In the first part of this series I covered the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. When you see young children trying to climb up your sofa, putting on a cape and mask before zooming around the house, or making “snakes” with Playdoh, they are engaging their bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.
However, when you see children mixing two watercolors together, piecing together Lego blocks to look like the picture on the Logo box, or watching a children’s video on your iPad, they are using their spatial intelligence.
Children with strengths in the spatial intelligence are attracted to the color, line, and shapes of their environment. Another part of this learning style is the ability to think in pictures and see visual relationships. Allowing young children the opportunity to daydream, manipulate models, and express themselves through art media would be consistent with the spatial intelligence. Visual presentations such as posters, videos, and demonstrations should also be made available when engaging children through the spatial intelligence.
As I begin the list of some items that might be part of an enriched spatial multiple intelligence environment, keep in mind that some items fit into more than one category. For example blocks can be found in spatial (for creating structure and spaces), but blocks also require fine motor coordination so they are additionally bodily-kinesthetic tools.
Here are some ideas for spatial materials:
Drawing utensils such as crayons, markers, and sidewalk chalk
Paper: construction, fingerpainting, sketching, tissue
Paints: fingerpaints, watercolors, temperas, dot paints, brushes
Playdough, slime, modeling clay
Glue stick, glue bottle, glitter glue
Foam board (or precut foam board shapes)
Craft sticks, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, google eyes
Recyclables such as egg cartons, boxes, paper towel rolls
Access to media to see children’s videos, apps, or games
Posters for children (animals, cars, trains, alphabet, numbers and shapes, or anything that interests them)
Puzzles and mazes
Maps and globes (The grands especially love to keep the souvenir maps they get at zoos.)
Construction sets or materials (i.e. Legos)
Model sets to make cars, boats, spaceships,etc.
Art books and craft books
There are so many other materials that could be used to encourage a child’s spatial intelligence. I get new ideas all the time from other bloggers. Feel free to comment on materials that you have found useful.
In the third part of this series, I will cover the musical intelligence.