without forgetting to offer the children pencils, crayons and papers so that they can enjoy writing.

Logical-mathematical intelligence

It translates into an interest in measurement standards, categories, and relationships. It is related to the interest in solving arithmetic problems , strategy games and experiments.

How to enhance it

The best way is to offer children activities related to numbers. From a young age you can start to tell them how many things there are, count steps, steps, objects … Anything that has to do with weights and measures in the kitchen (cooking with them helps a lot as a recreational activity) is also effective, as well as inviting Children to sort their toys or personal items by color, size, or utility.
All activities related to computers and electronic games , as well as card games, dominoes or other strategy games are good allies.

Body Intelligence and Kinetics

It has to do with the ease of processing knowledge through bodily sensations ( sport , dance, crafts …).

How to enhance it

In the baby we can stimulate their psychomotor development through crawling and crawling, as well as performing vestibular activities such as rocking and rolling them like a croquette. As they grow older, it is positive to suggest that children participate in sports and physical activities to stimulate this intelligence, but also dance and build with blocks or cubes.

Visual and spatial intelligence

It translates into the ease of solving puzzles , in the dedication of free time to drawing, in the preference for constructive games, etc.

How to enhance it

All the drawing and painting activities that children love so much stimulate spatial intelligence. From babies, they can paint with their hands and put their “works of art” on a large card.
Also, when they are older we can take them to museums or teach them to observe and enjoy works of art . Watching films, videos and photographs, doing puzzles, acting in plays, making construction games, models and sculptures of plasticine, clay, sand and other materials, as well as making plans and maps of real or imaginary places are other things that we can do to stimulate this type of intelligence. When we go on a trip it is a good time to show them a map of the place, how we got to it and what route we must follow to get to a specific place.

Interpersonal Intelligence (social intelligence)

Ease of communicating effectively and a tendency to become leaders in their groups . Children who have it more developed understand well the feelings of others and easily project interpersonal relationships.

How to enhance it

Giving the baby the opportunity to be in contact with peers to share games, toys and experiences. In addition, stimulating teamwork and doing collective projects both at school and in the family helps develop interpersonal skills.
It is important to encourage children to have friends, hang out with them, and participate in parties and group activities as a way to develop interpersonal intelligence, as well as playing on a sports team or being part of a club for any activity.

Intrapersonal intelligence

It is related to the capacity that one has to know himself: his reactions, emotions and inner life.

How to enhance it

In the baby it is more difficult but it can be stimulated by teaching him to differentiate his own emotions , that is: to tell him when he is happy, sad or angry.
It is also important to respect the moments of solitude and silence in children if we want them to have intrapersonal intelligence, as well as reflection about their actions. Educating emotional intelligence leads to the development of the inner life in children.

Musical intelligence

Children frequently express themselves with songs and sounds. This type of intelligence is related to the ease of identifying sounds, musical notes, instruments …

How to enhance it

The best way to stimulate musical intelligence is to surround the child with a musical environment from birth . Putting on music, singing, dancing and following the rhythm… these are actions that will stimulate this type of intelligence if you live them from birth around you. When they are babies it is essential to use the simple percussion instruments. Older, he may be encouraged to sing alone or in a choir and learn to play any instrument as part of his after-school activities.

Naturalistic intelligence

It has to do with the ease of communication with nature ; which consists of the understanding of the natural environment and the scientific observation of nature such as biology, geology or astronomy

How to enhance it

The baby must have contact with nature so that he learns to respect and love it , because we are part of it. The child can be encouraged to carry out activities related to the care of nature such as: giving him responsibilities in the care of the garden and family pets . It is also about promoting contact with nature through sports, games, the observation of animals of all kinds, etc.
In this sense, visits to the zoo and places rich in fauna and flora are interesting , as well as putting books, films, videos and television programs with information about the life of wild animals or unknown to them at their disposal. Finally, and related to all this, it is positive to promote responsibility in the consumption and use of water, energy or the recycling of waste.

  • Intelligence is a universal faculty that is found in all human beings and that allows us to face problems and solve them.
  • Howard Gardner revolutionized the concept of intelligence with his theory of multiple intelligences.
  • All babies are born with these intelligences and later, each human being will develop some more than others.

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