Math puzzles have existed since ancient times and they are still used widely today. And there’s a reason for it.
Math puzzles for kids are one of the best ways to sharpen your child’s mind, improve math skills, and has been proven to have countless other benefits. Moreover, these math challenges are incredibly engaging and fun, and equally effective tools for teaching math to your kids. They not only exercise the brain but also improves problem-solving and reasoning skills.
Solving fun math puzzles teaches transferable skills. To solve any math puzzle, you need to work your brain, figure out the problem, analyze the information available, figure out new possibilities, and take logical steps. This same skill will help you not only when you are doing math but in your everyday lives as well. It will make you a better decision maker and help build interpersonal skills like confidence, patience, dedication and perseverance. If your child is struggling with math, you might want to try math puzzles.
Math puzzles come in many forms. In this article, we cover three types of math-based puzzles.
- 31 Logic Based Puzzles
- 5 Math Riddles
- 5 Brain Teasers
Read on to learn more and have fun with math!
Logic Based Puzzles
These logic based puzzles are the perfect tools to enhance your mathematical ability. We have listed 20 amazing math puzzles below.
1. Hundred Chart Puzzle
Hundred Chart Puzzle is a fun number puzzle for kids and a great way to improve early math skills (Help your child develop early math skills) and number sense in young children. Also, it is super easy to make. You can just print the 100 charts or make one yourself. You can then simply cut them into various puzzle shapes. The students will have to arrange the puzzles by looking for number patterns and order of numbers. It is a clever hands-on way to practice number sequence and improve counting abilities.
Qwirkle is a tile-based puzzle game for kids aged 5+. It is suitable for 2 to 4 players. In this game, the main objective is to create a sequence that matches in either color or shape. It is easy to play and a great tool to improve knowledge of patterns, counting, and addition for younger kids. To start the game, you will place all the tiles in a big and mix it. Each player then draws 6 tiles randomly and keep them hidden from other players. They will then have turns in which they can pick a new tile from the bag or trade tiles to form a sequence. The game improves logical maths problems solving ability.
Stardoku is an online mathematical puzzle game derived from Soduko that is suitable for younger children. In this game, instead of the numbers as in classic soduko, the kids will have to move stars of different colors on the grid such that there is one of each colored start in each row and each column. Your child can start with the easy level with 4-grids and then move to the difficult levels with more grids. Through this game, your kids will be able to boost their memory power and improve logical & problem-solving skills.
Sudoko, a number-based logic puzzle is one of the most famous math puzzles for kids in the world and a fun math based activity for kids (21 Fun Math Activities For Your Kids). It is available on paper as well as online. Soduko is a great game for students to enhance their critical thinking and reasoning abilities In the classic version of Sudoko game, the students will need to fill the 9 x 9 grid with numbers in which a way that each column, each row as well as the subgrades should contain digits from 1-9. There are many versions of Soduko available with difficult versions having more grids.
Str8ts is a number puzzle for kids that is similar to sudoko in some ways and relies on number-placement. It is a logic-based game that comes in different versions and is available in paper as well as online. Str8ts is a great tool to help students improve their problem solving abilities and challenge their logical skills. The game consists of rows and columns that is partially divided by black cells to form compartments. You must fill the remaining cells with numbers such that each row and column will contain unique digits that are a set of consecutive numbers but in any order.
6. Math crossword puzzles
Math crosswords puzzles are amazing math puzzles for kids similar to word puzzles but instead of words they use math equations or numbers. They are fun and adaptable and can be quite challenging. Not only that, but they are also an amazing way to help your kids learn to review various math skills and enhance math vocabulary and facts. They can easily be modified to teach various math concepts like measurements, money, time, arithmetic, statistics, etc. Math crosswords help improve problems solving skills
7. Cross Number puzzles
Cross-number math puzzle also known as a cross-figure puzzle is a type of logic-based puzzle similar to math crosswords in structure. The puzzle makes use of blank cells where you have to enter correct numbers. Clues will be provided to get the numbers. This game is harder as the answers cannot be filled until you have found the answer to the first one. Only then you can proceed on. However, you can also try to narrow down the possibilities for individual cells until the problem becomes clearer.
Kenken mathematical puzzle was invented by a Japanese math teacher who wanted to utilize puzzles to train the brain without the use of instructions. The meaning of Ken in Japanese is cleverness. KenKen is also known as “KenDoku” as it is somewhat of a crossover between Cross Number and Sudoku Puzzle. It is a great tool to enhance your kid’s math skills and improve their logical thinking capacity. KenKen is available in various grid sizes. To solve the puzzle, you will have to fill each cell with a number between 1 and the size of the grid. You will then use each number only once to fill cells in each row and each column.
