Christmas and children – they just go together, don’t they? Perhaps you’re looking forward to spending time with children and teens later this month. Maybe you’re still shopping for their gifts. You’re not alone. Stores are still full. Website traffic is high.
Games and toys are some of the best ways to awaken and even strengthen their eight great smarts. Here’s a short list of suggestions taken from the end of each chapter of 8 Great Smarts.
Shop strategically. If you don’t know how the children are smart just pick one or two that sound interesting. If you do know, think about whether they’d enjoy a game for a smart they’re already developing or whether to buy one to better awaken one they haven’t used as much. Or, buy both!
Word Smart – Let’s Play!
Play Scattergories: If you can quickly come up with a list of, say, things at the park, in a drawer, and that you wear that start with the letter t that no one else thinks of, you can win this game.
Play Apples to Apples: One player draws a card. Each player selects a word card from their hand that they think is most relevant to the word on that card. If the judge picks your card, you win that round. Unlikely connections among words make for lots of laughter!
Logic Smart – Let’s Play!
Play Blokus: Players take turns placing pieces of their chosen color on the board. It’s tricky because each new piece must touch at least one other piece of the same color, but only at the corners. You win if you place more pieces than anyone else.
Play Clue: Crack the murder that took place in the mansion by asking the right questions to win this classic game. Junior version available.
Picture Smart – Let’s Play!
Play Telestrations: Picture the “Telephone Game” using drawings instead of whispering something into your neighbor’s ear. Lots of laughter.
Play Pictionary: Make quick sketches that others will hopefully guess correctly. Junior version available
Music Smart – Let’s Play!
Play Cranium: Answer trivia questions, create art, hum, act out clues, and use your vocabulary skills to win. Relevant to many smarts.
Play Encore: Draw a card with a word on it and sing at least six words of a song with that word in it. Judges memory, not musical ability.
Body Smart – Let’s Play!
Play tag (or any outdoor game).
Play Twister: Give the spinner a whirl and follow the directions. Just try to keep from falling over!
Nature Smart – Let’s Play!
Play Qwirkle: Match colors and shapes and use wise maneuvers and a strategy to win.
Play Rock On Geology Game: Rock and mineral collection includes fifteen specimens and fifty-plus polished rocks and minerals; five levels of play.
People Smart – Let’s Play!
Play Headbanz: Everyone but you knows what role you’ve been assigned. Ask questions to try to figure it out before you run out of time. You could be a mouse, dirty sock, or cash register.
Play Guesstures: You only have a few seconds to use classic charades techniques to get your team to guess the word on your assigned card.
Self Smart – Let’s Play!
Do quiet things together that your child chooses, such as completing a puzzle, coloring, building with Legos, playing with dolls, or playing a car game like “Who Am I?”
Shop, shop, shop! Play, play, play!