Most movers and shakers of this world, besides having undeniable leadership skills, have one more thing in common: they have developed their intrapersonal intelligence to the point where they have gained higher self-knowledge and have a clear vision of their goals and how to achieve them.
Even though, according to Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory, we are born with two or three dominant intelligence ( for example, a person can have strong visual-spatial intelligence and bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, which means that s/he will understand the world and learn better by using these two abilities) that doesn’t mean that throughout our lives we can’t develop other intelligences outside of our comfort zone.
As I said, some people have an innate intrapersonal ability and this can be identified through observation from childhood (or if the child is a little older -can read and write- s/he can take this short test).
Read more about Intrapersonal Intelligence characteristics and how you can help your intrapersonal learner at home.
Now that you have established that your little learner has an intrapersonal intelligence what can you do? It’s time to encourage and nurture it through specific activities.
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What Activities would an Intrapersonal Learner enjoy?
An intrapersonal learner prefers activities that allow him/her to work alone and needs time to analyze and reflect on what s/he has learnt. So here are a few activities that a child with intrapersonal skills will enjoy and benefit from:
1. Single-player Puzzles- We recommend:
- Rubiks’s Cube
- Rush Hour
- Little Red Riding Hood
- Mini Muffin Match Up
- Simon (can be played as single, two players or against the computer)
- Castle Logix
- Robot Turtle Game
- Suspend Junior Balance Game
2. Keeping a record of their activities through journaling, scrapbooks, photo albums
3. Writing down their goals and the steps needed to achieve them.
4. Yoga, meditating and mindfulness exercises
5. Hobbies like photography, collecting different objects (flowers, sticks, stones, toy cars, marbles etc), gardening, origami, coding, doing magic tricks.
6. Treasure hunts
7. Talking/Writing about events (in the world or in their lives) and how they make him/her feel
8. Writing stories and essays from their point of view
9. Reading independently
10. Taking time to analyze what they have learnt and applying it in real life.
Activities for Intrapersonal Skills in combination with other Intelligences
When talking about Multiple Intelligences, it is important to remember that we do not only possess one dominant intelligence but two or even three.
This means that when setting up activities for your intrapersonal learner try to integrate both dominant abilities.
So let’s take a look at some activities for intrapersonal intelligence in combination with some of the other intelligences.
1. Intrapersonal Intelligence + Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
- Using role-play to act out the material learnt. For example, if they learn about famous explorers like Christopher Columbus or Captain James Cook, allow them to recreate one of their famous adventures.
- Single-person sports like swimming, dancing, golf, horse riding, surfing, scuba diving etc.
- Building objects from Lego bricks, bristle blocks or cubes to illustrate ideas from lessons.
- Tinkering equipment
- Building models. For example, if learning about volcanoes, what better activity than building a model of a volcano.
2. Intrapersonal Intelligence + Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
- Coding and computer programming
- Solving puzzles
- Performing experiments to demonstrate scientific concepts
- Creating timelines and organizing information
- Creating patterns and analyzing them
3. Intrapersonal Intelligence + Visual-Spatial Intelligence
- Creating and analyzing maps
- Creating diagrams, charts, mind maps to organize information
- Expressing themselves through photography
- Painting and drawing
- Using play-dough to illustrate different concepts
- Brainstorming and visualising ideas before bringing them to life
4. Intrapersonal Intelligence + Musical Intelligence
- Listening to audiobooks
- Creating songs or raps to describe the lesson topic
- Playing a musical instrument
- Writing/Reciting poetry and analyzing its rhythm
- Using clapping and rhythm to memorize different concepts
5. Intrapersonal Intelligence + Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence
- Playing word puzzles
- Blogging and journaling
- Writing stories/summaries/ essays/poetry
- Reading aloud
- Creating a podcast
6. Intrapersonal Intelligence + Naturalistic Intelligence
- Gardening: plating and caring for various plants
- Caring for an animal
- Collecting flowers, sticks, stones, shells etc
- Going on nature walks
- Recycling and taking care of the environment
Because people with intrapersonal intelligence tend to be interested in constantly bettering themselves, it would be a good idea to direct your child towards age-appropriate self-development activities like reading books, travelling, house chores, workshops for kids (even though some intrapersonal learners may be introverts and prefer their own company and that of their immediate social circle, encouraging them to socialise by enrolling them in workshops and courses will have many benefits).
Before we go
Discovering what types of intelligence your child has by watching him/her play and interact with the environment, will allow you to embrace your child’s uniqueness and teach him/her in a way that matches his personality type. By gaining a deeper understanding of how your child learns can also be of invaluable help for his/her teachers at school. They will be better equipped to help your child blossom through his/her unique set of abilities.
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Mom of two wonderful children, dedicated teacher and book lover.