Continuing our posts about how Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences applies to outdoor play. Another of Gardner’s intelligences that can be addressed outdoors on the preschool playground is the body kinesthetic intelligence.
This intelligence includes the ability to use and coordinate gross motor and fine motor movements. Children with high body kinesthetic intelligence often learn best when they can move around, use body movements to solve problems, or when they can do some hands-on exploration.
Outdoors in the children’s outdoor play area, children can practice using their body kinesthetic intelligence in many ways. For example, children practice climbing, running, throwing and catching a ball, kicking a ball, riding a tricycle, tumbling, balancing, and much more. They are learning what to do with their bodies and how to coordinate their body parts to reach their goal. Children also learn through hands-on, fine motor movements while playing with smaller manipulatives like stones, grass, leaves, pinecones, sand, etc. on the preschool playground.
Young children have many opportunities to explore their fine motor skills in the classroom. But outdoors is where children can combine their large and small motor skills, developing their body-kinesthetic intelligence.
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Smith, Mark K. (2002, 2008) “Howard Gardner and Multiple Intelligences,” The Encyclopedia of Informal Education, http://www.infed.org/thinkers/gardner.htm.