10 Fun Activities For Improving Naturalistic Intelligence In Kids

Howard Gardner defined naturalistic intelligence as the capacity to recognize, categorize, and manipulate components of the physical world, including objects, living things, plants, and animals. Naturalistic intelligence is thought to have evolved during the times of the earliest humans, when recognizing helpful and dangerous animals, studying the climate, reading the land, and extending the range of food resources were all necessary for survival.

Children that possess naturalistic intelligence typically exhibit a preference for both the natural world and human creation. Naturalist intelligence can be cultivated early in life or as we age. All it takes to continue an interest in nature is an instant connection with it. To build interest, activities can be a helpful way. Activities in the classroom can encourage kids to connect with nature in their own different ways. 

Most activities given below are a combination of practical as well as theoretical learning. With activities, children get to explore naturalistic intelligence from a broader perspective by clearing their misconceptions and learning from their classmates too.

Naturalistic intelligence: Where does it come in use?

Naturalistic Intelligence involves understanding deeply the flora and fauna. It also focuses on various processes of nature that students get to see with different seasons and weather changes. In such situations, naturalistic intelligence enables them to connect with the surroundings while being attentive to the reasons behind occurrences.

  • Naturalistic Intelligence helps students become attentive to the process. Such students are more likely to find the reason and consequences of any decision or occurrence. It helps them benefit from their future career goals.
  • They also become observant of different elements of nature. Hence, naturalistic intelligence is likely to make them good observers and build concentration skills. This helps them in studying along with being alert in different situations.
  • While children learn to observe nature, they also get to know the different rhythms and patterns it follows. Hence, when they are exposed to different people, perspectives, and opinions, they are more likely to acknowledge and accept differences.
  • Children with naturalistic intelligence also tend to develop a liking for hiking and camping. Traveling not only opens their mind but also offers them a wide platform to learn things practically. 

Interesting activities to develop naturalistic intelligence 

Naturalistic Intelligence is a crucial element as it helps students understand how things work in nature. Such activities also help them raise questions as to why a certain process works in a certain way only.

1. What’s around me?

Naturalistic intelligence activities

This activity is all about exploring the environment and connecting with nature in a way that helps develop naturalistic intelligence in kids along with creating awareness about the surroundings they’re living in.

  • To conduct this activity, ask students to use their observational skills and focus on nature in their surroundings.
  • Take them to a garden or in a surrounding near the school
  • Ask them to note different things, objects, and patterns that they see around them. 
  • For example, they can note about different types of trees, plants, mud, butterflies, or birds flying in the sky. 
  • While walking through nature, you can also guide them on how to look at different elements from different perspectives. 
  • Once they have completed noting their observations, ask them to openly discuss the observations in front of the class.

Such activity creates intrigue in students to understand how nature works in different patterns and elements. They also get to connect with nature in a different manner by practically being there. 

2. That’s my Plant

Naturalistic intelligence activities

Children generally refer to nature with different trees and plants. The greenery they see around is something that enables them to understand different forms of nature.

  • To conduct this activity, ask students to get pots, seeds, and different types of soil. 
  • You can give them a day or two to prepare for the activity.
  • Now, instruct them to take the pot and fill half the pot with soil. 
  • Instruct them to place the seed inside and cover the entire seed with the soil mixture.
  • Ask them to water the plant and let them place these plants on the school ground or an area that has access to sunlight. 
  • Ask students to water the plants every day and observe how the plant grows.

Such activity enables them to connect with nature and they start treating the plant like their own little friend. They might be curious about using different gardening tools that help them develop gardening skills. The activity helps them understand how each form of nature takes its time to grow, prosper, and nurture in the surrounding. 

3. Collect and Show

Naturalistic intelligence activities

Nature amazes us in its own different colorful ways. To help children connect with nature, teachers, parents, or guardians may take them for a walk in a nearby garden or park and assign them some task to do that helps them know more about nature and their surroundings.

  • To conduct this activity, ask students to take help from teachers, friends, or parents to collect different types of leaves from their surroundings.
  • Ask them to observe different patterns and colors that each leaf has.
  • Give them 2 to 3 days to collect different types of leaves.
  • Once they have collected, ask them to stick these leaves on cardboard.
  • They shall now present their collection along with one line for each leaf. They may be described in the following way.
    • This leaf is broad and has a dark green color.
    • This is a small leaf that is soft in texture.

Such activity enables students to understand the natural differences in just one element of nature. They also get to know how nature functions in various forms and colors through leaves.

4. My Animal Journal

Naturalistic intelligence activities

Naturalistic Intelligence can be developed when students are exposed to different elements of nature including, surroundings, flora, and fauna.

  • To conduct this activity, ask students to study any animal for a day or two. 
  • Ask them to get different pictures of anything that is related to the animal.
  • Now, give them a sheet of blank paper and let students stick pictures of animals and elements related to it.
  • For example, students may stick the picture of a dog, write the word bark, and also stick the picture of a den (dog’s shelter). 
  • Once they are done making the journal on the blank paper, ask them to present it in front of the class.
  • They may talk about the animal, its habitat, what it likes to eat, and how the animal plays a different role in the ecosystem.

Such an activity helps students to understand different types of animals. It helps build naturalistic intelligence as they see how each element of nature is interconnected to one another.

