Brain teasers for kids can be a great attention-getting strategy at the beginning of a lesson, a boredom buster while waiting in line, or a wholesome substitute for more violent video games. Whether you’re looking for an educational activity, printable brain teasers for kids on long car rides, or something to play with your child in the waiting room to help take your minds off a dental appointment, you’ve come to the right place. This article provides information and ideas about brain teasers to teachers and parents, as well as resources for teens and adults who enjoy solving riddles and brain teasers themselves.
Brain Teasers for Kids
Ideas for Teachers
Math Brain Teasers:
If you’re a teacher looking for a fun way to teach math, brain teasers and puzzles are a good place to start. Brain teasers with an appropriate level of difficulty can help your class think of math as a fun activity and even look forward to the next lesson. Use these tips to implement brain teasers in your classroom.
- You can start math class every day with a quick brain teaser to get students’ attention and help them focus on the subject with a good attitude. You can even make a competition of it, handing out prizes to the first student to finish, which will encourage everyone to work faster and thus prevent wasting too much class time on the introductory activity.
- If you have short math classes and can’t spare time every day, you can still schedule it in once per week as a treat, or do it on a different day each week.
- During a guided practice activity, you can hand out a puzzle worksheet to those students who regularly finish first and need an additional challenge.
- You can assign brain teaser puzzles to be completed outside of class as a make-up assignment or for extra credit work.
Other Brain Teasers:
Brain teasers are less likely to align with other subjects such as social studies, but there are still several legitimate ways to use them outside of math class.
- You can hand them out to students on their way home as a reward for good behavior.
- If your class is mature enough that this won’t disrupt instruction time, post a riddle or puzzle on the board each day and offer a “reward” (such as a small piece of candy) to anyone who solves it that day.
- Any brain teasers that reference curriculum content may be used as “enrichment” activities (for gifted students who aren’t challenged enough by normal coursework and need more variety of assignments), since they encourage critical thinking skills.
- Stash a few stacks of these with your other worksheets in your “sub folder,” as one of the activities to be used when your class has a substitute teacher who doesn’t know the curriculum content.
Easy-to-print resources can often be found on printable worksheet websites, such as those listed here.
- UK math worksheets for your whole class can be found here.
- This website allows you to create a printable worksheet with several puzzles or riddles on it for your class.
- These math brain teasers for kids are in worksheet format, making them easy to print out.
- The Super Teacher Worksheets website has a brain teaser page that includes puzzles to stretch verbal, spatial, and math skills.
- Browsing these puzzle worksheets by type makes it easy to find the category or subject you need.
Ideas for Parents
Here are some ideas for implementing critical thinking, activity worksheet, and just for fun brain teasers for kids.
Form a New Habit
Solving riddles and logic puzzles can be a fun family activity to do together; but even better, it can improve your child’s cognition and perhaps even grades. You can make this a routine activity in your house by printing out a set of riddles at the beginning of each week. Facilitate the routine by taking the following steps:
- Set aside a folder or three-ring binder to hold the riddles and brain teasers. The solved ones can be archived in the same binder or a separate one depending on preference.
- Designate a time and place for the brain teaser activity. For example, you may want to keep the folder in the kitchen and work on the activities every morning during breakfast (or just after, if there’s time before school).
- Let your child get involved in the routine. He or she could be assigned to read the brain teaser out loud for the whole family each morning. If you have another child, it could be his or her job to pass out pencils whenever they’re needed.
- Print out enough riddles and brain teasers for each week in advance and clearly mark which one is to be solved each day.
- Set a reminder on your phone so you won’t forget the activity in the rush of getting breakfast in the morning. It takes about a month for a habit to form, so after a while it will get easier to remember your new routine.
If you just don’t have time in the day to add a routine, you may want to use your folder full of brain teasers in one of these ways instead:
- Store it in the car so that your child can work on puzzles and riddles during long car rides.
- Take it in to the doctor’s or dentist’s office with your child to keep his or her mind off the upcoming appointment.
- Use it as an incentive for good behavior. Reward your children by allowing them to play some of the brain teasers when they’ve behaved well.
- Take the folder along to formal events, such as a church service or a wedding, when your children are expected to sit still and you don’t want them to distract others by playing games on a phone.
- Find some fun educational worksheets to slip in as well. If you’re lucky, your children will enjoy them, learn something from them, and not notice the difference.
- Five riddles for kids can be found on this Australian website.
- This UK website lists riddles and posers. Each one is a brain teaser for kids, created and submitted by other kids.
- Interactive brain teasers test facial recall, sequence, and more on BBC’s website.
- These brain teasers for kids with answers are suitable for a variety of ages.
- Another math resource for kids can be found at this UK web page.
Brain Teasers for teens and adults:
Children shouldn’t be the only ones to benefit from an absorbing activity in the waiting room. In fact, puzzles and brain teasers have a lot of long-term benefits to offer adults as well. Correlations exist between the amount of a person’s salary and how often they complete puzzles, which means that a habit of solving brain teasers may make you a more marketable employee. Studies have shown, too, that mental processing games can slow the decline of cognitive powers in old age. Among the free resources available online you’ll find many varieties of brain puzzles, logic problems, and riddles. Get started with the ones listed below.
The big puzzle craze of Sudoku has sparked many spin-offs, some of which you may find even more interesting than the original (especially if you detest numbers). These and other less well-known puzzles can provide hours of entertainment on a long bus or train commute.
- Four levels of Sudoku puzzles are available for free here, as well as variations such as twelve-by-twelve, squiggly, and jigsaw-doku.
- The British Telegraph Puzzles website offers paid subscriptions but will also allow you to download a limited number of puzzles free.
- Sudoku Splash Zone offers a whole spectrum of Sudoku variations, from Samurai Sudoku to Sudoku X and more.
- A daily puzzle of a variant called Addoku is available on this website.
- Mensa brainteasers are posted weekly on Mensa UK’s site.
- This British website offers brainteasers and puzzles in many varieties.
- Free brain teasers, trivia quizzes, and other mental games are available on the Braingle website.
The sources of puzzles, brain teasers, and riddles on the internet are almost limitless. If you find your new favorite activity among these puzzle and brain teaser ideas, you should have no difficulty finding more online once you’ve used these resources up. Remember, everyone can benefit from a habit of solving brain teasers. Try to make it a family tradition!