Kakuro is a kind of math logic puzzles based on crosswords. It is one of the popular math puzzles in the world also known as “Cross Sums” or “Cross Addition: as each clue in this game must have at least two numbers that add up to it. The Kakuro puzzle consists of a grid of black and white cells divided into entries. The goal is to insert a digit from 1 to 9 into each white cell so that the sum of the numbers matches the clue associated with it without duplication. The clues are numbers in diagonally divided black cells in one or both halves. Each horizontal entry has a number in black half-cell to its immediate left and each vertical entry has a number in black half-cell immediately above it. This game will definitely challenge critical thinking skills.
Learn about Experimental Math Learning Activities for kids
10. Math problem search
Math problem search is a word-search kind of math puzzles for kids. But, they have math problems hidden in the grids instead of words. The problems are usually positioned horizontally and vertically. To increase the difficulty level, the problem may be positioned diagonally. Math problem sheets are available as worksheets and also as online versions. It can easily be modified to suit the student’s math level and the specific area they need to focus on.
11. Magic square
Magic square is a fun math puzzle that makes use of a square grid and it comes in various sizes. It will have certain cells filled with numbers and the rest will be blank. The goal is that you must enter a unique number in each blank cell ranging from 1 to the number of cells in the grid. The sum of the numbers row-wise, column-wise, and diagonally must be the same. This is a fun way to get your students thinking and improve addition skills.
12. Logic Grid Puzzle
Logic grids are math logic puzzles in which you will be given a series of categories and options with each of the categories. You will have to cross-reference every possible option in the category. You will first go through a series of unique clues and link the categories and options together based on the clues to find the correct answer. Logic Grid Puzzle makes use of logical processes and will help your child understand math (How To Make Your Child Understand Math) as well as improves reasoning skills.
13. Domino puzzle board
Domino is a famous game and can be manipulated in a multitude of ways as math puzzles for kids. It is an effective means to learn various math topics and develop numerical skills. You can also make use of Dominoes Puzzle Boards to teach various math skills to your kids like addition, subtraction, multiplication, decimals, and fractions. When your kids work out various math problems by using dominos, they will get a unique opportunity to come up with various strategies to solve the problem at hand. It is also a fun way to practice math and provides engagement as well as a direct learning experience. The students can work on their own, in pairs or in groups to work out the problems.
2048 is an online number puzzle for kids developed by Gabriele Cirulli, and Italian web developer. It is a single-player sliding block puzzle game. The aim of the game is to slide numbered tiles around a grid to combine them until a tile with the number 2048 is created. However, it is not easy and required much logical and deduction skills. It is also a great game to learn about exponents. This game is a great tool to develop problem solving skills in students and what’s more, it is highly engaging and addictive.
Learn about how young children approach math
15. Perimeter magic triangle
Perimeter magic triangle was originally developed by a math teacher to help students develop logical skills and strategic thinking. This math puzzle for kids is great for learning hands-on addition and counting skills. It is also inexpensive and you can make it yourself. The principles of this puzzle are the same as Magic square. But in this game, the children will have to arrange the numbers for each triangle (1 to 6 for the 3 x 3 x 3 triangle; 1 to 9 for the 4 x 4 x 4 triangle, and so on) so that the sum of numbers on all the three sides equals the same number. Another interesting thing about this puzzle is that numerous approaches can be employed to reach the solution.
16. Tower of Hanoi
Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical puzzle or game. The game consists of three rods and a number of disks of different sizes. These disks can be slides in any rod. To begin the game, the disks are neatly stacked in ascending order of size such that it resembles a cone. The objective of this game is to move the entire stack of disks to another rod while observing the following rules: only one disk can be moved at a time, the disk can be moved only if it is on the uppermost stack, and no disk can be placed on top of a smaller disk. This is an interactive puzzle and is challenging as well. It is also possible to deduce the functions behind the solution.
Learn about Fun Math Activities For Your Kids
Tangram math puzzles for kids is originally from China and was invented thousands of years ago. The tangram is a type of dissection puzzle. This puzzle consists of seven flat geometric shapes, called tans which are made by cutting a square. The pieces consist of two big triangles, two small triangles, one intermediate triangle, one parallelogram, and a square. The objective of the puzzle is to form a certain shape or silhouette using all seven pieces without overlapping them. It is possible to make the tangram shapes yourself as well and is fairly easy. Tangrams are interesting learning tools and it can be used in thousands of different ways. The puzzle helps build knowledge of geometric shapes and it also improves logic and reasoning skills in children.
