Mimi and the Grands

Educating Through Multiple Intelligences

We’re In Distance Learning Mode – Weeks One and Two

Welcome to my blog. For those of you new to reading my blog, let me introduce myself. I am a retired educator who babysits my grandsons several days a week. I do not use their real names when I write, so in my blog I call them Tigger, Kona, and Tahoe. In the past I have written my blogs about teaching my grands using Multiple Intelligences. When the grands were preschoolers, these lessons could be done on the days I watched them, and were meant to enhance what they would learn in a preschool setting. As the grands got older and went to public school, my study units were created to enrich what the boys were learning in their classroom. Of course, these lessons were done only if time allowed after the grands finished their homework.

This year, however, is very different. Now, with the worries about the impact of Covid-19 on our children (and the school staff), my grands are Distance Learning through their elementary school. I am supervising their learning 5 days a week, since their parents (also teachers) are working from home, but need to focus on their own students at the same time that their children are Distance Learning. I will be blogging about my experiences as a “backup teacher” for my grandsons as we all begin this Distance Learning journey. My hope is that my blog might help those of you who are also taking care of children who are Distance Learning, since this experience is new for all of us. Along the way, I hope to incorporate Multiple Intelligences when I have to review, reteach, or enrich the learning that my grandsons are receiving.

If you need more information about Multiple Intelligences, you can refer to some of my earliest blogs about each intelligence which can be found in the right side under Multiple Intelligence Overview. I also have a blog which explains techniques to use for each intelligence on this blog:


To prepare myself for the first week, I created a planning calendar for each day with everyone’s schedule and other reminders. I used a spiral notebook, ruler, and pencil to create five columns for each grandson, as well as their mom and dad’s schedule. I also printed all the information we had received from their teachers and put them into a notebook for reference.

Additionally, I own a large chalkboard and moved it into their den. I will use it to write each grandson’s daily schedule, and for reteaching of lessons.

Reflections on Week One and Two

This will be a steep learning curve for me for sure. All the grandsons were able to get into their Zoom classes on time and met their wonderful teachers. For the first few days, most of the Zoom time was spent with introductions, icebreakers, and going over some of the technology the students would need to access lessons and turn in work. I had to learn this information too, and sometimes I had to get help from their parents (when my son-in-law or daughter were in between classes or on a break from their own teaching). I’m sure the boys and I both will get better at the new technologies and apps as the school year continues.

Another challenge for me was to keep track of where everyone was working. All the grandsons have their own desks for their classwork in different parts of the house, to keep them separated when they are on Zoom. For the first two days, it was just a matter of walking between three bedrooms, but on the third day, Tahoe and Kona decided to work in new locations in the house. Ackkk! I guess the boys needed the chance to move around, and on the positive side, I was getting more steps logged into my pedometer app as I searched for them. (One day I had logged in 4,000 steps by Noon and hadn’t even left the house.)

Since one of the grandsons is a seventh grader, he has multiple classes, teachers, and thus Zoom meetings. This is all new for my grandson and I wanted to make sure I gave him more attention during these first few weeks. Most days he will have a “block schedule” so he has half of his periods for a longer class session. However, on Friday, he has all 7 periods within 4 and 1/2 hours with only 5 minute breaks in between which is just enough time for him to run to the bathroom before logging into his next Zoom meeting. I brought him a snack after 4th period since he had no time to get one himself and he needed the energy to get through the next three class sessions. Hopefully both Tigger and I will get used to the frantic Friday schedule during the next few weeks.

Besides helping the grandsons with their schooling, I make sure there is food on the kitchen counter so everyone can quickly grab a snack. Usually I cut up some fruit and vegetables ahead of time (like celery and apples), set out a bowl of whole wheat crackers or trail mix, take out a few yogurt sticks from the freezer, and set out their cups for drinks. At lunch time, I place sandwich fixings on the kitchen counter, or if I have time, I heat up leftovers or make something quick like quesadillas. We’ve had really hot days lately, so I’ve made smoothies for afternoon snacks.

Reteaching or Review of Concepts

While a lot of the work assigned for the first week, especially for Tigger, was to complete the diagnostic pretests in English Language Arts and Math, the younger two grandsons did have some math and science/social studies assignments to complete online. By the second week, the 3rd and 5th grader had a regular day’s worth of assignments and the 7th grader was immersed in Zoom class sessions all morning. Our rule at the house is that an adult has to check the boys’ completed practice work before it is submitted to the teacher to make sure it is complete and that the grands have understood their work. When the boys asked for help, or I saw mistakes in their work, I would reteach those concepts. Moreover, I plan to do some review of these concepts on subsequent days because the brain needs many repeats of concepts to go into the long term memory. Here are some of the topics that I reinforced with the grands for weeks one and two:

Multiplication facts: Tahoe, 3rd grade, was introduced to multiplication as repeated addition, shown arrays, patterns, and word problems. I had already written a whole blog about this when Kona was in 3rd grade so I will use some of those strategies with Tahoe. One of these is to create a hopscotch grid on the driveway and place times tables in each box. Each time the boys hop into a square, they will need to tell the product. Bonus: This can also count as their p.e. minutes for the logs they have to complete for their teachers.  Here is the blog:



Decimals: Kona, 5th grade, is working on ordering decimals, place value, equivalent decimals, word form and expanded form.  And he will need these concepts reviewed throughout the year as well, so here are the strategies I plan to use to reinforce these concepts for Kona:

Bodily-Kinesthetic: Kona is taking notes in pencil, and typing his answers on his worksheets already, but I also have Kona work out similar problems to the ones on his practice worksheet on the chalkboard. This way he gets extra practice in the same format that he will probably see on the test, and he is using chalk instead of a pencil which is a different bodily-kinesthetic experience.

Spatial: I have purchased a product called Decimal Squares for the grands to utilize throughout the year. I used these when I taught fourth and fifth grade, and I found them to be a great way to help students understand visually the basic decimal concepts. You can find information on this product online if you are interested. I am showing a picture of the main components of this kit, which are the decimal squares with tenths, hundredths, and thousandths cards.


Friendly letters:   Kona is being taught how to write a friendly letter. I want to reinforce the parts of the friendly letter and their placement in the letter. Here are some strategies:

Spatial: I will cut up a friendly letter into parts and have Kona put them in their correct location like a puzzle.

Musical: I found a cute song on Pinterest that teaches the parts of a friendly letter to the tune of “The Eensy, Weensey Spider” which I think Kona and Tahoe will enjoy. I won’t post the link here, but it is easy to find in an internet search.

Root Words: Kona will have to learn 100 Latin and Greek words this year. To help him review the roots and their definitions,  I plan to use these strategies:

Bodily Kinesthetic and Interpersonal: Outdoor Tic Tac Toe: Using sidewalk chalk, I will create a large tic tac toe grid and place the root words inside each square. To play, Kona and a brother or other relative will choose squares for their “X” or “O” and give the definition for the root word in that square. If they don’t know the definition or get it wrong, they lose their turn. (I will give Tahoe a cheat sheet to use if he plays with Kona since Tahoe is in a younger grade and hasn’t covered root words yet. Bonus: Tahoe will have some experience in these root words before he reaches 5th grade.)

Spatial: While the teacher has some virtual flash cards for the students to use, I will have Kona create spatial flash cards using index cards. On one side will be the root word and on the other side will be a picture of the definition.

Vocabulary in Science and Social Studies: All three grandsons will need to learn specialized vocabulary words so I need some Multiple Intelligence strategies for them to use for the reinforcement of these terms.

Bodily-Kinesthetic and Interpersonal: An easy way to have them review these words is to act them out. The grands can pantomime a word individually on their own or play a game of charades with their brothers or parents. They can even combine their vocabulary words into a little skit. For example, Tahoe is reading about the responsibilities of citizens and some of his vocabulary words are vote, candidate, and ballot. I will model for them how to put together a skit (by themselves or with someone else in the household) how to use all three of those words into a little performance. (I used this strategy with my fourth and fifth grade students when I worked in a the public school and it was something they enjoyed very much.)

Positive and Negative Numbers: Tigger is working on these numbers (including whole numbers, decimals, and fractions) on a number line to show the numbers’ location and using the number line to add and subtract these numbers. So these strategies might help him practice them:

Spatial: I’ll have Tigger create a sidewalk chalk numberline to help him practice the locations of the positive and negative numbers, as well as use it to practice his operations. 

Musical: I found some raps and songs that explain operations with positive and negative integers on onlinemathlearning.com and flocabulary.com.

Spelling words: All the grands have spelling words so I will give them Multiple Intelligence strategies to help them practice them. 

Spatial: They can write each word with crayons or colored pencils using blue crayons for consonants and red crayons for vowels.

Logical Mathematical: Assign a number to each letter of the alphabet and then have them spell the words with numbers. My father used this strategy with me with I was little. The letter “A” would be the number “1”, the letter “B” would be the number “2”, all the way down the alphabet to the letter “Z” which is the number “26” of course. I would place this code on a sheet of paper or on the chalkboard for reference which the grands would use to spell their words with the numbers. For example: One of Tahoe’s spelling words this week is “conflicts” so he could spell it with numbers “3-15-14-6-12-9-3-20-19” using such a code.

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So for as long as this Distance Learning mode continues, I want to blog about my journey and hope there is something within my explanations that will help other caregivers who find themselves in the same position. If there is something you found useful, or if you have struggles with Distance Learning that I haven’t addressed in this blog, please leave a comment.

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The Sun and Solar System Multiple Intelligence Unit

I  have three active grandsons that I love to babysit several days a week, and I like to keep them busy with lots of activities that are enriching and possibly educational. My youngest grandson, Tahoe, is in first grade and will be learning about the Sun, its influence on Earth, and other objects in our solar system. My oldest grandson, Tigger (10) will also be studying the solar system and universe in school for fifth grade. And of course, Kona (8) loves reading about the planets and the rest of the solar system.

That’s why I planned some multiple intelligences activities surrounding the sun and the solar system for my grands. We have already completed some of these activities, and others can be done later in the month. Some of the activities I can use with the grands for their homework assignments (such as their nightly recreational reading), but the rest of the activities I will do with them as they have time after their homework, free play time, sports activities, etc. We also worked on this study unit during Spring Break, which meant I could do more of these multiple intelligence activities with all three grands.

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

Read and discuss books- It’s always nice to include books as part of any study unit, especially since the grands can use the books for their reading homework and take the Accelerated Reader quizzes at school. I usually get my books from the library. There are many books from which to choose, but I was focusing on first grader, Tahoe, so I chose books which covered those science standards. Several of the books were at a higher reading level, so they were great books for the older grandsons to read with me or by themselves.

Solar System by Samantha Bell is a good book with which to start this unit especially for my early reader, Tahoe. It gives the basic information about the sun, moon, planets, asteroids, meteoroids, and comets. Tahoe loved reading it aloud to me and was able to use it for an Accelerated Reader quiz at school too (and he earned 100% on the quiz). Academic Focus: Vocabulary-I quizzed the grands on the key vocabulary words in this book.



Sun and Shade by Mary Lindeen is a good early-reader book for this unit. It contains the basic information about the sun and the reasons the sun is important. It is too easy for Kona and Tigger, but it was just right for Tahoe’s reading level. He was able to practice his reading skills using this book and take an Accelerated Reader quiz on it at school. Academic Focus: Close Reading: The back of the book has several good discussion questions which I will use with Tahoe. There is also a simple experiment in the back of the book that I will do with all the grands (which is explained in the Spatial Intelligence section).


Day and Night by Margaret Hall is another good beginning book for Tahoe. It discusses how the earth’s rotation around the sun creates day and night on earth and how that affects the living things that live on our planet. Since this book is written at a first grade level, Tahoe was able to use it for his reading practice homework and then take an Accelerated Reader quiz on it at school (and he earned 100% on his quiz). Academic Focus: Synonyms and Antonyms: I had the grands look for synonyms (rotates, spins) and antonyms (day, night) in the text.



Sun! One in a Billion by Stacy McAnulty is a cleverly written book from the point of view of our earth’s Sun and even has a humorous Q and A section with the Sun at the back of the book. The illustrations are very engaging, which might be because the illustrator, Stevie Lewis, is a former animator. Academic Focus: Large Number Reading: I had the grands practice reading the large numbers in the book.



