30 Fun Brain Teasers for Kids (With Answers )
From childhood to adulthood, people love to play math puzzles. They like how it challenges their thinking as well as exercise their minds.
A study on the attention spans of children found thatthere was a significant difference in favor of the experiment group between the attention spans of children who received the brain teasers curriculum and children who didn’t.This result shows the effectiveness of brain teasers in improving the attention span. Children who were given brain teasers were more attentive than those who were not.
Table of Contents
- Brain teasers / Math problems
- How to print
Benefit of Math Challenges
Good problems tap into something deep within all of us. Assigning them to students engages their interest and focus.
Embedding a concept or skill into a good problem provides more meaning to students than merely stating or demonstrating it; students can see a purpose. Skills are not learned just for their own sake, but are seen as tools to be use, not as ends in themselves.
Life’s problems are not simple. We do students no favor by making mathematical problems simple. Most good problems require more than one concept to solve. Assigning good problems may help students develop the ability to see the interplay between different concepts.
- Creativity and flexibility:
Many of the problems in this list show multiple solutions. The more ways a student can see to solve a problem, the freer he or she may feel to try an unusual approach to a puzzling problem. Some of the problems in our collection have triggered highly inventive methods.
- Developing mathematical thinking:
Over time, continued exposure to thoughtful solutions leads students to think mathematically. Subsequent math courses in high school will require this ability, as will college entrance examinations.
A good problem often allows for many strategies and may require several principles and skills with each strategy. Continually tackling problems and discussing solutions allows the student to revisit most concepts and procedures frequently, each time from a fresh perspective. This disguised practice builds in reinforcement while it clarifies the concept.
- Building student confidence:
Each demanding problem the teacher assigns reflects a respect for the students’ abilities, which students may well appreciate. With each successful solution, the student realizes, “I can do this!” Since nothing builds self-confidence like accomplishment, these two things can stimulate intellectual growth.
When the teacher allows students to tackle problems on their own with no more than an occasional hint and then asks several students to present different approaches aloud, the students assume ownership of the problems. Students are likely to accept that the responsibility for learning is theirs, not the teacher’s. Each student becomes an active partner in the learning process. The problem, the solution, the principles involved all become his or her property and are more likely to be available when needed.
The most commonly used general strategies
- Find a pattern.
- Make an organized list.
- Build a table.
- Solve a simpler related problem.
- Eliminate all but one possibility (process of elimination).
- Handle one condition at a time.
- Work backward.
- Draw a picture or diagram.
- Draw a convenient segment in a geometric figure.
- Make a change and compensate.
Here is the collection of brain teasers and math problems for the students who wish to develop higher-order thinking, and teachers who wish to develop more capable students. All problems were designed to help students develop the ability to think mathematically, rather than to teach more advanced or unusual topics. While a few problems can be solved using algebra, nearly all problems can be solved by other, more elementary, methods. In other words, the fun is in devising non-technical ways to solve each problem.