3-12, Critical Thinking, Education, Teaching Tools

25 Challenging Riddles

My students have a love/hate relationship with riddles.  They groan and complain that I’m asking them to do the impossible, but as soon as they solve one they beg for more.  This is a good time of year for these fun puzzlers from Reader’s Digest.  There are more than a few that are new to me and I plan to add to my repertoire.  The one below, from Cydcor on Flickr, is a variation of a student favorite in my classroom.

image from Cydcor on Flickr
3-12, Critical Thinking, Education, Problem Solving

Terry Stickels

Do you crave brainteasers?  Do your students delight in them?  (Many of my students do!) Terry Stickels is a world-renowned puzzlemaster who has published several diabolical books of challenges and authored weekly puzzle columns in many newspapers.  You can find out more about him here.  One type of “stickler” that has made him famous is called, “Frame Games,” which are like rebus puzzles, but placement and size of the text give clues as well.  For example, the picture below would translate as, “I understand.”

I Understand.jpg

On the Terry Stickels website you can find many free brainteasers, including a series of “Frame Games.”  There are coin puzzles, variations on sudoku, and several other types of challenges.  Some can be downloaded in tremendous zip files, and others are meant to played online.  Whenever you are looking for a way to pass the time, (such as during the summer break) and still exercise your brain, this is a resource you should definitely consider!


Creative Thinking, Education, Games, K-5, QR Codes, Teaching Tools

QR Code Riddles

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 9.32.32 PM

I came across these QR code riddles for May on The Techie Teacher Blog, and tried them with my gifted 1st graders yesterday.  We had not done any QR code scanning this year, yet, so it was a novel experience for them.  I showed them the riddles first, and had them predict the answers in groups.  Then I put a page at each table, and let them go around and scan the answers.  They loved them, but it was good we “reflected” over them afterwards, as some of the puns needed to be explained.  Thanks, Julie Goode, for providing this fun learning activity for free!

Critical Thinking, Education, Games, K-5, Problem Solving, Teaching Tools

Brain Teasers and Lateral Thinking Puzzles

photo credit: MuddyBootsPhoto via photopin cc
photo credit: MuddyBootsPhoto via photopin cc

“Kevin’s mother has three children. The first was called Alpha, the second was called Beta. What was the name of the third? “

I came across this document the other day, published by David Koutsoukis, and thought I would use a couple of these each week for transition times with my students.  During this “crunch time” of the second semester, my students are inundated with state tests and benchmarks.  These puzzles might alleviate a bit of the stress every once in awhile.  My students love riddles, and these are challenging, but short.

Answer to above:  Kevin (since it was his mother, and she only has three children)

Critical Thinking, Education, Games, K-5, Problem Solving, Teaching Tools, Websites

50 Riddles to Challenge Your Students

photo credit: Marco Bellucci via photopin cc

What goes around the world and stays in a corner?

For my Fun Friday Post this week, I direct you to this page on Edgalaxy.  50 Riddles to Challenge Your Students is a fun collection of short brain teasers that are sure to delight your students.  They are good for using during those “rare” periods during the day when you are in transition: lined up outside the bathroom or water fountain, waiting for class pictures, packing up for dismissal, etc…  Most of these are popular riddles that we have all probably heard, but it’s handy to have a list of them for reference.

Answer:  A stamp