 The Sun is Kind of a Big Deal by Nick Seluk is a factual and clever book that explains the many reasons why the sun is so important. It contains cartoon-like planets that provide the facts, but there is humor that adults will especially appreciate. Tahoe loved this book and wanted to read it over and over again. Academic focus: Main Idea and Supporting Details: I used the title as the main idea and had the grands give me details that supported it (such as providing warmth for our planet, etc.)


Gravity  by Grace Hansen and The Sun by Grace Hansen are beginning science books that describe the basic concepts of their topics. The print is large and the illustrations and photographs are well chosen. At the back of each book are codes that can be used to look up a website with more information and activities. I adapted one of their craft ideas from the website to make a comet (see Spatial Intelligence).These books are written at a second grade level, but they were still good reading practice for Tahoe. Academic focus: Text Features: I used these books to quiz the grands on the table of contents, glossary and index text features.

Let’s Explore Gravity by Walt K. Moon is a very engaging beginning book that explains  with lots of examples that the grands could easily understand. The photographs in the book are also well done. There is a picture glossary at the end of the book, which is a great way to explain the definitions of words. The book is written at a first grade level so Tahoe can use this book for homework and take an Accelerated Reader quiz on it at school. Academic focus: Details: I asked the grands to explain examples of gravity that were explained in the book. 


Let’s Investigate with Nate: The Solar System by Nate Ball is part of a series of books by this PBS star. The grands and I enjoyed this engaging book in which a group of children visit their local science museum every week to go on a science adventure with Nate. The book is part comic book, part science journal and part narrative that explains concepts such as gravity, satellite, planets, asteroid belt, and even… hydrostatic equilibrium (say that word 3 times quickly!) There is even an experiment in the back of the book to make a gravity slingshot. Academic focus: Expressive Reading: There is a lot of dialogue in this book (in the speech bubbles) so I had the grands read the conversations aloud to practice putting lots of expression in their oral reading. 


The Planets  by Gail Gibbons was especially interesting to Kona (8). He enjoyed learning a little about the history of the discovery of the planets and how scientists are continuing to study them from unmanned spacecrafts. This book explains what each planet is made from, how long it takes each of the planets to rotate (comparing to Earth measurements), and how long it takes each planet to orbit the sun.  Academic focus: Sequence of events: I asked the grands to recall and put in order a few of the events described in the book such as: when the Curiosity rover landed on Mars, when Voyager II visited Neptune, when people recognized the first six planets, and when Pluto was re-designated as a dwarf planet.


Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Reading Larger Numbers/Expanded Form: When we read about the solar system, the grands need some concept of the meaning of those big numbers. So this is an excellent opportunity to have them practice reading numbers in the millions and billions. I also showed them what those numbers look like in expanded form. For example: Pluto is 4.6 billion miles from the Sun. What does that number mean? Another way to say that number is 4,600,000,000 or 4 billion plus 6 hundred million or 4 x 1,000,000,000 plus 6 x 100,000,000. I could also talk about scientific notation such as Earth’s distance from the Sun is 93,000,000 miles or 9.3 x 107.

Distance of Planets to Scale: To help the grands understand the distance between the planets and the sun, I have found several websites with hands-on activities that are easy to do. The NASA website uses beads on a string, while the National Geographic site has activities that use centimeters and steps. (So all of these activities require the grands to use some form of measurement.)



 Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

Listen to Classical Music: There are many pieces of classical music that were inspired by objects in our solar system. I have listed just a few that I had the grands listen to during car rides, working on art projects, or while eating a meal. The grands especially enjoyed listening to the “Mars” section of Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” because to them it sounded like the music to one of the Star Wars movies. Grandpa Jim has a lot of these pieces on cds, but it is easy for me to find them on the internet too:

  • Beethoven: “Moonlight Sonata”
  • Debussy: “Clair de Lune”
  • Grieg: “Peer Gynt-Morning Mood”
  • Grofe: “Grand Canyon Suite: I Sunrise; IV Sunset”
  • Holst: “The Planets”

Sing Songs: I like to make up songs to familiar tunes when I develop a study unit. Here is one that I created:

Our Solar System Has a Sun (Sung to “Old MacDonald Had a Farm“)

Our solar system has a Sun
In the Milky Way
It gives us warmth and helps plants grow
Turns night into day
Made of hydrogen
And some helium
Shining bright
Shining bright
Giving off heat and light
Our solar system has a sun
In the Milky Way

Additionally, many songs about the solar system can be found on the internet that have been written by others. Here are some I found:



Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

Shadows: I want the grands to become more aware of shadows so anytime we’re outside, I’ll have them notice their own shadows. They can even use some chalk to draw around each other’s shadow on the sidewalk. We can also observe shadows of other objects as we take a walk to the park. I want them to notice that shadows change throughout the day and why shadows are useful. (i.e. The shade of a tree keeps us cool on warm days.)

Telescope Viewing: Grandpa Jim has a telescope so he has set it up for the grands to see the moon, and a few of the planets when they are in the sky (Mars and Venus especially). Later, we may take them to a local college astronomy night or community astronomy club to have a chance to see the night sky through some larger telescopes.

Cooking with a Solar Oven: We cooked S’mores one day in a solar oven that the grands made using this website: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sunny-science-build-a-pizza-box-solar-oven/

With my supervision, the grands used a pizza box, scissors, tape, black construction paper, foil, and plastic wrap to make our solar oven. Next they placed their graham crackers, marshmallows, and a small chocolate bar on a small piece of foil and set the S’mores in the solar oven. After 40 minutes (on an 85 degree day), the chocolate was melted and the grands said the marshmallows were somewhat gooey. They sure ate them fast!

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Shadow drawing: I had Tahoe pick a toy, construction paper, and a crayon. Then we went outside and placed the toy on the paper so the toy’s shadow was on the paper. Then Tahoe drew around the shadow on the paper with the crayon and wrote down the time.


Sunscreen Experiment: This easy experiment was found in the back of the book Sun and Shade which I explain in the Linguistic Intelligence section of this post. The experiment requires a piece of construction paper and some sunscreen. I covered the palms of my grandsons with some sunscreen. Then they pressed their palms on some construction paper so the sunscreen transferred to the paper. Next the paper was placed in the sun for several hours. When the experiment was complete, we discussed why their palm print on the paper stayed the same color while the rest of the construction paper changed color.

Make a Comet: There was a great idea on the abdokids.com website for a comet craft idea. To get to the activity, I needed the code at the end of the book The Sun by Grace Hansen (included in the Linguistic Intelligence section). The basic idea was to use half a styrofoam ball and cover it with foil to make the head of the comet. After gluing that to construction paper, the directions used glitter pens and more glitter to make the tail of the comet.  I had to use different materials than in the example in the book because I wanted to use what we already had available at the house. We went into the recycling bin and cut up a cardboard paper towel holder to cover in foil for the head of the comet. I pulled out crayons, markers, and paints for the grands to use to make the tail. We also cut up small pieces of foil and glued it to the pictures, since we didn’t have any glitter.

Make the Moon: I adapted an idea that I saw on numerous websites. I made a mixture of white paint and flour. Then I had the grands paint a moon with the mixture on some black construction paper. Using the caps of water and juice bottles, they created meteors by pressing into the paint/flour mixture. We added stars by dipping a q-tip into yellow paint.

Finger Painting the Sun: I gave each grandson a piece of white paper and they used a salad plate to trace a circle onto their paper. Then I squirted some yellow and red paint on their paper and covered the entire paper with plastic wrap. The grands were able to “finger paint” their circle without getting their hands dirty. We let the paint dry for a few hours. Finally the boys could either paint the area around the sun with blue paint, or cut out their circle and glue it to blue construction paper. This art project was adapted from this website where you can find more solar system art projects:


Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

Circle Storytelling: I will have the grands sit in a circle and give them a story starter such as, “On the first day of our travels in our solar system we landed on…” The grands will take turns adding to the story. The signal for the storyteller to stop and allow the next grand to add onto the story will be the clapping of my hands. I’ll probably allow each grandson to add 3-5 sentences to the story before changing the storyteller. We’ll continue this until we run out of ideas or I can bring the story to a conclusion such as, “And we were all excited to return home and tell all our friends about our adventures.”

Saturn Relays: I will have the grands line up on one side of the front yard and I’ll place a hula hoop on the opposite side. The grands will take turns running to the hula hoop, swirling it around their waist while they spell S-A-T-U-R-N (because Saturn has rings), race back to the line where their brothers are waiting, and tag the next boy in line to run to the hula hoop. I will time them to see how long it took for all the boys to have a turn. They can play the relay again to see if they can beat their first time. Another alternative is to have the grands say the planets in order as they spin the hula hoop or spell other planets. (This activity also counts as  Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence).


Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

Shadow Tag:  This is a variation of tag, except instead of tagging someone’s body, the person who is “It” has to step on their shadow. Then that person becomes “It” and needs to tag someone else’s shadow.

Planets Relays: First I had the grands trace circles from the bottom of a cup onto construction paper. The three of them had to cut out eight circles altogether and label them with the names of the planets (which took some negotiation because for some reason, two of the grands argued about who was going to do Mars).  Then we took the eight circles outside to the front yard and placed them on one side of the yard and the grands waited for their turn in the relay on the other side of the yard. The object of the game was to take turns running up to pick up a circle and bring it back to where the brothers were lined up. Of course, the planets had to be collected in correct planet order. Tigger and Kona helped the youngest (Tahoe) remember the order of the planets by teaching him “My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Noodles.”  I timed them during the relay. We played the relay again to see if they could beat their first time. (This activity also counts as  Interpersonal Intelligence).

Show the Motion: I wanted the grands to understand the rotation of objects in the sky so I had them demonstrate orbits of Earth around the Sun and the moon around Earth. For example, I would have Tigger stand in the middle of the yard as the sun. Then Kona would be the Earth and orbit around the sun (Tigger). Next I would add Tahoe as the moon and he would need to rotate around the Earth (Kona). I will probably have the grands do this in slow motion so they can better visualize this concept. Also, I would do this more than once, so that each grand has a chance to be the Sun, Earth, and the moon.

 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Journal Writing: Each grand has a journal, so I will ask them to write in it during our study unit. They can write or draw about anything from the unit, but I may pose this question to them: What is your favorite planet? Explain why.

Star-gazing: On a clear night, the grands could lay down in their front yard and gaze at the moon and stars. The boys can observe the moon on different nights and note how the lunar cycle progresses. They can also look to see if there are any planets in the sky (stars twinkle, but planets don’t because they are reflecting the Sun’s light). There is also an app for cell phones called Sky View that can help us identify what they are seeing in the night sky. Here are some websites I found for more ideas to help the grands star gaze:




Independent Reading: I leave the library books in a convenient place for the grandsons so they can browse or read them on their own.


I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog. If you liked this post, you may also want to check out these posts:






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Teaching Multiplication Tables with Multiple Intelligences

My three grandsons (ages 6, 8, and 10) are now in public school full time, although I still watch them before and after school several days a week. While the grands have less time with me, and have homework, I still like to have some activities planned for them after school that go along with the topics they are covering in their classrooms. (Of course, the amount of time I will spend with them on such activities will vary depending on the amount of homework they need to complete each day for their teachers.)

Tigger is in 5th grade so he is reading the book that focuses on multiplication and division (see below).

Often, part of their homework will be to “study” some topic.  Children usually don’t understand what it means to “study” and need to be taught this as a skill, either in the classroom, or by a caregiver (parent, grandparent, sitter).  Since one of the grands, Kona, is in third grade, part of his homework every night is to study his times tables. The teacher hasn’t given specific ideas on “how to study” the times tables as part of their homework, so I have created a study unit and planned activities using each of the eight Multiple Intelligences to use with the grands. I plan to have Kona do one intelligence a day, rotating among the variety of activities. Tigger, fifth grade, will be involved too because he still needs review of the times tables to help him with division. On some days I may include Tahoe, age six, so he will get exposure to the multiplication tables. (In fact, as I worked through this unit with the grands, Tahoe became very interested in multiplication and wanted to read several of the books, which are listed below, over and over again.)

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

Read and discuss books- Whenever I plan a study unit, I start with books from my local library. I was amazed at the number of books (and other resources) that were available. While the main point of using the books was to teach a math concept, I also was able to find a way to include a “Reading Focus” as we read and discussed the books together. (And since the grands have to spend time reading as part of their homework, these books can fulfill two subjects on their homework list.)  I have summarized and explained how I used these books below.

