All of us want to be smart. It is something I like to tell myself first thing when I get up in the morning – That I am smart and I can handle it!

But is there more than one way we can be smart? Let’s find out!

Dr. Kathy Koch, the author of the book 8 Great Smarts, describes 8 different ways we can be smart. This article is inspired by this book.

8 Great Smarts

Dr. Koch describes our brains like a big circle divided into eight parts. Whichever part we use more, develops more brain cells, and becomes our area or areas of smart.

Everyone has all 8 types of smart. We are usually good at about 3 to 4 of these types. These are our natural abilities or inclinations. The others we may have in medium or fewer quantities.

Now, how do we identify our area or areas of smart?

Below listed are the 8 ways we are smart. After reading each section, ask yourself these questions to identify your multiple smarts:

  • Is this easy for me?
  • Do I absolutely enjoy these and related activities?
  • Does this make me feel happy?
  • Do I feel rejuvenated after performing this activity?
  • Am I always very focused during these kinds of tasks?

So let’s dive in!

8 Great Smarts

1. Word Smart

BOOK - WORD SMART

Word smart kids think with words. They would love to read in their spare time and are good at writing all kinds of things. So a big applause for all avid readers, creative writers, active listeners, and confident speakers.

School is not a scary place for them and they generally do well in it. Skills that come easily to them are listening, reading, speaking, and writing. These 4 skills do go together but you may not be excelling in all of them. And that’s okay!

If you want to improve this skill or a certain part of it:

  • Read different types of books – Fiction and Non-Fiction.
  • Listen to audio stories, they are freely available online.
  • Be curious about topics – Read newspapers, magazines, or online posts.
  • If you have a pre-determined curriculum, read about the topic beforehand so you are familiar with its vocabulary.
  • Google any word you do not understand or use a dictionary.
  • Once you read something, describe it in your own words by speaking or writing.

Plan, practice and learn new vocabulary – that’s the way to move ahead for the WORD SMART!

2. Logic Smart

LOGIC SMART

Logic smart kids think with questions. Everything is a – WHY? They want to know the reason behind everything. They like to solve problems and think of innovative solutions.

These children like asking and answering questions. So again school is not such a scary place for them. They like Math since 2 + 2 is always 4. They like solutions they can predict and understand.

Science is one of their favorite subjects since logic smart kids tend to explore. They will love to experiment and perhaps, be the cause of an explosion or two since they want to discover, innovate, and create.

So a big shout out to math lovers, budding scientists, little engineers, future explorers, and computer wizards. You will lead us into a whole new future!

If you want to improve this skill or a certain part of it:

  • Start with why? Ask more questions
  • Read more non-fiction books like encyclopedias, newspapers, biographies, and autobiographies.
  • See videos about real nature or architectural expeditions, science inventions, math fun, and crazy theories.
  • Solve more riddles & puzzles
  • Don’t ask for solutions. Think hard yourself!
  • Build more things
  • Solve problems around you
  • Be curious about your surroundings
  • Ask an adult or google your questions

Ask, think and solve – It is the LOGIC SMART way!

3. Picture Smart

Picture smart kids think with their eyes and express with pictures. These are the kids who like art, creative designs, and doodling. They have a wonderful imagination and it can lead them to fantastic magical places.

Creative expression comes naturally to them. These kids are very visual and carefully read facial expressions and body language. They are great observers. A much-needed skill for true empathy. Observation + compassion = Empathy & Kindness.

A big hurray to all the artists, sculptors, painters, fashion designers, architects, interior designers – basically all those with great creativity!

A FUN GAME TO PLAY – WISHING STONE

Material: Flour, Salt, Warm Water, Food Coloring & Glitter. Method: Mix equal parts of flour & salt, add warm water to make a sticky dough. Add food coloring and glitter. And shape the way you want. Bake in the oven at 100 degrees Celsius for one hour.

And once they are made, wish away! Be whoever you want to be:)

If you want to improve this skill or a certain part of it:

  • Express yourself in different ways
  • Read more nonfiction books with amazing adventures and let your imagination go wild!
  • Draw, sketch, color, and paint more
  • Join an art class
  • Travel and visit exotic places for visually rich experiences!

Imagine, create and express is the way to be PICTURE SMART!

4. Music Smart

HEADPHONES _ MUSIC SMART

Music Smart kids think with rhythms and melodies. They hum, whistle, and toe-tap. They literally embody music. These children walk, stride, hop, and strut with a beat.

Music relaxes, invigorates, and rejuvenates them. Singing in tune, playing musical instruments, and dancing to a beat are hallmarks of music smart kids. A big cheer to singers, musicians, music composers, dancers – basically everyone who enjoys music.

A FUN GAME TO PLAY – DRUM A NEW BEAT

Material – 10 Plastic glasses. Method: Invert all the glasses. Use them to create a new beat. Try using a sequence of taps to get a variety of rhythms. Rap on how unique you are! Ask your parent/friend to join in the fun and add some diverse tones & beats:)

If you want to improve this skill or a certain part of it:

  • Listen to different varieties/genres of music
  • Perform on karaoke nights
  • Hum your favorite song in the shower
  • Learn a musical instrument
  • Learn new dance steps and dance forms – many are available online.
  • Join a singing or dance class

Humming, tapping, and springing into song & dance is the jive of those who are MUSIC SMART!

