Visual-Spatial Intelligence “Picture(3-D)Smarts”

kids building


Visual-Spatial Intelligence is associated with the ability to visualize an object and create a mental picture.

People talented in this area are good at accurately “seeing” things inside their head. They may often “see” a map in their mind of someplace they want to go. They might use guided imagery or pretending exercises to send themselves to a peaceful place when stressed. A person with strong visual-spatial ability may look at a blueprint and know exactly what it will look like as a three dimensional object.

Parents can influence their children’s “picture smarts” by using the following eleven home activities (not in order of importance), developed by Connie Hine and Margaret Lewis Crosby, experts in child development.

  1. While cooking and baking, notice colors and textures. See how ingredients look while being mixed. Put thought into decorating and table presentation.
  2. When cleaning a room, make up a poster showing pictures of what goes where, the steps to clean up, and what the cleaned room should look like.
  3. Read stories with illustrations and photos. Draw pictures of the actions in the story.
  4. At bedtime, prepare a poster that has pictures of the steps to get ready for bed. Once in bed, practice visualizing a happy place or favorite dreamscape.
  5. When grocery shopping, look for the best shaped containers for food. Draw pictures of the shopping list instead of words. Have the child help find his favorite foods along the store aisles.
  6. During family game time, play games like Pictionary®, Eye Spy with My Little Eye, or other games that use visual skills.
  7. While traveling, have the child help navigate by reading the map. Look over a map after a trip and find the roads traveled. Collect postcards. Make photo albums. Draw pictures of what has been seen on the trip.
  8. During homework, draw pictures, make paper or clay models to help visualize the problem. This is very helpful in math, science, story maps, and social studies.
  9. For the news, paint or make a collage to express feelings about news stories.
  10. For family, make a photo album. Draw each member of the family doing their favorite activity.
  11. To get out of the house on time, make a chart of the sequence of events to get out.



Adults who have strong visual-spatial intelligences may find success in: architecture, graphic design artistry, cartography “map making”, drafting, painting, sculpting, and advertising.

To spark this intelligence in adults:

  • Work with an artistic media such as clay, paint, pencil, or pen to express thoughts.
  • Daydream on purpose. Visualize a favorite location in as much detail as possible.
  • See yourself in a different time period. Have imaginary conversations with heroes from the past or with characters in a book.
  • Use games like Sim City® to build and develop cities.


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 You Tube.


Join me the following week for the next installment of Multiple Intelligences, a closer look at Body/Kinesthetic Intelligence; how to help strengthen it in children and spark it in adults.

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