Multiplication: Building Blocks of Mathematics by Joseph Midthun and Samuel Hiti: This is a comic-book style nonfiction book that both Kona and Tahoe enjoyed very much, so we read it together several times. The main characters in the book are the multiplication sign and the addition sign who travel together solving problems, which makes it a good book to use to teach the basic concepts of multiplication and how it relates to repeated addition. The grands also liked using the Multiplication Fact grid chart in the back of the book as well. Reading Focus: Group Oral Reading-Since there are two main characters in the story, I had Tahoe and Kona read the story aloud, with one of them taking the character of multiplication and the other grand reading the addition part. Because this book is written in comic-book style, it was easy for Tahoe and Kona to understand which parts they were expected to read.

3 X 4: A Toon Book by Ivan Brunetti was one of six year old Tahoe’s favorites, because it focused on art and how it can be used to show a product of 12. The plot shows a teacher assigning his students homework where they have to draw 12 things, but in sets (such as 2 sets of 6 items or 3 sets of 4 items). This book is also drawn in comic-book style, with its many characters choosing different objects to draw in their sets for the homework assignment. It is a Level One reader which is good for Tahoe as a first grader.  Reading Focus: Character Analysis-I asked the grands to tell me what they could tell about each character from the objects they chose to draw for their sets.

 The Flying Birds by Eun-sun Han: This beautifully illustrated book tells a story about an old carpenter making birdhouses who uses multiplication (and repeated addition) to calculate how many birds are living in the houses. At the end of the book, the author has also included a simple game that children can use to practice their times tables. While this book may be too easy mathematically for Kona, since it focuses on the two and three times tables, it does a good job of explaining the concept of multiplication and how it relates to addition.  Additionally, it was a good book to introduce the concept of multiplication to six year old Tahoe. Reading Focus: Several different types of birds are part of the story  which introduces new vocabulary. 

Multiplication Made Fun by Holly Beaumont: Another helpful resource which introduces the concept of multiplication is this book. It has hints for parents on working with their children on their times tables, shows patterns, and includes illustrated word problems using multiplication. I used the beginning of this book with Tahoe, since it explains the difference between addition and multiplication. With Kona, I used the pages with the harder times tables that he still needs to memorize.  Reading Focus: We discussed how the word problems were written in the book and key words that helped them know these were multiplication problems.

  Multiply on the Fly by Suzanne Slade: With beautiful illustrations, this book combines information about insects, multiplication facts, and poetry. The back pages include more information on insect body parts, life cycles and specific details for familiar insects. Since my grandsons are always interested in insects, this is a great book to use with them for reading homework, science, and studying their times tables! Reading Focus: With Tahoe I discussed the rhyming words and pattern in the poems. There was a compare and contrast page in the back of the book which I used to practice with with Kona and Tigger.

The Mystery Beetle: What’s Multiplying? by John Perritano is also about insects, but is non-fiction. This book is a “Math Reader” which means it includes some math problem solving in a story context. The plot of the story includes a search in the insect room of a museum to match a particular insect the narrator has found. Throughout the story, multiplication problems and strategies are  posed or explained. I loved using this book with the grands because it could be used for math and reading homework, with a bonus of being engaging since these boys are fascinated with insects. Reading Focus: This is a nonfiction book that includes many typical text features, such as Table of Contents, captions, a glossary, and an index. I used these features to model and then quizzed the grands on the information they could find by using them. 

Ready for Multiplication by Rebecca Wingard-Nelson: Besides introducing the concept of multiplication, this book goes even further by discussing key vocabulary (factor, multiples, product), the properties of multiplication (the Zero Property, Property of One, Commutative, Associative, and Distributive), and key words in multiplication word problems. There are also sections illustrating how to multiply with two digits and rounding to estimate. Reading Focus: I love the section of the book explaining how key words are often used in multiplication problems (such as: twice, per, and rate).


 Multiplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumpelstilskin by Pam Calvert reinterprets the Rumpelstiltskin story with a vengeful Rumpelstiltskin using multiplication to cause trouble in the kingdom. This story incorporates whole number and fraction multiplication, so this book is an especially good one for fifth grader, Tigger. Reading focus: We discussed the original Rumpelstiltskin story and how it differs from this version.

The Multiplying Menace Divides by Pam Calvert is a sequel to The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin which focuses on division. In this story there are two antagonists: Rumpelstiltskin and Matilda (who turned a prince into a frog in an earlier fairy tale). The antagonists squabble and turn creatures in the kingdom into frogs while trying to locate the Multiplier Stick (which was hidden in the previous story). Reading focus: Since Matilda came from another fairy tale, we discussed the plot of the Frog Prince and how the author used the character of Matilda to create the plot of the story.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Skip Counting: One way I help the grands practice their times tables is by having them skip count. For example, this week Kona was getting ready for his 12 times test, so I had him skip count by 12s. The goal is to have him do this as quickly as he can skip count his 5 time tables. We practiced his 12s aloud while we were in the car or taking walks, but he could also write them down too on a dry erase board. 

Repeated Addition: I can have Kona practice his multiplication tables by using repeated addition. So if Kona needs to multiply 12 x 4, he can write 12 + 12+ 12+ 12 = 48. Hopefully using this method will help him understand how multiplication and addition are related (and motivate Kona to memorize his 12 times tables since multiplication is much faster than repeated addition at this level).

Flash Card Elimination: For this activity I  used a set of flash cards (such as all the flash cards with 12 as a factor). Then I  quizzed Kona on them and separated the times tables cards that Kona didn’t know (or didn’t know quickly enough). Next I had Kona concentrate on the flash cards he didn’t know by tracing the fact in the air with his finger several times (or saying them aloud several times). The next day I  quizzed him on these cards again to eliminate the flash cards he had now mastered and kept him practicing the ones he missed.

 Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

Multiplication Table CDs: There are many musical resources to help children learn their multiplication tables. They can be purchased or borrowed from the library (which is my preference).

Using Familiar Melodies: I also like to use tunes that the grands already know and insert the multiplication tables as the lyrics. For example, I might use the melody to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” in this way:

7, 14, 21 (instead of Twinkle, twinkle little star)

28 and 35 (instead of How I wonder what you are)

42, then 49 (instead of Up above the world so high)

56, then 63 (instead of Like a diamond in the sky)

70 and 77 (instead of Twinkle, twinkle little star)

84, that’s 12 x 7 (instead of How I wonder what you are.)

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

When the boys are in the backyard or at the park, they can be practicing their times tables too. For example, they can write their times tables with a stick in the dirt or sand.

They can set up arrays with pebbles or leaves (such as 3 rows of 6 each).

Or we use the natural things they find when they are outdoors and create times table problems such as:

  • Count the birds we see and figure out how many wings that would be altogether. 
  • Find some lizards (or ants, beetles, etc.) and figure out how many legs that must be altogether.
  • Find some clover or flower petals. If each clover has three leaves, how many leaves is that in all?

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Cruise Ship Arrays Craft project:  I had the grands make a construction paper cruise ship (since Kona is currently enthralled with ships) using arrays of circles for the windows. I saw a similar idea called “Array City” on pinterest (and on his teacher’s bulletin board where the class had put windows on construction paper buildings to show the arrays of various times tables.)

I used flat glass marbles for the arrays in this sample because the grands could reuse the marbles to make more arrays. (Ummm, the orange figure is supposed to represent a cruise ship.)

Snowflake Math Factors: I found another craft project on a wonderful educational website written by Selena Robinson that uses a snowflake pattern to have children explore the factors of a product. She gave the child a snowflake pattern with a product in the middle and some of the factors on the “arms” of the snowflake. Then the child used counters to find the missing factors. You can see more detailed instructions for this craft at this link:  https://www.lookwerelearning.com/2nd-grade-math-factors/

Number lines: This is another great tool to spatially show how multiplication works. I found some good number lines to use with the grands at this terrific website:   https://www.homeschoolmath.net/teaching/md/multiplication-number-line.php

Muffin Tin Arrays: Muffin tins are something most people have in their homes and can be used to make multiplication table arrays and practice skip counting. For example, if I have Kona working on his 6 times tables, I have him put six of “something” such as pom-poms, beads, buttons, pennies, etc. in each muffin tin. This is a great way to visually explain how multiplication tables work.

Six year old Tahoe can easily work on arrays using some craft beads and a muffin tin.

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

Multiplication War: This can be played with two or more people. Either create your own cards (writing different multiplication facts with no answers on separate index cards) or purchase this game (you can find many of these games online). Shuffle the cards really well! Then deal out all the cards to the players. Players do not look at their cards, but create a stack in front of them with the blank side of the card facing up (so other players can’t anticipate which multiplication fact will be turned up until it is in played). At a given signal, all the players flip up their top card. Players have to solve each multiplication fact in their head and determine which product is the highest. The player with the highest card value wins both cards. (I give Tahoe an answer key when he plays this with his brothers since he’s only in first grade.)

Other multiplication war games can be played with regular playing cards or dice. When using regular playing cards, remove the jacks, queens, and kings (or assign those cards as 11, 12, and 13 for the older children). The “playing” of this game is similar except each player needs to turn up two cards at once to form the multiplication problem. If you want to play this game with dice, then each player needs a pair of dice and everyone rolls at the same time. 

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

Skip Counting with Jump Ropes: In this physical activity, the children skip count while jumping rope. For example, if I want Tigger to practice his 8 times tables, instead of counting his jumps 1,2,3, etc. he would count his jumps as 8, 16, 24, 32, etc. This same idea can be used to count any exercise such as jumping jacks, mountain climbers, sit ups, etc.

Hopscotch: The grands can write the times tables they are practicing in the squares of a hopscotch and say the product as they land into each square.  I used sidewalk chalk to create the hopscotch and times tables for each square. If you don’t have a sidewalk or driveway that you can use to create the hopscotch, the garage floor might be a good place to draw the hopscotch. 

Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Kona works on tiling task cards to study his multiplication tables.

  • My grandsons can always read any of the multiplication books (I have mentioned in Linguistic Intelligence) on their own.
  • The grandsons also have access to flash cards to use when they want to practice by themselves.
  • I have purchased some Tiling Task Card Packets (from Marcy Cook Math) that focus on multiplication and the grands can use them and check their answers on their own. (I created my own “tiles” with construction paper, but they can be purchased as well.) I started with Multi Rep Tiles with Kona because the cards have a visual representation to help him and these can be used by Tahoe too after I have modeled for him several times how to use the representations to find the answers. 
  • One of the wonderful educator blogs that I follow has created multiplication bingo games for one player. You can find her resources here: https://www.themeasuredmom.com/free-single-player-multiplication-bingo-games/

I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see some study unit lesson plans that I have used with my grandsons, here are a few samples: 




If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.


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Insects, Inches, and the Letter I

As I continue working with my four year old grandson, Tahoe, on learning the sounds of the short vowel sounds, I am discovering that I can choose books that help the older grands with concepts they are learning in school (first and third grade). For example, this unit is about the short “I” sound, and some words that begin with this sound are “Insects” and “Inches” which are topics suitable for Kona (6) and Tigger (8). When they come home from school they already have homework, so I am not planning as many activities for them. I just try to fit in some enrichment activities, such as snuggling and reading books with them for their reading logs.

As always, I planned a variety of lessons in all eight intelligences. I try to do two intelligences per day with  Tahoe, one of them always a Linguistic activity. I made this an eight day unit because I had so many books I wanted to introduce and reread with the grands. I usually plan more activities than I can actually do with them, but I always do at least one activity from each intelligence with Tahoe. As you can see, many of these activities do not need a lot of materials or preparation, which is why I love using Multiple Intelligence activities with my grandsons rather than worksheets.

