By Craig Ferch, School Psychologist
Children who are strong in the Body-Kinesthetic intelligence can excel in either gross-motor (big muscles) or fine-motor (small muscles) skills, or both. This is the intelligence of the dancer, athlete, surgeon, or carpenter…just to name a few. People strong in this area are highly valued in our society, either for things they produce and make, or for the skills and talents they perform for us. Many children see the professional athlete as a role model (whether this is good or bad is a topic for another time, but it is a reality). From a leisure standpoint, it’s fun to exercise our body-kinesthetic intelligence. Many hobbies such as jogging, needlepoint, golf, and painting require well developed motor skills and coordination. Like all intelligences, body-kinesthetic overlaps into the other intelligences in most activities we do. The painter is using both visual and body, while the violinist uses the musical and the body.
Children highly developed in Body-Kinesthetic intelligence often squirm at the breakfast table, or in their desk at school. They are sometimes described as always being “on the go”. They process information and gain knowledge through the use of their body. They get “gut feelings” about things such as answers on a difficult test. Some are graced with athletic abilities such as dancing, running, or throwing a baseball. Others are gifted in fine-motor coordination, and can excel in drawing, fixing things around the house, or doing crafts. These children may effectively communicate nonverbally through gestures and other body language. They need opportunities to learn by moving or acting things out. They are the so-called “hands-on” learners. Expecting this type of student to quietly sit in their desk for long periods of time and listen to the teacher lecture is simply unrealistic.
At home, here are some ideas and things children can do to further develop and enjoy their Body-Kinesthetic intelligence.
Next month: Interpersonal Intelligence