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Does your child enjoy learning more when it involves physical activity? Body-smart learners enjoy hands-on activities that incorporate movement. In my experience, this includes every student I’ve ever worked with!

In the last post of this series about Dr. Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, we learned how to identify characteristics of the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. Now we’ll look at some activities you can do at home to strengthen your child’s body-smarts. 

Remember, regardless of how each person is most inclined to learn, everyone is gifted with all nine intelligences. Improve your family’s body-smarts by incorporating these activities into your week!

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Play Catch. Although this sounds simple, throwing and catching a ball develops significant hand-eye coordination. Vary it up according to your child’s skill level by playing catch with different objects (beach ball, bean bag, baseball) and by increasing the distance between you.

Balancing. Balance beams are everywhere: fallen trees, curbs, short walls, a line of chalk on the driveway – be creative! Other balance-related activities include hopping on one foot, walking on tiptoes, doing headstands and handstands, or jumping from one spot to another.

Play Kick. Much like playing catch, playing kick is a fun and easy way to develop coordination and muscle control. As your child’s skills improve you can move farther apart, practice passing back and forth while running across the yard, and play keep-away.

Dancing. Make up a dance with your child, dance silly for fun, or teach dances like the Macarena, the Twist, the Chicken Dance or the Electric Slide. Learning different dance routines is a fun way to develop memory as well!

Obstacle Course. When in doubt, create an obstacle course that requires jumping, crawling, climbing, balancing, bean bag tossing, hula-hooping & more. You and your child can work together to create a fun and physically engaging course, either indoors or out.

*Parts of this post are taken from The Everything Parent’s Guide to Raising Mindful Children (Adams Media), a book I authored along with partner Jeremy Wardle. Order your copy here!

 What other activities can families do to cultivate their bodily-kinesthetic intelligence?

Share your ideas here!

Want to catch up? Read these earlier posts from the Multiple Intelligence series:

  1. Multiple Intelligences: An Overview For Parents (p.1)
  2. Multiple Intelligences: An Overview For Parents (p.2)
  3. The Linguistic Intelligence: How to Identify Word-Smart Learners
  4. Cultivate Your Linguistic Intelligence: Activities for Word-Smart Learners
  5. The Logical-Mathematical Intelligence: What Is A Logic-Smart Learner?
  6. Activities to Strengthen Your Child’s Logic-Smarts
  7. What is the Naturalist Intelligence?
  8. 6 Activities to Strengthen Your Child’s Nature-Smarts
  9. The Spatial Intelligence: How to Identify Picture-Smart Learners
  10. 5 Activities to Strengthen Your Child’s Spatial Intelligence
  11. The Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence: How to Identify Body-Smart Learners
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