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Want to know how to nurture your child’s logical-mathematical intelligence? You’re in the right place!

In the last post we learned how to identify the characteristics of this intelligence, one of nine described in Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Now it’s time to see where the rubber meets the road, and look at some activities parents can do at home with their kids to strengthen their logic smarts.

For those who are not primarily logical-mathematical learners, the activities below are still awesome and valuable. Remember, regardless of how your child is most inclined to learn, everyone is gifted with all nine intelligences. To improve your family’s logic smarts, just incorporate some of these activities into your day!

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Play Cards. Interactive games that involve numbers and mental math are a great way to improve this intelligence. The games will vary depending on the skill level of the child, however some classic card games to consider include blackjack (aka 21), crazy eights, gin rummy, and go fish (to name a few).

Food Math. Anytime you’re sitting down to lunch or snack with the kids, try turning it into Food Math. Turn elements of the meal into word problems, and be creative! If you have goldfish, for example: “Imagine you’re a hungry shark trying to catch these little fish. How many fish do you see? How many will be left if the shark eats 6?” (Adjust questions to child’s skill level). Invite them to give you food math challenges as well!

Create Mini-Mysteries. Kids love to solve mysteries. Create a mini-scavenger hunt, where the kids have to answer riddles and collect clues hidden around the house or outside to solve the mystery. If it can include some kind of treasure map, all the better. For example: the case of the missing ninja turtle!

Create a Maze or Cross-Word Puzzle. This one is fun and fairly self-explanatory. This can be done as individuals or as teams, then trade the maze or cross-word puzzle with someone else and try to solve it. It can be a lot of fun to make these into reusable laminated place mats.

Pattern Games. Any opportunity to organize objects by color, size, shape, number, mammals, reptiles, etc. This can be done with toys, food, leaves, rocks, numbers and more. Take advantage of any opportunity to point out patterns in the environment, and to ask your child what patterns they notice. Want a particularly great card game for identifying patterns? Check out Set.

Secret Codes. Breaking a secret code to read a secret message? Kids LOVE it. A simple way to do this that also reinforces number and letter recognition is to equate each letter to a number, such that A=1, B=2, etc. Write a joke, tongue twister or riddle using the number code, and give them a cheat sheet so they know what letter each number represents. 13 1 11 5   19 5 14 19 5?

*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!

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A word to the wise:

These activities offer great opportunities for the family to spend time with one another, so keep the mood light-hearted. Competition is not the purpose, having fun is. The learning that takes place is a powerfully quiet side effect of having a good time with mom and dad!

What other activities could families do to cultivate their logical-mathematical 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?

 

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