If you would like to see other activities for the short sound of I, you can view these posts that I wrote when Kona was four years old:




Linguistic (Word Smart)

Read and discuss books-Besides discussing the short sound of “I” with Tahoe, there are many ways academic concepts can be introduced or reinforced when reading and discussing these books with all three of the grandsons. Here are the books I used as part of the Letter “I” unit study:


inch-and-roly-and-hiding-placeInch and Roly and the Very Small Hiding Place by Melissa Wiley is a “Ready to Read Level One” book about an inchworm who hides in a hole with her friends Roly, Dragonfly, and Beetle to avoid a bird. Tahoe loves this book so much, he doesn’t want me to return it to the library (which means I will probably have to buy a copy for him). There are also other books about Inch and Roly. Academic Focus: Retelling the Story and Sequencing-Since the story is very simple and sequential, this is a great book to use to have the grands retell the story in the correct order of events. I also had Kona read this book aloud to me since it is a good book for early readers. There were only a few words he couldn’t decode by himself.


inchworm-and-a-halfInchworm and a Half  by  Elinor J. Pinczes  tells the story of an inchworm who loves to measure the vegetables that grow near her home. As she is measuring, she discovers that she needs smaller measurements and meets some worms that represent the fractions 1/2, 1/3, and 1/4. This mathematical story is told in rhyme and has great illustrations that help show the reader how fractions can help the inchworm measure her vegetables. Tigger really enjoyed the mathematical concepts in this book when we read it together. Academic Focus: Rhyming-This is a good book to practice matching rhyming words. (And this book also qualifies as a Logical-Mathematical activity since it describes some basic concepts of fractions.)


abc-insectsABC Insects (by The American Museum of Natural History) shows photographs of an insect for each letter of the alphabet with a sentence or two about each of the insects. Some of the critters are ones the grands were familiar with such as dragonfly, queen ant, and grasshopper. Other insects were new to me, such as the velvet ant and waterscorpions. So there is something to learn for everyone in this alphabet book. Academic Focus: Details: Which insects fly and which ones only walk? Tell me something new you learned about some of the insects in the book.


if-you-were-an-inch-or-a-centimeterIf You Were an Inch or a Centimeter by Marcie Aboff explains inches, feet, yards, centimeters, and meters in a clever way that my third grade grandson enjoyed a lot. The illustrations are really cute and kept the attention of the other grandsons, but most of the concepts were too advanced for them to remember afterwards. Still, I am glad they all had a chance to experience it and I will probably check this out of the library again for the younger grands when they are older. There is a measuring activity at the end of the book that looked like fun, but we didn’t try it. Academic Focus: Vocabulary: I had the younger grands focus on the vocabulary words “inch” and “centimeter” while I  discussed with Tigger some of the conversion vocabulary, such as: 600 centimeters equals 6 meters.  (And this book also qualifies as a Logical-Mathematical activity since it describes measurement concepts.)

Interpersonal (People Smart)

Dramatic play: I will encourage Tahoe to use the “I” words we have learned during his dramatic play with his brothers. A possible idea for a story starter might be, “An insect wanted to build an igloo…” 

Inches Scavenger Hunt: This activity is planned to have the grands work together. I will give each of them an “inch” ruler and tell them they have five minutes to work together to find as many items in the house that are ____ inches long (this number can be varied). In order to qualify for this “Scavenger List” all three grands must have measured and agreed that the item is ______ inches long. At the end of five minutes they have to show me all the items they found. (This can also be played in reverse. Their parents and I can be given five minutes to find items that are _____ inches long and the grands have to measure all the items we found for our list to make sure we measured correctly.)

Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

Physical Games or Activities:  I found some “insect related” games to try with the grandsons at this website:


Cooking: Part of being “body smart” is being able to create healthy snacks for the body so I found these easy “bug snack” ideas to use with the grands: http://thecraftingchicks.com/back-yard-bug-snacks/

Pantomimes: Tahoe and I practiced several “I” words that are easy to pantomime such as: insects, inchworms, iguanas, and igloo. Tahoe will show them to his brothers and have them guess the word he is pantomiming.

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)


Songs for Listening:


The “Inchworm” song is from the Danny Kaye movie Hans Christian Andersen. It can be found as a video online.

Songs for Singing:

The “Insect Song” is a children’s song that can be found online at Funtastic TV. 

The “Garden Song” aka “Inch by Inch” is a American folk song that has been recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary, John Denver, Peter Seeger and many other artists so it is easy to find online.


 Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

20161109_091106Craft: Practicing the Letter i: I had Tahoe practice making the lowercase letter “i” using construction paper and pom poms.



Craft: Insect Drawing: Tahoe decided he wanted to draw the insect “dragonfly” since that was one of the characters in the books we read for this unit study. I showed Tahoe a step by step video from another website (artforkidshub) and he worked on this project by himself, stopping the video whenever he needed to do so in order to catch up with the steps. Besides drawing the dragonfly, he also used watercolors to complete the project.


Craft: Inchworms: Tahoe was given lots of choices to make three different inchworms. He chose to use pom poms, dot paints, and some smiley stickers his mother had in her craft supplies. He used a pencil to draw the legs on his inchworms, but he also was offered crayons, markers, and pipe cleaners as materials for the legs. Later this craft was used as a logical/mathematical activity.

Craft: Create an Insect: Just before I published this post, I saw this idea on my Facebook feed from another blogger and just had to share it. It is something I plan to do with the grands in the future. http://www.cuttingtinybites.com/2015/08/invitation-to-create-build-bug.html

Videos: I am always able to find lots of short videos on the Internet that teach the sound of the letter I am teaching the grands. We also found short, educational videos on inchworms and insects. 

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

Field trips: Our local college has an insect exhibit that we visited. Sometimes there are exhibits to visit in other places in the community such as the library, museums, or parks.

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt- We can take a walk around the neighborhood or local park to find different insects. The grands can draw or take pictures of the insects and then later we can try to identify the different insects they discovered by using a field guide or the internet.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number Smart)

Counting activities: Using the book ABC Insects, Tahoe counted the number of insects with wings in the book. 

Measuring: Using the Inchworm art project we created for our Spatial Intelligence, I had Tahoe and Kona measure each inchworm in inches and centimeters. Tigger worked on conversion of centimeters to meters using the book If You Were an Inch or a Centimeter and fractions using the book Inchworm and a Half (see Linguistic Intelligence).


 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Independent reading: The grands love to look over the books we have previously read throughout this unit of study on their own time.

Favorites: I asked the grands which of the books from our book study were their favorites. Tahoe’s favorite was Inch and Roly and the Very Small Hiding Place. Tahoe also had a favorite insect (dragonflies) while his brothers liked butterflies.


I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.


I love to add my blog posts to link parties such as:



More Thanksgiving Books: A Unit Study

I  have a great fondness for Thanksgiving. While I do decorate my house somewhat for Halloween, I can’t wait to get out my cornucopias, turkey pillows, gourd candles, and pilgrim dolls in anticipation of this great holiday. So obviously I love to teach my grandsons about Thanksgiving with books and other multiple intelligence activities. I have done blog posts on Thanksgiving books before, but this year I chose some different books from the local library and planned activities for the grands: Tigger (8), Kona (6), and Tahoe (4).

While I will use the books as the “center” of this unit study, I will include activities so that all eight intelligences are incorporated sometime during the course of the unit. Since I have more time with Tahoe, he will have more opportunities to participate in a larger variety of activities. (Tigger and Kona have school and homework, so they may not have a chance to do as many activities.) I will include pictures as we complete some of the these activities. Within this post, I will also mention any academic focus I plan on integrating into any of the activities.

During the past two years, I have written other Thanksgiving blog posts featuring different books than are mentioned here. If you would like to read these blogs, they can be found here:



Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

Read and discuss books- I normally get my books from the library. I always discuss the pictures, captions, and any new vocabulary as I read along with the grands, but I have an additional academic focus for each book as well:

Nonfiction: Thanksgiving by Ann Heinrichs is actually a combination of historical background, poetry, and activities for children about Thanksgiving. Some of the poems included in the book are “Thanksgiving Comes Again,” “The Pilgrims Came,” “At Grandma’s House,” and “Over the River and Through the Wood.” The book has whimsical illustrations as well. Since this is a non-fiction book, it additionally includes text features such as a Table of Contents, Glossary, and Index. Academic focus:  Rhyming–As I read the poems to the grands, I will have them identify the rhyming words. Text Features: Besides showing the grands the Table of Contents, Glossary, and Index, I will model for them how I would use the index to find certain topics within the book (such as the location of the poems, information about corn, the Plymouth Colony etc.) Thanksgiving by Lisa M. Herrington and A Short History of Thanksgiving by Sally Lee are both good books to provide basic Thanksgiving information about this holiday. They contain great photographs or illustrations that help explain the first Thanksgiving and how this holiday is celebrated today with parades, family dinners, and serving others. The last two books are easy enough for both Kona and Tigger to read aloud. Academic Focus: Compare and Contrast–How was the first Thanksgiving celebrated. What is similar and/or different about how we celebrate Thanksgiving in the present?

gobble-gobble-tuckerFiction: Gobble, Gobble, Tucker! by Leslie McGuirk tells the story of Tucker, the dog, who can tell just by the smell of a baking turkey that it is Thanksgiving. He loves hanging out around the kitchen where everyone is getting ready for the meal. Tucker is very helpful, as well, by keeping nearby in case someone drops some food. When visitors arrives he greets them and they give him belly rubs. His family doesn’t forget Tucker when they sit down to eat; he is given his own feast of yummy Thanksgiving food. This is the book that the grands wanted me to read over and over to them.  Academic Focus: Details–I’ll have the grands give me a few details from the story.

graces-thanksgivingGrace’s Thanksgiving by Lisa Bullard is another one of those books that is a combination of fiction and non-fiction. Grace is getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday by creating a “Thankful List.” The story about Grace and her family celebrating Thanksgiving is fictional, but the story is interspersed with information about this holiday, including other types of harvest feasts around the world and how Thanksgiving became a national holiday in the United States. The book  includes directions for making “Turkey Cookies” and a glossary. Academic Focus: Sequencing–What are the events that occurred that led to Thanksgiving becoming a national holiday?

over-the-river-and-through-the-woodsOver the River and Through the Wood: The New England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day by L. Maria Child and illustrated by Matt Tavares is one of those books that I think I will purchase for the grands because it is a book that I would love to share with them every Thanksgiving. Besides providing the wonderful verses of this traditional song, including some verses with which I was unfamiliar, the illustrations are magnificent! This book also is part of the Musical Intelligence since I will use it to teach the grands this song. Academic Focus: Rhyming–This is another great book to use to model or practice rhyming skills.

turkeys-we-have-loved-and-eatenRead Aloud:

Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff): Junie B. Jones #28  by Barbara Park tells the hilarious story of a classroom of first graders who are trying to write a “Thankful List” for a school contest and get ready for a Thanksgiving feast. I was able to find this title as an audiobook and we listened to it as I drove my grandsons home from school. Some parts of the book are “laugh out loud” funny and I enjoyed listening to the grandsons crack up over some of the dialogue in the story. Academic focus: Humor–The grands and I discussed the humor in the book and why certain parts of the story are funny.


Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Incorporating Other Activities: I like to incorporate math into the other activities we do with this unit.

  • For example, I will ask the grands to count the number of times we had to wind the yarn around one of the Yarn Sticks (see Spatial Intelligence). Counting practice is good for both Tahoe and Kona, but I would ask Tigger, who is in third grade, to figure out how many times we would have to wind yarn on one stick. Then I would show him it’s easier if you break the problem into smaller sections, such as how many turns of yarn is needed for one inch (have a ruler handy). Hint: the yarn’s thickness might match the 1/16 width or 1/8 width on the ruler to make the estimation easier to visualize. From there he can multiply the length of the stick by his one inch estimation (how many turns or winds for three sticks of equal length?).
  • Another idea would be to estimate the length of yarn needed to completely cover a stick.  I would give each grand their own stick and have them cut out a piece of yarn to the size they think would cover the stick. I would probably have both Kona and Tigger measure the length of yarn in centimeters as well. Finally, they would use the yarn they cut to cover their stick and see how well they estimated the amount of yarn they would need.

 Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

  • Using the book (see Linguistic Intelligence) about the song “Over the River and Through the Wood,” I will teach the grands a few of the verses.
  • I will also have the grands listen to/learn these hymns: “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come,” “For the Beauty of the Earth,” and “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow.”

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

Cooking with Cranberries: I will have the grands make whole berry cranberry sauce using fresh cranberries, sugar and water. The recipe is simple:

  1. Place 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  2. Empty the contents of a 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries into the saucepan.
  3. Continue to boil gently for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cool at room temperature and refrigerate until you are ready to serve it.

Other variations of this recipe can be found at: http://www.oceanspray.com/Recipes/Corporate/Sauces,-Sides-Salads/Fresh-Cranberry-Sauce.aspx

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

how-to-draw-thanksgiving-thingsDrawing: When asking my grandsons to draw pictures, I have often heard from them, “But I don’t know how to draw a….” so I often find books or online videos that provide simple directions on drawing familiar items. I happened to find the book How to Draw: Thanksgiving Things at the library and have used it to help my grandsons gain some drawing skills. Tigger has enjoyed drawing items from the book, while Tahoe prefers drawing from  step by step videos I found online. I used some of these drawing for the Centerpiece project explained below.

