Play is activity that is fun and for young children, it can be a wide range of activities from exploring a new board game, puzzle, building blocks to pretend play with friends and even hide-and-seek outdoors. While parents can identify what is play, it may be harder to recognize that there are multiple intelligences that a child can have. Being intelligent is not limited to scoring spelling test or being strong in mathematics, it can mean a child is good with music, arts, athletic and interpersonal skills. Recognizing the area that a child is strong in can be tapped to help him/her understand concepts through that particular area.
Below are 8 areas that possibly some of these play activities can help your child build his intelligence!
Interpersonal skills -
Negotiating who be what in pretend play, how to take turns, who play the catcher in hide-and-seek involves interpersonal, leadership and negotiation skills. These are essential skills in life and learning how to ask for help and help others can improve one’s school work as well.
Emotional skills -
Finding out the strengths and weakness in a ball game and setting goals to improve and reflect on one’s performance is a critical skill. The ability to deal with disappointment after losing a game and regrouping to improve is an emotional strength that can be built via play.
Physical development -
Young children needs all the external stimulation and motivation to reach for that ball and in the course of doing so, learn how to maneuver his/her body. Older children may understand certain concepts via acting it out. Others may be gifted in drama or fitness!
Language skills -
Certain games such as board or card word games can build a child’s language skills. As language skills is what the school is likely already focusing on, what the parent can do is to explore other fun ways of learning such as ‘I Spy’ or having a game of who is the first to list 100 words starting with a certain alphabet!
Logic skills -
Much of what we associate with IQ is logical thinking. This is an area where recognizing where a child is strong in can be used to explain certain logical concepts they find hard to grasp. For instance, drawing a certain concept (for a child who is good at arts) instead of explaining using words may help the child to learn better.
Singing, rhythm, tone and timbre are all talents. Should a child like to engage in music-based play, such as making music via percussion with a group of friends, parents can encourage further development in this area.
Arts and Design -
Many play activities involve creativity and in a certain sense, building blocks, doodling, play dough all requires that. Such creative skills are increasingly important in today’s workplace as well.
Sense for Nature/Environment -
Some children understand concepts better through observing how plants grow, how animals need food and oxygen, while others are very good in nurturing plants and pets! Many of these concepts are covered in science and exposing to nature can encourage more learning than reading about them for some children.
As you can see, learning is dynamic and for young children, play should be encouraged. Parents can join in too and allow yourself to be a child and discover your strengths anew!