5. Body Smart

RUNNING CHILD - BODY SMART

Body Smart kids think with movement and touch. They are constantly in flux. They want to move. Movement is life for them.

They have boundless, insatiable, and infinite energy. These kids will hop, jump, skip, or run when asked to walk. It defines, revives, and invigorates them.

So a big bow to all the athletes, dancers, runners, marathon walkers, gym or yoga enthusiasts – basically for all those who need to move and be fit as they get older.

A FUN GAME TO PLAY – MOVEMENT MEMORY

Material: Your body and one friend/parent. Method: The first player adds a movement. The second does the original movement and adds one more movement. Then the first player must do the first two movements and add a third one. Play will go on till a player misses a movement.

Eg – Step 1 – toe tap/ Step 2 – toe tap and head touch / Step 3 – toe tap, head touch and swing your arms. Add music to the routine to make it more fun & challenging.

Younger kids can use their body to make alphabets, numbers and words. Your muscles have great memory and power. Use them to your advantage.

As a challenge, make the letters in ‘T’ ‘H’ ‘E’ with your body. Take pictures of each letter and show your mom & dad that you can spell ‘THE’ with your body!

If you want to improve this skill or a certain part of it:

  • Be physically active
  • During COVID 19, stay at home time, set a reminder to walk around the house after every one hour.
  • Introduce 30 min walks, exercise, yoga, or run into your daily routine.
  • Join an online class
  • Follow exercise video’s on YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook.
  • Download the NIKE fitness app for exercise routines.

Move, run & skip along to a fit and healthy body as you become BODY SMART!

6. Nature Smart

PHOTO OF NATURE - NATURE SMART

Nature Smart kids think in nature & patterns. These kids love the outdoors, plants, animals, rocks & minerals. They also observe patterns, design, order, and textures.

So nature smart kids do better in natural sciences like biology. Nature revives and rejuvenates them. They feel one with nature and all-natural species.

Thus a big applause for botanists, natural historians, wildlife experts, and all those who help and conserve our natural world. Nature is, so we are.

A FUN GAME TO PLAY – NATURE SCAVENGER HUNT

Material: A list of things to find like the one shown below. Method: Once you make a list, you can give copies to your friends, and let’s see who finds everything first. It can be played over Zoom and everyone can go looking in their own backyards, gardens, or neighborhoods.

LIST OF THINGS TO FIND

Another great idea is to take your homework & assignments outside and get some wild inspiration.

If you want to improve this skill or a certain part of it:

  • Take walks, treks, or hikes in nature
  • Make camping in the woods plan
  • Be mindful of your daily carbon footprint
  • Learn about new plant and animal species
  • Take care of your pets and animals around you

Breathing in, and surrounding yourself with Nature is the way of the NATURE SMART!

7. People Smart

CHILDREN TALKING

People Smart kids think with people. They will generate ideas when they are in the presence of other people. These kids are true team workers.

So this is for those kids who like to hear their ideas out by talking to other people. Discussions, collaboration, and teamwork stimulate them. They are good at brainstorming, group dynamics, and networking.

If you want to improve this skill or a certain part of it:

  • Listen to other children’s ideas
  • Speak up when you have an idea
  • Talk to more children
  • Sign up for team projects at school
  • Take part in school societies & clubs
  • Push yourself & do not be afraid

Listen, talk and collaborate is the way of those who are PEOPLE SMART!

8. Self Smart

SELF SMART

Self Smart kids think deeply inside with quiet reflection. They love to be alone and do not feel lonely. These kids need time with their own thoughts.

Since these children tend to know about their feelings & thoughts, they do not have a need to explain or say. This is the opposite of People Smart. People Smart kids need to tell what they know to understand themselves.

Extroverts are those kids who get energy from other kids. Introverts are those kids who get their energy from being alone.

You can be an introvert and people smart too. This means you get your energy from being alone but need people to think things through. So you can be content with your thoughts and still be great at brainstorming ideas with your friends.

So I am just imagining someone whose Picture Smart with empathy + Logic Smart to solve a problem + People Smart + Self Smart = A True Leader for me.

If you want to improve this skill or a certain part of it:

  • Spend time reflecting on your feelings, actions, and thoughts
  • Write your thoughts in a journal
  • Meditate everyday
  • Be grateful
  • Challenge yourself to new perspectives
  • Challenge yourself to believe in yourself more

Think & reflect – It is the SELF SMART way!

Intelligence always begins with interest. And that interest if developed becomes an ability. So congratulate yourself on all your natural smarts and take an interest in developing those which are latent. With practice & commitment, you can be the best version of your smarts!

Be smart with your smarts!

Prachi Bansal

Hi, I am Prachi Bansal. This blog is an endeavor to increase emotional intelligence and facilitate collaboration and communication amongst parents and children, friends, family, and co-workers. Thanks for stopping by:)

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