Craft projects: The grands love to do art projects, and I love to decorate for Thanksgiving, so I try to choose projects that can be used to adorn the house for the holiday.

Yarn Sticks: For the first project, I bought multi-colored yarn and had my grandsons find sticks (which also makes this part of the Naturalist Intelligence). The grands wrapped the sticks with the yarn, using glue to keep the yarn from unraveling. I happened to find a nice wine basket and decorative autumn leaf piece on clearance at our local craft store. I placed the sticks and autumn leaf piece in the wine basket to make a nice door hanging for Thanksgiving. I got the original idea for the Yarn Sticks from this blog: http://babbledabbledo.com/easy-crafts-for-kids-yarn-sticks/

Centerpiece: I used the ideas from the yarn sticks and drawings my grandsons had created to decorate an old terracotta pot we had at the house. First Tigger cleaned up the pot. Then Kona wrapped yarn around the “lip” of the pot. Then I took some of the grands drawings (I had to reduce some of them on the copier to make them fit the pot) and decoupaged them on the pot. I added a colorful plant to the pot to complete the centerpiece.

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

Thankful for Family: This is something that the family already does before the Thanksgiving dinner, but I want the grands to think about this more frequently. Whether they are eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner, asking each grand to describe how they are thankful for members of the family is a great way to remind the grands that family is very important in their lives.

Dramatic play: I will engage the grands in some dramatic play in which they dramatize the first Thanksgiving. This will tell me how much they have learned from all the books we have been reading about the beginnings of this holiday.

20161106_1147150Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

“Turkey” Horseshoes: This is somewhat similar to playing “Horse” with a basketball, but the object of the game is to spell “turkey” and it uses horseshoes instead. I will have the grands take turns throwing a horseshoe (can be plastic) at a post from a certain distance, determined by their ability. Each grand gets one throw per turn. They can add one letter from the word “turkey” each time they are successful in landing the horseshoe around the post. I want the game to continue until each grand has had the chance to spell out “turkey.”

 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

  • Thankful List: After reading these books, I will have the grands create their own individual “Thankful List.”
  • I leave the library books in a convenient place for the grandsons so they can browse or read them on their own.



I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.


I love to add my blog posts to link parties such as:






Letter “E” Activities: Elephants and Engines

My youngest grandson, Tahoe (4), is learning the sounds of the alphabet, so for this unit we focused on the short sound of the letter “E” using the themes of Elephants and Engines. I am planning most of my study units this year for Tahoe since he is the only grandson not yet going to school full time and I watch him three days a week. I still do a few activities with Tigger (8) and Kona (6), but since they have homework after school each day, my time with them is limited for other enrichment projects (although sometimes I can do more when I have them over to our house for a sleepover during the weekend). I usually have time to read with Kona and Tigger on school nights, so I use the books in this study unit during those times. 

As always, I planned a variety of lessons in all eight intelligences. I try to do two intelligences per day with  Tahoe, one of them is always a Linguistic activity. I made this an eight day unit because I had so many books I wanted to introduce and reread with the grands. I usually plan more activities than I can actually do with the grands, but I always do at least one activity from each intelligence with Tahoe. As you can see, many of these activities do not need a lot of materials or preparation, which is why I love using Multiple Intelligence activities with my grandsons rather than worksheets.

If you would like to see other activities for the short sound of E, you can view these posts that I wrote when Kona was four years old:




Linguistic (Word Smart)

Read and discuss books – I decided to focus on two themes for the letter E: elephants and engines. The grands have always had a fascination with train engines and firetruck engines so I thought they would really enjoy these books and activities. (And of course, who doesn’t love elephants?!) Besides focusing on the short vowel sound of “E” with Tahoe as I read the books to him, I also used the books to teach other literacy strategies.


elephant-in-the-darkElephant in the Dark retold by Mina Javaherbin narrates the story of a local merchant who brings an elephant back from India. The villagers have never seen an elephant, and the merchant promises the villagers they can see the magnificent creature in the morning. Since the merchant is tired from his trip, he places the elephant in his barn for the night.  However, the villagers can’t wait to meet the creature and take turns in the dark barn trying to “see” and report back what the creature looks like. Of course, all the villagers find a different part of the elephant and the villagers report back that this creature is like a snake, a tree trunk, a fan, etc.  Academic Focus: Drawing Conclusions: I discussed with the grands whether the villagers conclusions were correct (and why each villager’s conclusion was different from the others).

maisys-fire-engineMaisy’s Fire Engine by Lucy Cousins is a fun book about a mouse named Maisy and her fire engine. As she and her friend Cyril try out the water hose from the fire engine, a little cat is frightened and climbs up onto a roof. Maisy and Cyril are on the job and rescue the scared cat. Academic Focus: Main Character Traits: I had Tahoe discuss what we learned about Maisy from what the characters say and do in the book. 


clemence-and-his-noisy-little-fire-engineClemence and His Noisy Little Fire Engine by Jessica Spanyol is about a brave little bug who loves to play with his noisy little fire engine.  He and his friends examine all parts of the engine to make sure everything is in working order. Then Clemence and his friends have adventures with the fire engine including the retrieval of a kite from a tree. The illustrations are adorable in this little book that Tahoe really enjoyed. Academic Focus: Fact and Fiction: I discussed with the grands the way the author uses facts (the names of the parts of the fire engine) with fiction (bugs don’t drive fire engines or wear shower caps) to create this story.

elephants-cant-jumpElephants Can’t Jump by  Jeanne Willis tells the story of an elephant who wants to be able to jump like his other friends. But no matter how many ways he tries to jump, he is not successful and gets reminded by his friends that, “Elephants can’t jump!” However, a situation arises where jumping gets his friends in trouble and elephant saves the day using a skill that elephants can do. Academic Focus: Problem and Solution: The grands and I discussed the main problem in the story and how it is resolved.



elephants-by-grace-hansenElephants (Abdo Kids: Animal Friends series) by Grace Hansen explains some basic information about elephants and contains vivid photographs of these animals. Information contained in the text includes how elephants care for each other and protect the matriarch, which was a new vocabulary word for all the grands. This book also includes text features such as a table of contents, index, and glossary. Academic Focus: Details: The grands and I discussed details about the elephants after reading the book. Text features: I always try to point out and discuss text features whenever I find them in a book that I read to the grands.


Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Counting activities: Using the book Elephants by Grace Hansen, Tahoe counted the number of elephants that were protecting the matriarch in one of the photographs. 

Measuring:  Elephants can suck as much as 2 gallons of water into its trunk at one time. Before filling the bathtub at bathtime, I had Tahoe measure two gallons of water (using empty and clean milk containers to measure the water) so he could see how much water that would be. I also discovered the water hoses on fire engines can be 10, 14, 24 and 35 feet long. We measured some of those amounts on the sidewalk in the front of the house.

   Interpersonal (People Smart)

Dramatic play: I will encourage Tahoe and his brothers to use a fire engine or train engine as part of their dramatic play. (They watch “Thomas the Train” often so I’ll get out the train tracks and let each of them choose an engine to use in their “play” together.)

Pink Elephants on Parade: We will act out part of the song “Pink Elephants on Parade” with the family. I will use the first half of the song which has “active” lyrics such as “Hippety hoppety,” “They’re walking around the bed,” and “On their head.” This would also be a bodily-kinesthetic activity.

 Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

(See “Pink Elephants on Parade” under Interpersonal Intelligence for another Bodily-Kinesthetic activity.)

Elephant Walk: I found an Elephant Walk exercise (and other animal walks) that I can use for the grands at this website:


Pantomimes: Tahoe and I practiced several “E” words that are easy to pantomime such as: elephants, elevator, egg, elbow, elk, and exit. Tahoe will show them to his brothers and have them guess the word he is pantomiming.

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

Finger plays, rhymes, and songs: There is a traditional nursery rhyme “Engine Engine, Number 9” which can also be found online as as song. Here are the lyrics:

Engine, engine, number nine,
Running on the Chicago Line.
See it sparkle, see it shine,
Engine, engine, number nine.

I found other fingerplays and songs about elephants at this website:


Movie Music Fun: I loved the movie Dumbo when I was little and just had to share “When I See an Elephant Fly” and “Pink Elephants on Parade” with the grands.


 Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

20161026_115808Craft: E is for Elephant: I read several books about elephants to Tahoe so it was only natural to create an easy elephant craft for him. I basically drew the shapes for him: a large circle, two lowercase “e” cut-outs, two small circles for eyes, and a trunk (Tahoe wanted to do a “J” craft today so I used the “J” as the trunk of the elephant). He cut out all the shapes, glued them on paper, and added googly eyes to the small circles.


Craft: E is for Engine: After reading the books about fire engines, it was fun to make a more complicated craft that connected “engines” with the letter “E”. This project used several types of art materials so Tahoe was also using a lot of different fine motor skills. The materials for this projects included:

  • Yellow, orange, and red tissue paper
  • Glue and water solution
  • Construction paper (red, black, and green)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie pen

Elephant Pancakes: Another fun spatial activity I did with with the grands was to use fruit to decorate a pancake like an elephant. They loved making and eating their final product!

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

Field trips: Zoo trips to see real elephants are always fun. At the zoo there are other animals that begin with the short “e” sound such as elk and emperor penguin.

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt- We made a list of “E” words that could be found in nature and took a walk around our neighborhood or local park to find as many as we could. Here is a partial list: elm trees, earth, environment, and evergreen.

 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Independent reading: The grands love to look over the books we have previously read throughout this unit of study on their own time.

Favorites: I asked the grands which of the books from our book study were their favorites. Tahoe’s favorite was Maisy’s Fire Engine, while Kona really enjoyed Elephant in the Dark.


I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.


I love to add my blog posts to link parties such as:


Ants, Alligators and the Letter A

The youngest grand, Tahoe, is four years old now, and has just one more year of “Mimi School” before he begins public school. He can already name all the uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet at the start of this “pre-school” year, so I am gearing his alphabet lessons to increasing his vocabulary, and learning the consonant sounds and short vowel sounds of the letters. In addition, the school year has begun for Tigger(8) and Kona (6). When they come home from school they already have homework, so I am not planning as many activities for them. I just try to fit in some enrichment activities with them as I can, mostly snuggling and reading books with them for their reading logs.

As always, I planned a variety of lessons in all eight intelligences. I try to do two intelligences per day with  Tahoe, one of them always a Linguistic activity. I made this an eight day unit because I had so many books I wanted to introduce and reread with the grands. I usually plan more activities than I can actually do with the grands, but I always do at least one activity from each intelligence with Tahoe. As you can see, many of these activities do not need a lot of materials or preparation, which is why I love using Multiple Intelligence activities with my grandsons rather than worksheets.

