Naturalistic Intelligence “Nature Smart”



Naturalistic Intelligence is associated with sensing patterns in and making connections to elements in nature.

People talented in this area have highly-developed levels of sensory perception, and may be very interested in human behaviors, or the behaviors, habits, or habitats of other species.

Parents can influence their children’s “Nature smarts” by using the following eleven home activities (not in order of importance).

  1. While cooking and baking, ask the child to set out the ingredients in the order of the recipe.
  2. When cleaning a room, ask the child to organize his room by area—all books in the same place, all toys together in a box.
  3. Read stories with the child. Ask her to retell the story in order. Read her stories about her favorite animals or places. Talk about where the animals in the story live.
  4. At bedtime have the child talk about what he saw on the way home from school, or what he observed while playing outside.
  5. When grocery shopping, have the child make up the grocery list, organized by food types. Ask her about the color, shape, texture, and smell of different foods.
  6. During family game time, play animal charades.
  7. While traveling, encourage the child to help organize items to bring. Have him look at a map of the route to be traveled. Ask him to help navigate.
  8. During homework, have the child use graphic organizers. Help her make a connection between homework and the “real world.”
  9. For the news, find the areas discussed on a globe, map, or atlas. Look up the locations together on the computer, or smart phone.
  10. For family: take time to go on a picnic; watch the night sky; go hiking; play in the dirt—garden; watch incoming storms.
  11. To get out of the house on time, discuss who is the fastest to the slowest to get ready to go out. Brainstorm ways to help the slowest to speed up.



Adults who have strong naturalistic intelligences may find success as: botanist, astronomer, wildlife illustrator, meteorologist, chef, geologist, agriculturalist, horticulturalist, archeologist, volcanologist, ornithologist, oceanographer, biologist, ecologist, zoologist, paleontologist, forensic scientist or landscape architect.

To spark this intelligence in adults:

  • Visit museums of natural history and astronomy. See the night stars or meteor showers.
  • Take photographs of things in nature that interest you. Organize them in categories.
  • Go on an Eco vacation. Learn about different cultures and environments.
  • Sit outside, close your eyes, and listen to the sounds of nature: the wind in the trees; buzzing insects; birds singing. Pay attention to the sights and smells of nature. Feel the change in the air when a storm blows in.



Next week there will be a performance by Sock Puppet Tim. Here’s the link Come and cheer him on! Let Tim know how he’s doing in the comment section of YouTube.


Join me the following week for Behavior in Public. Learn about how to have happier family outings.

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