Activities for a Possibly Gifted Child
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
What are some structured activities that could help my possibly gifted 7
years old son? He has not had any testing but his teacher last year
believes he may be gifted. She describes him as thinking outside of the
box, unique sense of humor and quirky. He loves science and likes non
fiction books related to science.
Anyways they do not have any gifted program at school and we have
struggled to engage him in activities. He is not good at sports, shy,
extremely sensitive and a perfectionist. He does not like recess at
schools and tells us he would rather stay in and read. Looking for
anything to keep him busy and feel good about himself. This is hard for
us as both my husband and I were involved with sports, loved recess as
kids and don't understand him. Any ideas would be great!
There are many activities that would engage a 7-year old above average
child. Some can be found
However, I feel that you need to get him to be physically active as
well. It appears that he enjoys solitary activities a lot more and I do
wonder since parents are both active in sports. Speak to the teachers
and find out the reason he is not too keen on recess. Is someone
bullying or belittling him at school? Being an extremely sensitive and
shy child, he has made books his escape. While it is very beneficial for
gifted children to read, it would be good to engage him in activities
that involve others.
He needs to learn to socialise as that would help him a lot in time to
come. It is a skill that all children need to learn with some help from
adults especially if the child is naturally shy and sensitive. Being a
perfectionist also does not help much as I believe he would rather not
do something than to do it less than perfect. This may apply to sports
as well - “if I can’t be as good as I should, I would rather stay away”.
He certainly needs help to socialise and exposure is the best. Being in
a sports team at school would be helpful. As parents, you need to help
him be more resilient. It is not going to be easy but is crucial at this
stage as it is just the beginning. Do talk to his teachers and the
school counsellor perhaps. Get him play dates and get involved in the
beginning. Gradually he will learn to make more friends and indulge in
sporting and social activities.
If the school does not have a gifted education programme, speak to the
teachers about challenging him much more. Better still, if you can help
identify what challenges he needs to the extent to preparing worksheets
of learning activities for high ability learners which can be easily
downloaded from the Internet. This will also reduce the workload of the
teacher and make her obliged to monitor since parents have done the hard
work. As for activities, apart from the ones in the site given,
introduce him to chess as well. It is very challenging and stimulating.
Try to get him to do any activity that requires more physical stamina.
In time, he will be more comfortable with sporting activities.
All the best in your journey!