If you would like to see other activities for the short sound of A, you can view these posts that I wrote when Kona was four years old:




Linguistic (Word Smart)

Read and discuss books-I decided to focus on two themes for the letter A: ants and alligators. The science lab teacher at Tigger and Kona’s charter school has an ant farm in his classroom, so I knew they would especially be interested in learning more about ants. Here are the books I used  as part of the Letter “A” unit study:


ants-go-marching-bookThe Ants Go Marching edited by Ann Owen uses the familiar rhyming verse to the tune of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” in a beautifully illustrated book. Since Tahoe loves to sing, I sang the book to him and soon he was joining along. Academic Focus: Rhyming verse-At the end of each stanza I would discuss the rhyming words on the page with Tahoe. The older grands, Kona and Tigger, had to tell me the rhyming words on each page on their own and create other rhymes to add to the song.



amanda-and-her-alligator Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator by  Mo Willems is such a fun book about a young girl and her “alligator” who is no good at waiting for Amanda to come home and play with him. During the book, Amanda’s alligator puts on his thinking cap and learns how to plan a surprise on Amanda. He also makes a new friend. Academic Focus: Main Character Traits: I had Tahoe discuss what we learned about Amanda and her Alligator from what the characters say and do in the book. For Kona and Tigger, I discussed the Table of Contents and how titles of books  are printed with italicized lettering (since Amanda reads library books in this story).


zacks-alligatorZack’s Alligator and the First Snow by Shirley Mozelle tells the story of Zack and his alligator key chain, named Bridget, who have some adventures when Zack’s parents take the family outside to do some ice fishing one snowy day. Since Bridget is from the Everglades, she has never experienced snow before and loves making a snowman, sledding, and eating fish from the ice fishing hole in the lake. Academic Focus: Sequencing: This is a good book to use to practice the order of events with all three of the grands.




a-bookBerenstains’ A Book by Stan and Jan Berenstain is a terrific book for learning about words that begin with the letter “A” but also just right for beginning readers. So using this book has exposed Tahoe to many words that begin with “A” and good practice for first grader Kona as a beginning  reader. Academic Focus: Alliteration-Because most of the words in this book begin with the same sound, it is a great way to introduce alliteration to the grands. Vocabulary-This book also helps Tahoe develop new vocabulary such as angleworm and avenue.



grasshopper-and-the-antsThe Grasshopper and the Ants by Jerry Pinkney tells the classic story of the hardworking ants and their grasshopper friend who learns a very hard lesson. This has the most amazing illustrations! Tahoe and I spent a lot of time with this books just looking at the pictures and all the details in these illustrations. This is a great book to help Tahoe understand the four seasons as well since they are so vividly pictured on the pages. Academic Focus: Main Idea and Details-With Tahoe I modeled how I could decide the main idea of the book and he helped me find the details.  I used this with Kona and Tigger to review how to discover the main idea by using events in the story.




ants-valerie-bodden-hardcover-cover-artAnts (Creepy Creatures series) by Valerie Bodden has the most amazing photographs of different types of ants, their colonies, and predators. Tahoe was fascinated that ants came in different colors and worked together to move larger pieces of food (such as a mushroom). Academic Focus: Vocabulary-This is a great book to develop vocabulary words such as larvae, pupa, predator, and anteater with the grands. Text features-There is also a Table of Contents and Glossary in this book.



alligator-animal-superpowersAlligator (Animal Superpowers) by Josh Plattner is another short book with wonderful photographs of alligators, their bony plates (called scutes), and their powerful jaws. Academic Focus: Vocabulary-Reptiles, endangered, and marsh are just some of the words I discussed with Tahoe. With Kona and Tigger I used the True or False quiz at the end of the book to recall details from the book.




Audio books: Since I have the grands in the car for about an hour each afternoon to pick up the oldest from school, I try to find audio books from the local library to play in the car to go along with my lessons. The book Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator, which was discussed above, also came with an audio cd so Tahoe and I could listen to it and follow along in the book.

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Counting activities: Using the book The Ants Go Marching, I had Tigger and Kona work on their skip counting and multiplication using the pictures in the book. In the book about alligators, we learned that they lay between 35 to 50 eggs, so I had Tahoe practice counting up to 50 using legos as the alligator eggs. (He can count up to 39 really well so far, but keeps forgetting that 40 is after 39.)

Measuring:  In Alligator (Animal Superpowers) we learned that alligator hatchlings were 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) long, so I had Tahoe use a ruler to measure 6 inches on a piece of paper. I had Tigger and Kona measure 15 and 20 cm since they should begin understanding the metric system.

   Interpersonal (People Smart)

Dramatic play: I will encourage Tahoe to use the “A” words we have learned during his dramatic play with his brothers. A possible idea for a story starter might be, “An ant was trying to move a piece of apple she found laying on the ground. Since ants work together, she knew she could count on the other ants to help.”

Acts Go Marching: We will act out part of the song “The Ants Go Marching” with the family. (We may not get all the way to “ten ants” unless we incorporate some stuffed animals  in our rows of marching ants.)

Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

Acrobatics: Tahoe is taking a gymnastics class, so I explained that acrobats use some of those same skills as I had him practice somersaults and jumping on his mini trampoline.

Cooking: Ants on a Log with Variations- I had all the boys create their own “ants on a log” snack by offering them cut celery, choices of peanut butter, cream cheese, or hummus for the “insides” of the log, and choices of raisins, craisins, and peas for the “ants” on the log. This is a great way to get the grands to eat healthy foods while giving them some “cooking” skills. I found some of my ideas for the “ants on a log” variations on this website:



Pantomimes: Tahoe and I practiced several “A” words that are easy to pantomime such as: ants, acrobats, actor, add, ambulance, and astronauts. Tahoe will show them to his brothers and have them guess the word he is pantomiming.

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

Finger plays and songs: Tahoe loved singing “The Ants Go Marching” as we read the book (multiple times.) I found songs about alligators at this website to use with Tahoe:


Classical Music Fun: I found a website that featured “A Walt Disney Silly Symphony – The Grasshopper and the Ants” and showed the video to the grands.


 Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Craft: A is for Ant: After reading the books about ants so that Tahoe knew that ants had three body parts and six legs, I cut out three lowercase “a” letters which Tahoe glued down for the ant’s body. He cut out the six legs himself and glued them onto the ant. Then he found some “googly eyes” in his mom’s craft supplies, along with some foam letters. He glued all of these onto the project to complete it. 




20160926_111127Craft: A is for Alligator: I showed Tahoe an art project from another website and he adapted it to create an alligator from a capital letter “A.” I cut out the green capital “A” for him, and drew some large teeth and ovals (for the eyes) on some white paper. He cut out and pasted the teeth and eyes. Then he decided he needed more teeth and drew triangles on the leftover white paper and cut them out. Tahoe also added the “googly eyes” (one of his favorite craft supplies at the moment) and foam letters. Here is the website that inspired Tahoe’s alligator project:




Videos: I am always able to find lots of short videos on the Internet that teach the sound of the letter I am teaching the grands. We also found short, educational videos on ants and alligators. 

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

Field trips:We don’t live in an area where one can see real alligators (other than at the zoo), but ants are found in lots of places. On a trip to a local park to play, Kona was fascinated with the ants he found and tried to discover whether they lived in the trees or underground. 

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt- We made a list of “A” words that could be found in nature and took a walk around our neighborhood or local apple farm to find as many as we could. Here is a partial list: ants, acorns, apples, animals, aquatic center, and avocados.

 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Independent reading: The grands love to look over the books we have previously read throughout this unit of study on their own time.

Favorites: I asked the grands which of the books from our book study were their favorites. Tahoe’s favorite was The Ants Go Marching while Kona preferred Zack’s Alligator and the First Snow.



I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.


I love to add my blog posts to link parties such as:


In-home Day Camp Week 4: Water, Water Everywhere

This is the last week of In-Home Day Camp that I planned for my grandsons for the end of summer 2016. I’m a little late in posting Week 4 because the grands and I had so much fun during our In-home Day Camp Weeks,  that I was too busy to finish this last post. Additionally, I decided to extend the Week 4 theme of water into the school year because there were so many fun activities I found that I wanted to do with the grands and one week was just not enough. So this post includes some of the activities we completed during the Week 4 day camp as well as some activities I still want to do with the grands at the beginning of the school year.

To recap this In-home Day Camp series, I started planning for these activities early in the summer although I wouldn’t be watching the grandsons again until their parents went back to work in August (school teachers). That meant I would have several weeks to watch the grands, Tigger (8), Kona (6), and Tahoe (4), before their school year started. I decided to plan four different weeks of day camp activities for them. I chose four different themes and planned activities for each of the eight Multiple Intelligences when designing each day camp. 

If you would like to see the other three weeks of in-home day camp and their activities, you can find them here:




With the hot days of August, the theme of “water” seemed appropriate for some “cooling” activities for the grands for Week 4 of the day camp. Besides a trip to the beach and a “water play” day at our house, I planned art projects and experiments with water to do with them.

Week Four: Water, Water, Everywhere

 The weekly schedule: Each day I will “dip into” the Read Aloud Book (see Linguistic Intelligence), and have the grands complete at least two other activities. I will choose activities so that all eight intelligences are covered by the end of this day camp unit. I will also mention any academic focus I plan on integrating into any of the activities.

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

Read and discuss books- It’s always nice to include books as part of the day camp experience. I usually get my books from the library. During the week these books can be used to go along with the theme:

Read Aloud: 

the_thing_in_the_sewersThe Thing in the Sewers by Roberto Pavanello tells the story of a bat, named Echo, his three human friends, and how they solve mysteries. The mystery in this story concerns a foul smelling toxic waste that suddenly fills the pond in their local park and the town’s fountain. However, the bad smell and strange color are not the only problems with the water. Echo sees a large, slimy green arm reaching for the fish that are trying to escape from the polluted pond. (Special note: Tigger loved this book so much he read the book himself and has since read another book in this series.) Academic focus: Making Predictions:  At appropriate points in the story, I will have the grands make predictions on the solution of the mystery in the story.

Nonfiction : 

Liquid Planet: Exploring Water on Earth with Science Projects by Tammy Enz, Super Simple Things to Do with Water by Kelly Doudna, Water Wow! An Infographic Exploration by Antonia Banyard and Paula Ayer, and Explore Water! by Anita Yasuda are the four books I used to select experiments to do in this day camp with the grands. The books also provide basic information on topics as they relate to water such as density, air pressure, water cycle, weather, transpiration in plants, and waste water. While I won’t read the entire books to the grands, I will use them as reference books. Before and/or after I do some activities from the book, I will read information to explain why the experiments worked the way it did. Academic focus: Following Directions-As we work on some of the experiments, I will have the grands find the directions in the book, read them aloud (Tigger), or point to the steps as we work on them (Tahoe and Kona). Vocabulary-There are so many new vocabulary words in these books, so this will definitely be another academic focus.

Non-fiction that Read like Fiction:

Pitter and PatterPitter and Patter by Maratha Sullivan and illustrated by Cathy Morrison reads like a story, but can also be considered non-fiction since its focus is about explaining the water cycle using two raindrops who fall from a gray cloud. Before the drops change into a gas and become part of the gray cloud again, Pitter and Patter travel through different types of environments and say hello to the creatures they meet along their journey. This book has gorgeous illustrations and more activities in the back of the book for further investigations. Academic  Focus: Vocabulary- This is a vocabulary-rich story which includes the names of many of the creatures that Pitter and Patter encounter, such as herons, crayfish, and minks, as well as the types of environments through which the drops travel: meadows, caves, streams, and wetlands.

Water is WaterWater is Water by Miranda Paul is a book that beautifully illustrates the different ways water can be seen (steam, fog, snow, rain, etc.) It is written in a rhyming verse which adds to its charm. Academic focus: Rhyming Words-After reading each page, I will ask the grands to tell me the rhyming words.


 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Spray bottle Exploration: I will give each grand a chance to use a spray bottle of water and send them outside by themselves to explore. Usually the grands love to water the plants, spray the block wall fence, and spray the rock garden to see how the water reacts.

Independent Reading: I leave the library books in a convenient place for the grandsons so they can browse or read them on their own.

Journal: I will give each day camper a little booklet, and have them write or draw their favorite experiences from this day camp theme.


Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Drops on a Penny: I love this easy experiment on surface tension because it just requires an eyedropper (or medicine dropper), water, a penny, and a paper towel. I had the grands very slowly add drops of water onto the penny and count how many drops of water the penny would hold until the water spilled off the penny. The grands loved to do this experiment over and over.  If we do this again, I think I will have them try a nickel, a dime, and a quarter and then graph their results. We can also try adding some dishwashing detergent to the water to see if it makes a difference. You can find directions for this experiment at this website:


Stretching Water: I will have the grands explore the concept of cohesion by having them “stretch” some water. Directions: Place a few drops of water (add food color to make the water easier to see) on some waxed paper. Then with a toothpick, “stretch” the water to see how far it will move before the water separates. Measure how far you were able to stretch the water before it separated. Or create a water maze such as the one found on this website:


Who is Faster? I found this experiment in the book Explore Water! Make a hole with a pin in two paper cups. Balance each one cup in a sturdy glass that has a smaller diameter than the paper cups. Fill one paper cup with hot water and place an equal amount of ice water in the other paper cup. Time each cup to see which cup will leak out all if it’s water first. (Hint: Which molecules will move faster?)

 Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

What would a day camp experience be without camp songs!? Instead of creating my own, I found several websites that have songs about water:

“Water Clear, Water Bright” is one song I plan to teach the grands. It can be found here: http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/w067.html

Ocean and Beach Songs: Since I am also taking the grands to the beach, I wanted to teach them songs about the ocean: I found some here: http://www.preschooleducation.com/sbeach.shtml

Great Lakes Song: There are also songs about bodies of water, such as this one about the Great Lakes: http://www.songsforteaching.com/fosterbrown/greatlakesjack.htm

Water Cycle: I wanted to teach a song about the water cycle to the grands and found a really good one at this website which uses the tune “The Wheels on the Bus” to go along with the water cycle lyrics: http://www.naturallyeducational.com/2011/04/rain-songs-and-poems-for-children/

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

As I already mentioned, part of this week’s day camp will include a day at the beach. Besides enjoying the cooler weather and water at the beach, the grands will make sand castles and collect shells (or fragments of shells.) We will collect some ocean water before we leave the beach to use later in the week in a simple experiment. 

