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

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


Analyze Character Motivations. When reading stories or watching shows with your child, ask his opinion about why he thinks such-and-such character is doing what they are doing. What motivates Pooh Bear to get honey? Why does Darth Vader want Luke Skywalker to join the Dark Side? Analyzing the behaviors of others helps raise children’s awareness of what drives their own behavior.

Scrapbooking. Scrapbooking can involve reflective journaling, drawing, collages, stickers and more. It adds pictures and other visual elements that animate your child’s reflective process. Just like a personal journal, this requires respecting your child’s privacy.

Meditation. A very real way for your child to notice their thoughts and emotions is through short periods of meditation. By anchoring herself to her breath and paying attention to whatever ideas and feelings come up, your child will come face to face with her own mind.

Personal Morning Routine. Ask and discuss with your child what he wants to do each morning to help himself prepare for a great day. This might include waking up to a particular song, having time to read, playing with toys once he’s ready for school, or anything else that puts him in a good frame of mind at the start of each day.

Gratitude. Over dinner or near the end of the day, take a couple minutes to share one thing you are grateful for and one thing you think you did well that day (are proud of). Invite your child and other family members to share!

What other activities can you do to cultivate children’s interpersonal intelligence?

Share your ideas!

*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!

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
  12. 5 Activities that Strengthen Children’s Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
  13. The Musical Intelligence: How to Identify Music-Smart Learners
  14. 5 Activities to Strengthen Your Child’s Music Smarts
  15. People-Smart: The Interpersonal Intelligence
  16. Self-Smart: The Intrapersonal Intelligence
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