5. Make it Quick

Naturalistic intelligence activities

At times, by even witnessing things regularly, kids do not pay attention to observing those certain things carefully. This can be practiced by asking tricky questions to students allowing them to put stress on their minds and think critically to get the answer.

  • To conduct this activity, divide students into a team of 3 to 4 members each.
  • Now, get ready with different questions to ask that help boost naturalistic intelligence. 
  • Let teams sit close to each other so they can get ideas about the questions and their corresponding answers.
  • You may ask the following questions to the team.
    • Name 4 things you see on the tree
    • Name 4 animals that live in the water 
    • Name 4 birds you see every day 
  • Now, let each member of the team make it quick to reply to the question. You may also use riddles to puzzle these little minds.

This activity helps develop intelligence about flora and fauna. It boosts knowledge while creating a competitive environment in the learning process. 

6. This was my day

Naturalistic intelligence activities

Journalling is an ideal practice for any individual. Be it for improving writing or using it to de-stress yourself, journalling has its own benefits. This practice of writing about the day can be inculcated from an early age in kids by doing it as an activity in class.

  • To conduct this activity, ask students to observe the entire day from their perspective on nature.
  • Ask them to take notes of everything that they observe during school time, while at home, and also while playing outdoors.
  • They may also use different pictures or stickers to make their notes attractive.
  • For example, you may ask them to write the following
    • Trees swinging in the air 
    • Birds flying in the sky
    • Little ants walking in the soil of the plant.
  • Such minor observations should be noted in an essay-like format.
  • The next day, ask students to read their essays from the perspective of nature. 

Such activity helps students to understand that naturalistic intelligence is not something that can be developed through theories. Instead, it is something that surrounds humans in general. They also get to connect with the tiniest form of nature simply by observing their day.

7. Watch me do it

Naturalistic intelligence activities

You might have observed children making sounds of different animals while playing without even realizing that they’re learning about their surroundings in this manner.

  • To conduct this activity, make different chits of paper and write the name of different animals and birds on them.
  • Put these chits in a bowl and ask each student to pick one.
  • Once they have picked it, ask them to enact it according to the animal or bird.
  • Here, they may make the sound of that animal/bird, show different actions, or try to mimic certain characteristics.
  • Let other students guess the name and that’s how the activity goes on.

Such an activity helps students understand the types of animals in their surroundings. They also get to know how certain animals fly, swim, crawl, or simply walk. With the help of role play, students will indulge in learning while having fun and enjoyment with their classmates.

8. Develop your Fable

Naturalistic intelligence activities

Fables are all about different animals, jungles, forests, and morals. This activity is a storytelling activity that can be played in groups or individually. 

  • To conduct this activity, make students stand in a circle.
  • Here, they are individual players and have to focus on listening skills.
  • The teacher starts with a sentence – In a huge green forest, there was a monkey.
  • Now, ask the students to continue the story by involving different elements of nature including the usage of flowers, leaves, trees, and other animals.
  • The next student continues the story and ends after a sentence or two.
  • In such a way, the story goes on and on till everyone speaks at least once and then reaches the moral.

This activity enables students to connect with a fable scenario by also keeping nature in mind. As they talk about animals and nature, they are likely to develop a natural instinct to make the story interesting with the addition of various factors and elements.

9. Solve the Puzzle

Naturalistic intelligence activities

As the name suggests, this is a simple activity where you need to arrange puzzles based on nature. Puzzles can depict wild animals, a forest, or simply different trees.

  • To conduct this activity, divide the students into pairs of 3 to 4 members each.
  • Give them a puzzle and ask them to solve the puzzle in the minimum possible time.
  • Once they are done making the puzzle, ask them to say a few lines about it to the class.

Even when the activity is subtle, students get to solve and stay connected to see the final result. As they see the final result, they involve themselves in creative thinking to present good lines about what they already know about that puzzle piece and the teacher may add on some important information for them to learn more.

10. This is my Role

Naturalistic intelligence activities

We as individuals are connected to nature in different ways but there are certain important roles, some people play as a part of their occupation that is immensely connected to nature only. To make students aware of such people, this activity can be used.

  • To conduct this activity, ask students to play roles of different people connected to nature. By doing this, they’ll look around and search for such people adding to their knowledge about nature.
  • In this activity, students can dress up like camping instructors, florists, forest officers, or an ecologist.
  • Now, ask them to dress like their roles and speak some lines about the roles and responsibilities of that specific job. 
  • Ask them to register their role before a few days to avoid repetition among students.

This activity is a good way to instill knowledge about different career options in the field of nature. Students also get to know how the world is working towards preserving different elements of nature in various ways.


Naturalistic Intelligence is an important part of child development. It is equally important to study from books and lessons. Being connected to nature enables students to grow and appreciate everything around them. They also tend to develop respect toward wild and domestic animals. By being naturalistically intelligent, students are more likely to tackle situations by analyzing different aspects of it.

The above-mentioned activities require no heavy preparations or materials. The easy-to-conduct activities help students build their focus and also develop empathy toward non-living things. Just as they learn to respect and appreciate every element around them, they also get an opportunity to connect with their surroundings in a profitable way. Such students may be inclined to save the world by being conservative and aware of the happenings of nature.

Leave a Comment