Experiment with Ocean Water: Using the ocean water that was collected during our beach trip, the grands will pour it into a square baking pan. I will have them taste the ocean water and describe it before putting the baking pan outside in the sun. After all the water is evaporated, we will see what is left in the baking pan. (Salt crystals)

20160914_102809Hole in Bottle Experiment: To help explain to the grands that air pressure can prevent water from leaking out of a bottle with a hole in it, I did the “Bottled Up” experiment from the book Super Simple Things to Do with Water. Make sure to use a plastic bottle that is at least 1 liter. I tried a regular plastic bottle and it didn’t work as well. You can also find directions for a similar experiment at this website:   http://magic-but-real-experiments.blogspot.com/2009/06/bottle-with-hole.html

Water Refraction Experiment: I have not tried this one yet with the grands, but I plan to do so in the future. It is a very simple experiment requiring a bottle of water, paper, and markers. You can find it here:


Transpiration in Plants: I will adapt the directions for Experiment 3 in the Liquid Planet book. I will have the grands discover how much water comes from one of our outdoor plants. I will have them use a plastic storage bag with a zipper closing (can also use a tie twist on a regular plastic bag) to cover some leaves from an outdoor plant. After a few hours, we will check the experiment to see if any water from the plant has accumulated in the plastic bag. (I used to do this experiment as a classroom teacher and discovered the leaves of trees worked the best.)

 Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Craft projects: The grands love to do art projects, so I always have lots of activities in this intelligence.

Paper Towels and Markers: I had the grands use markers and draw a picture on a paper towel. When the picture was done, I had them spray the pictures with water and watch what happened. We talked about water absorption and why the ink from the markers had spread out on the paper towel. (I used an empty and clean spray bottle from a “green” all purpose cleaner as our water spray bottle.) This art project was adapted from another blog that I found online: http://happyhooligans.ca/paper-towel-art/

Watercolors and Oil: I still plan to do this art activity with the grands: http://babbledabbledo.com/easy-art-projects-for-kids-watercolors-oil/

Tissue Paper and Water: The grands will create pictures with tissue paper glued on construction paper, and then spray water on the picture to create an “impressionist” design. Another method for using tissue paper and water is explained here: http://theimaginationtree.com/2012/02/tissue-paper-bleeding-art.html

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

States of Matter: The grands will have to work together to demonstrate the three states of water. I will tell them that each of them represents one molecule of water. For the solid (ice), I will have them hook elbows and stand still. For liquid (water) I will have them move about freely in a small room, like the den. For the gaseous state (steam), I will allow them to run around the backyard. Afterwards we will discuss what they learned about the molecules of water in each of the three states.

Circle Storytelling: Sit in a circle and start a story. Have the day campers take turns going around the circle and contribute to the story. An example of a story starter is: “Our grandparents surprised us with a canoe so we decided to all go together for a canoe trip down the local river. At first…”

Water Play Day: Grandpa Jim and I will have the grands over to our house where they can have a “water play” party. We will set out the wading pool, water table, and super soakers for them to use together. 

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

Swimming: Since the grands take swim lessons once a week, I will make sure to include a day at a local pool as part of the day camp.

Chasing the Waves: At the beach we will play a game where we run toward the waves when the tide is going in, and then run from the waves as they come towards the shore.

Water Balloon Toss: Trying to catch water balloons on a hot day is good for eye-hand coordination, but also can be very cooling!

More Water Play Ideas: I plan to use some of the ideas from this website too:  http://www.stillplayingschool.com/2015/04/outside-water-play-ideas-for-kids.html


I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.


I love to add my blog posts to link parties such as:






In-home Day Camp Week 3: We Like Bikes

I  have three active grandsons that I love to babysit several days a week, and I like to keep them busy with lots of activities that are enriching and possibly educational.  This summer I will watch the grands, Tigger (8), Kona (6), and Tahoe (4), for several weeks in August before the two older ones return to school in the fall, and I wanted to create an in-home day camp experience for them. I decided to plan a variety of day-camp-type activities by choosing a theme and planning activities for each of the eight Multiple Intelligences when designing the day camp. I also wanted some academic focus embedded in the activities I chose.

We really love our bikes in this family, and the grands are no exception. Their father, uncle, great uncle, and grandfather ride their own bikes on a regular basis, so the grandsons have great mentors. Of course, the grands all have bikes (although Tahoe still has training wheels).  Since my grandsons have lots more time to ride their bikes in the summer, I planned some fun “day camp” activities for them to enjoy their bikes and learn more about bike riding. 

I have planned four weeks of day camp activities altogether and this theme is for Week Three. If you would like to see Week One and Two’s day camp plans, you can find it here:   



Week Four: Water, Water, Everywhere (In the coming weeks I will also post my plans for Week Four.)

Week Three: We Like Bikes 

The weekly schedule: Each day I will “dip into” the Read Aloud Book (see Linguistic Intelligence), have the grands ride their bikes (see Bodily-Kinesthetic and Naturalist Intellgiences) and have them engage in at least two other activities a day (listed in the other intelligences). By the end of the week I will make sure that I have offered at least one activity from each intelligence so that all eight intelligences are covered by the end of this day camp unit. For my readers, I will also mention any academic focus I plan on integrating into any of the activities.

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

Read and discuss books- It’s always nice to include a few books as part of the day camp experience, so I usually start my planning by getting some books for the grands at the library. Besides the Read Aloud Book, I will probably read and discuss some of these other books sometime during the week as time allows. 


safety on your bicycleSafety on Your Bicycle by Lucia Raatma is a book I definitely want to read and discuss with my grands as part of the day camp experience. It has great pictures and easy instructions for safety rules including the proper way to wear a bicycle helmet, how to check your bicycle for safety before you ride it, dangers on the road, intersections, and traffic rules. Academic focus: Vocabulary-This book has several important vocabulary words that the grands need to learn including chinstrap, reflector, and signal. Text features-I can also use this book to talk about text features such as Table of Contents and Index.

Pedal ItPedal It! How Bicycles Are Changing the World by Michelle Mulder has tons of information on bicycles: their history, their development, how people use bicycles in their places of work, and how bicycles are making positive changes in the quality of life for people throughout the world. This book includes many photographs and factoids that will catch the eye of many bike enthusiasts (Grandpa Jim was shown this book and couldn’t put it down.). It is written for grades 3-7, and is so full of information, I will read it to my grandsons in small sections. Academic Focus: “Book Walk”-Since this book may be too overwhelming to read in its entirety, I will show the grands how to do a “Book Walk” with it. That means we will look through the whole book first before reading it by checking out: the front and back cover, table of contents, chapter titles, and illustrations. Then I will have the grands choose a section or page of the book which interests them the most and read those pages to them.


The Best Bike Ride EverThe Best Bike Ride Ever by James Proimos and Johanna Wright tells the story of  Bonnie and her enthusiasm for her new bike. Bonnie loves her new bike so much that she immediately begins riding it over imagined bridges, mountains, canyons, and elephants. Unfortunately,  Bonnie hasn’t learned yet how to stop on her bike. This is an adorable story that makes the point that learning safety rules before riding a new bike can be a very good thing to do.  Academic Focus: Predictions-As Bonnie takes off on her new bike, I will ask the grands what they think will happen to Bonnie as she continues to ride her bike. How do they think the story will end? 


BenRidesOn-JacketBen Rides On by Matt Davies is a cute book about a third grader, named Ben, who loves to ride his bike to school. But once he arrives at school, another much bigger third grader, Adrian, decides he would like to ride Ben’s bike too. As Ben tries to retrieve his bicycle, he has to encounter some hard decisions to help Adrian who gets into a scary predicament.  Academic focus: Character traits– I will discuss how the reader learns about the characters in a story by finding the following clueswhat the characters say, what they do, and what others say about them. I will guide the grands to discuss the characters of Ben and Adrian using those three types of clues.

Read Aloud: 

the case of the bicycle banditThe Case of the Bicycle Bandit: A Jigsaw Jones Mystery by James Preller is book #14 in this series of mystery stories. In this chapter book, which is good for grades 1-3,  Jigsaw and Mila investigate the disappearance of Ralphie Jordan’s rusty, broken down, old bicycle that was chained to a bike rack at the library. The story is told with humor and lots of suspicious characters.  Academic focus: Details-I will discuss which details in the story helped Jigsaw and Mila to solve the mystery. Independent Reading-I also hope that Tigger will want to read this book on his own afterwards since it is written at his current reading level.

Storytelling or Writing Prompts: I will give my grandsons at least one of these prompts and have them tell me a story (or write it down depending on their interest or age level). Academic focus: Main Characters and Plot (Complete sentences if used as a written activity.)

  • On my last bike ride with my family, we …..
  • If you could design a vacation for your bicycle, where would it go?

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

These are some ways the grands can use their mathematical intelligence to understand their bicycles:

Measurement: Using a tape measure, I will have the grands measure the length and height of their bicycles and the different parts.

Graphing: I may have the grands compare the height and length of their bicycles by making bar graphs after they finish the measuring activity.

Radius and Diameter: I can introduce the concept of radius and diameter by having the grands measure them on the wheels of their bikes. I may even introduce the formula for finding the diameter of a circle using the radius by helping the grands analyze the measurements they took for their wheels.

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

I want my grandsons not only to enjoy playing on their bikes, but hopefully develop some physical skills as well. Here are some ideas:

How Slow Can You Go? http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/16780/outdoor-fun-bicycle-games

Driveway Games: http://www.bicycling.com/training/kids-cycling/kids-bike-skills

Leap Frog: https://www.trails.com/list_32894_bike-games-kids.html

Bike Rodeo: http://bicycling.about.com/od/organizedbikeevents/a/bikerodeo_event.htm

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

The grands always love arts and crafts so I looked up some ideas online that I could try with the boys:


Making a Bicycle with Pipe Cleaners: http://mykidcraft.com/pipe-cleaner-bicycle/20160926_104815

Bike Streamers and Plates: http://www.crayola.com/crafts/bike-streamers–plates-craft/

Drawing a Bicycle: Tahoe used this website to draw a bicycle and make a really nice art project:



Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

Songs about Bicycle Safety: I wrote some lyrics for the tune “The Farmer in the Dell” to teach the grands some safety rules I want them to remember:

We want to ride our bikes, We want to ride our bikes,

Helmets on, C’mon let’s go, We want to ride our bikes.

At corners we look right, At corners we look left,

Helmets on, C’mon let’s go, We’ll look both right and left.

Obey all traffic signs, Obey all traffic signs,

Helmets on, C’mon let’s go, Obey all traffic signs.

I found some other bicycle safety songs online that are really good and I might use with my grands:


Other Songs About Bicycles: Here are some other songs. Some of them can be found as videos online:

  • “Bike Safety Boogie” by Will Stroet, from his album “My Backyard.”
  • “On A Bicycle Built for Two” sung by Nat King Cole

Classical Music: Several music composers have been so inspired by their bicycles that they wrote music either about their bicycle experiences or using bicycles as musical instruments. They can be found at this link:


Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

Playing with their bikes outdoors; what could be more natural? The grands will need to learn how to adapt their bicycle riding skills to different outdoor environments, so during the day camp week, Grandpa Jim and I will try to take them to a different outdoor area each day to ride their bikes. Here are some examples:

bicycle trail in Rancho CucamongaParks: There are many different playground/park areas in our vicinity, so we have lots of choices for their bicycle riding. Some of these parks are nearby and the boys can ride their bikes to them, under the watchful eye of an adult, of course. Other times, we’ll put their bikes in our car and drive them to one of the larger parks in our area that has a bike path next to a stream.

Bike Trails: I also found some local bike trails on the internet that we might try.

Cul De Sacs: There is a cul de sac near us where the grands can ride their bikes.

Empty parking lots: Some of the schools and churches in our area have empty parking lots in the early evening hours. They are often good places to allow the grands to ride without the worry of traffic.


Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

Bicycle Maintenance: I want the grands to learn how to work together to take care of their bicycles, so I will have Grandpa Jim show them how to clean their bikes, pump up tires, and “lube” the bicycle chains. Our focus will be to get the grands to work together on these chores, helping each other. (And pumping up tires includes some Logical/Mathematical activities too as the grands will need to look for the maximum air pressure which is printed on the side of the tire.)


