Welcome back as we continue discussing how Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences apply to learning in children’s outdoor play areas. Another intelligence that can be encouraged on the preschool playground is the interpersonal intelligence. This intelligence involves learning to work with and understand other people (why they do certain things, behave in a certain way, or why they think how they do).
The preschool playground is the perfect place to exercise the interpersonal intelligence. On the playground, children come together to make up activities, engage in dramatic play, and play all kinds of different games. In doing this, children are interacting with their peers and through these interactions they are learning how to work with others, how to listen to others, problem solving, conflict resolution, empathy, communication, and self control, among many other skills. The outdoors is a great place to practice these skills as the playground affords more space for large groups of children to play together and more open-ended play areas for children to make up their own games.
Of course, children also need time to explore and play alone. Return next week to read about the intrapersonal intelligence on the preschool playground. In the meantime, check out our website to learn more about us and why we love children’s playscapes!
Smith, Mark K. (2002, 2008) “Howard Gardner and Multiple Intelligences,” The Encyclopedia of Informal Education, http://www.infed.org/thinkers/gardner.htm.