 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

Some activities should be planned for the grands that can be done by themselves such as:

  • Riding their bikes in our backyard.
  • Reading books about bicycles: I will have the books I used during the week available for the grands to use and look at throughout the week.
  • Journal Writing: I want to give each grand a chance to reflect on their day camp week by writing, drawing, or telling me what they enjoyed most about their bicycles this week. (This is an activity that is best done at the end of the day camp experience.) 


I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan day camps or lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.


I love to add my blog posts to link parties such as:






In-home Day Camp Week 2: The Game Plan

When I was a child, our entire neighborhood was filled with children around the same ages as my siblings and me. We loved to spend our summer days and evenings playing games: board games, kickball in the street, hide and go seek in the neighborhood, Red Light-Green Light, Red Rover, ping pong, etc. I want my grands to know and play lots of games too, so I planned an In-Home Day Camp experience for them that focuses on sports and games. Since this is also a Summer Olympic year, I decided to incorporate the Olympics into this day camp as well.

As I planned this day camp theme for the grands, Tigger (8), Kona (6), and Tahoe (4), I designed activities for each of the eight Multiple Intelligences.  I also incorporated some academic focus in the activities I chose.

I have planned four weeks of day camp activities altogether and this theme is for Week Two. If you would like to see Week One’s day camp plans, you can find it here:


 In the coming weeks I will also post my plans for Week Three and Week Four:

Week Three Theme: We Like Bikes 

Week Four: Water, Water, Everywhere

 Week Two: The Game Plan

The weekly schedule: Each day I will “dip into” the Read Aloud Book (see Linguistic Intelligence) and have the grands (or day campers) play at least two different games (found in several places in this post). By the end of the week I will make sure that I have offered at least one activity from each intelligence so that all eight intelligences are covered by the end of this day camp unit. I will also mention any academic focus I plan on integrating into any of the activities.

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

Read and discuss books- It’s always nice to include books as part of the day camp experience. I usually get my books from the library. During the week these books may be used to go along with the theme:


Play With Us bookPlay With Us: 100 Games from Around the World by Oriol Ripoll is a great resource explaining both indoor and outdoor games from many countries. There are a variety of types of games too such as hopscotch, marble games, hide and seek, and tag. Academic Focus: Following written directions-First, I’ll point out that directions for games usually include the number of players, materials needed, and steps in the game. I’ll have the grands choose a few games from this book and follow the directions to play them. (The oldest grandson can read it to the other two grands.) 

The Fastest Game on Two FeetThe Fastest Game on Two Feet and other Poems about How Sports Began by Alice Low uses poetry to explain the origins of some sports and games that require legwork. (Many of these sports are also played during the Olympics). Some of the sports included are running, gymnastics, bowling, figure skating, and rugby. This book is written at a higher level, but I think my oldest grandson will enjoy it. Academic focus: Rhyming words: Many of the poems in this book are rhymes, so identifying rhyming words is definitely a literacy skill to practice when reading this book.


  • Let's Play bookLet’s Play: Poems about Sports and Games from Around the World edited by Debjaniu Chatterjee and Brian D’Arcy contains over thirty poems about a variety of sports, mostly from English speaking countries such as USA, UK, and India. Some of the poems were familiar to me: “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and “The Swing.” Most of the poems are new to me including: “The Skater Boys” and “Right Royal.” Sports and games that have inspired these poems include ping pong, judo, boxing, diving, cycling, American football, and cricket. Academic Focus: Context clues–Are there unfamiliar words in the poems, especially those written in other countries? What clues can we find in the prose to help us uncover the meaning of these unfamiliar words? 

The Mud Flats OlympicsThe Mud Flat Olympics by James Stevenson is an easy and adorable chapter book about some animals that are holding an Olympics. The events are varied including Digging the Deepest Hole (which featured the moles) and the All-Snail High Hurdles. Academic focus: Inferences–The animals don’t always win the races in the conventional way, so the grands will have to employ some inference skills to understand who (or how) the winners were determined.


Hit the Ball DuckHit the Ball Duck by Jez Alborough is an adorable rhyming picture book about a group of friends who want to play baseball. However, with duck’s first hit, the baseball gets stuck high in a tree, so the friends try different methods to get it down. Academic focus: Problem and Solution-This is a great book to discuss the main problem in the story and how it is finally solved. Rhyming-Since this book is written in rhymes, I will have the grandsons identify the rhyming words. Sight words–This will be a great book for Kona to identify his sight words.

Read Aloud: 

Going for Gold!Going for Gold! by Andrew Donkin tells the story of six Olympians: Jesse Owens, Shelley Mann, Mamo Wolde, Daley Thompson, Jennifer Capriati, and Kerri Strug. The book includes photographs and interesting sidebars giving facts about the Olympic Games. In addition, Going for Gold! includes information about the sport of each of these athletes. Academic focus: Main Character–Discuss each Olympians’ motivation and/or obstacles in achieving their gold medal.

Poetry Recitation: The grands are really into memorizing short poems at the moment (encouraged by their parents) so I’d like to have each of them choose one of the poems in Let’s Play: Poems about Sports and Games from Around the World or The Fastest Game on Two Feet and other Poems about How Sports Began and memorize it.

Storytelling or Writing Prompts: I will give my grandsons at least one of these prompts and have them tell me a story (or write it down depending on their interest or age level.) Academic focus: Main Characters and Plot (Complete sentences if used as a written activity.)

  • I wanted to be the best _______ player in town, so I made a plan.
  • Mom and Dad surprised us one morning by saying they had some tickets for the Summer Olympics.
  • I decided to create my own game. I called it ________ and these are the rules for the game:

Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Most games use some type of math anyway, but here are some games I plan to use to engage the grands’ logical/mathematical intelligence:

Basketball Shots: One of the games I will play with the grands is shooting baskets. I will have the older grands, Kona and Tigger, practice counting by 2s amd 5s by making their baskets either worth 2 points each or 5 points each.

Dominoes: A set of dominoes has many options for using math skills.  First I will work with the basic rule in which the grands will have to match the number of dots on the end tiles to place a new domino. For the older grands, I will move onto the rule of 3s and 5s. For more information on this game and other ideas for using dominoes I will use this resource:


There are more ideas for game related math at this website:


 Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

Music has been written about games and is additionally an integral part of some games.

Songs about Games: Some samples of songs about games (baseball and Olympic in particular), that I will play for the grands are these:

  • “Centerfield” by John Fogerty 
  • “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” by Jack Norworth, and 
  • “Olympic Fanfare and Theme” by John Williams.

Singing Games: There are so many traditional games that involve singing such as “The Farmer in the Dell,” “London Bridges,” and “Skip to My Lou.” I found other sources of singing games to try at these links:



Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

So many games can be played outdoors, and I want my grands to learn a variety of them. I also want to show them that they can use natural materials as part of their play.

Shadow Tag: To play this game, find a large sunny area. Since the game requires players to step on other players’ shadows, it is probably best done in the late afternoon. This game can be done by only two  participants, but it is more fun with at least three players. Shadow tag is similar to other types of “tag” games except the only way that the child who is “it” can tag another player is to step on their shadow. Then that child becomes “it” and has to try and step on someone else’s shadow. There are lots of other variations of the “tag” game. I found a great resource here:


Other Classic Outdoor Games: I also want to teach my grandsons some outdoor games that I loved as a child such as Kick the Can, Red Rover, and Red Light, Green Light. I found this resource which has the rules for these games as well as several others that I might try: http://www.wired.com/2013/03/30-classic-games-for-simple-outdoor-play/

Tic-Tac-Toe: I want the grands to understand that natural materials can be used in place of paper and pencil to play some familiar games. For example, I’ll have the grands collect long sticks to make the grid for tic-tac-toe. Then the grands can gather natural items for the “X” and “O” pieces by collecting items such as rocks, bark, or pinecones.

Other games using natural materials can be found at this website: http://artfulparent.com/2014/05/10-diy-outdoor-games-to-make-rocks.html

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

One of my favorite childhood games uses the Spatial Intelligence as part of its playing area. 

Hopscotch: Information on the more traditional hopscotch games can be found at this hopscotchwebsite: http://www.parents.com/fun/activities/hopscotch/

I also found a different type of hopscotch using the book, Play With Us (see Linguistic Intelligence),  where the player kicks a stone instead of hopping from each numbered space. The game is called “Kicking the Pebbles” and uses a different type of hopscotch formation: a large square playing area that has been divided into 8 different five sided or four sided spaces with some chalk. The player throws a “pebble” into space #1 and then tries to kick the stone from space to space in number order until the player gets to the end. If the player is successful to getting to the end without kicking the stone out of a space, then they get a second round by throwing the “pebble” into space #2 and repeating the pattern of kicking the stone from space to space in number order. 

Treasure Hunt: My grandson, Kona, just loves to follow maps so I will include at least one treasure hunt during this day camp week. The first time we play the game, I will hide one of their toys as the “treasure” and draw a map for the boys to follow to find the toy. In subsequent games, I will have the grandsons take turns hiding the “treasure” and creating a map. (I’ll have someone help Tahoe when it is his turn.)

Olympic Ring Craft: I discovered an idea for a craft from another blogger. This idea uses bottle caps to create the Olympic rings. It can be found at this link: http://www.icanteachmychild.com/olympic-rings-cap-sorting/

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

checkers playingMany of the games listed in other places in this post would also fit under the Interpersonal Intelligence because you need more that one person to play these games. Besides those activities, other examples of interpersonal games that I plan to include in my day camp week would be Hide and Seek, Mother May I, board games (like Checkers), and card games like “Go Fish.”


Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

I want my grandsons not only to enjoy playing these games, but hopefully develop some physical skills as well. That is why I will include “lead up games” in my day camp for the grands.

Red Light, Green Light Dribble: This basketball lead up game will allow the grands to practice dribbling a basketball. To play the game, each player needs a basketball. Then the grands will line up on one side of the basketball playing area and the “Leader” will be on the other side. When the “Leader” calls “Green Light” the day campers move forward while dribbling the basketball. The players must stop when the “Leader” calls “Red Light.” If a player doesn’t stop at “Red Light,” they are sent back to the beginning. The first player to catch up to the “Leader” is the winner. (I may have the youngest grandson start the game closer to the “Leader” since this skill will be more difficult for him.) I found other basketball lead up games that I might use with my grandsons at this website: http://www.csosports.org/4-fun-basketball-dribbling-games-for-young-players

Water Balloon Toss: Besides being a very cooling game for a hot summer day, this game teaches skills such as catching with two water balloonshands and throwing with accuracy. You will need even numbers of players for this game. Day campers play with a partner and stand about three feet away from each other. Each partnership has one water balloon. At a signal, the player with the water balloon tosses it to their partner. If the partner is successful in catching the water balloon, they take a small step back and then throw the water balloon back. Play continues like this until the water balloon breaks. I plan to have lots of water balloons ready for this game so the grands get plenty of practice in throwing and catching.

Soccer Pirate Attack: This lead up game will help my day campers to practice their soccer dribbling skills. To play this game, you will need several hula hoops and several soccer balls. Using a large flat playing area, place the hula hoops (Safe Islands) about the field. All players start the game at the edge of the playing area. The child who is the “Pirate” has to turn around and count to ten before “attacking” the other players. Meanwhile the other players are allowed to roam and/or dribble the soccer ball around the field. Players are not allowed to touch the soccer balls with their hands. When the “Pirate” finishes counting to ten, the “Pirate” calls out “Attack” and runs to tag the players with the soccer balls. To be safe, the players with soccer balls must be inside a Safe Island with their soccer ball. Anyone who is tagged by the “Pirate” before reaching the safety of the Safe Islands (or who doesn’t have a soccer ball) becomes the new “Pirate” and the game starts over again.

 Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)

While most of the games that are in this post require other people as part of the activity, there are some games and projects for this day camp experience that are Intrapersonal:

  • Some games can be played with one person such as shooting baskets, single jump roping, playing with a hula hoop, hopscotch, and hitting a ball against a wall.
  • Reading books about games: I will have the books I used during the week available for the grands to use and look at throughout the week.
  • Journal Writing: I want to give each grand a chance to reflect on their day camp week by writing, drawing, or telling me what they enjoyed most about the games this week. (This is an activity that is best done at the end of the day camp experience.) 


I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan day camps or lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.


I love to add my blog posts to link parties such as:






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