18. Pascal’s Triangle
Pascal’s triangle also known as a Pyramid of Numbers is a math logic puzzle that has been in existence since ancient times. Pascal’s triangle follows an interesting number pattern and is basically a triangular array of binomial coefficients. Pascal’s triangle is an infinite equilateral triangle of numbers with no bottom. The rule is that by adding the two numbers above, you get the number below. Two of the sides of the Pascal’s are all 1’s. Pascal’s Triangle is helpful to calculate combinations and find applications in mathematics and statistics.
19. Place value Jigsaw Puzzles
Place value Jigsaw Puzzles are fun math puzzles for kids to improve their number sense and knowledge of place values. With these puzzles, the children will be able to practice place value in a variety of ways and it also helps improve math vocabulary. In this kind of puzzle, the student will have to match the number, number in words, and place value breakdown in number and words together. Place value is an important concept in math and this puzzle will surely reinforce math facts.
20. Pre-algebraic puzzles
Pre-algebraic mathematical puzzle are fun and through these puzzles, you can help your kids improve their problems solving skills and encourage abstract mathematical thinking. These puzzles come in a variety of forms and cover various math topics such as subtraction, addition, multiplication, etc. They are also interesting and makes use of fun elements to keep the child engaged. It also helps improve mental math abilities
21. Connect the Dots
Connect the dots is a form of puzzle that contains a number of dots in various sequences. The children will need to connect the dots number sequence wise and in the end, an object is revealed. The lines joined between the dots will form the outline of the object. This fun number puzzles for kids is a great way to improve number sense in children. The game is suitable for young children.
Learn more about when do kids learn to count
Achi is a fun math puzzle for kids that originated in Ghana where it is called Tapatan. Achi is an abstract strategy game suitable for two players. It is very similar to tic-tac-toe but makes use of a board with moveable pieces. The objective of this game is to move the pieces to create a 3-in-a row. There are two versions of this game depending on whether each player has four pieces or three pieces to drop. Playing Achi will help improve logical and reasoning skills.
23. Happy Cube
Happy Cube is a 3D jigsaw math puzzle game. The goal is to fit the different jigsaw pieces together for a perfect cube. It is suitable for children of all ages and is one of the puzzles to polish reasoning skills. Various versions of the happy cube are available that differ in the level of difficulty.
24. T puzzle
T puzzle is a tiling math puzzle game. It consists of four polygonal shapes derived from the capital letter T. The goal of the game is to fit the pieces together to form the “T”. This game also makes it fun to learn the properties of geometric shapes. The puzzle can also be modified to create a range of geometric shapes and not just T.
Learn about why math is hard for some kids
Pentominoes are shapes that utilize five square blocks that are joined edge to edge to give rise to various combinations. There are twelve possible shapes in a set of unique pentominoes and are often referred to by the letters they resemble. There are countless math puzzle games that you can play using pentominoes like the classic” rectangular puzzle, tiling, checkerboards as well as three-dimensional puzzles. The pentominoes as a puzzle are often used in classrooms to help students understand mathematical concepts of area, perimeter, and symmetry.
Learn about how to use pentominoes for kids.
26. Rubek’s Cube
Rubik’s Cube is a combination math puzzle for kids originally invented by architecture professor Ernő Rubik to help students understand 3D objects better through the use of movable parts. Though the puzzle is not based directly on math skills, it helps improve concentration, logic, processing speed, hand-eye coordination, and analytical skills. The classic Rubik’s Cube has six faces with different colors in a 3 x 3 configuration. The goal of Rubik’s cube is to first shuffle the cube and then get the cube back to the original configuration. The cube has 20 moving pieces, and each move affects 8 of them. Hence, solving a Rubik’s cube is challenging. It is also available in different configurations nowadays.
27. Rubik’s Cube Variations
There are many versions of Rubik’s cube that have been developed today like Void Cube, Pyraminx, Starminx, Megamix, Skewb, DaYan Gem, etc. They all are based on the principals of Rubik’s cube but also have their own unique strategies. To solve any of these, you need to be at least be able to solve a classic 3 x 3 Rubik’s cube. These are fun math puzzles for adults and kids alike and teach productive struggle in math.
28. Logical Reasoning Test
Logical Reasoning Test contains some of the most interesting math puzzles for kids posed in the form of questions. These are great tools to improve and enhance your logical and reasoning capabilities. There are plenty of free online logical math puzzle available. These type of logical questions contain a variety of questions and covers a wide range of math topics ranging from abstract thinking, arithmetic, geometry to complex mathematics. Practicing these puzzles will also be helpful during competitive math exams or for getting a job.
29. Neo Cubes
Neocubes can be used as a fun math puzzles activity. They are composed of 216 quality magnetic balls. They are made of neodymium, a type of Rare Earth magnet and currently the strongest permanent magnet in the world. It is an amazing tool for experimenting with shapes and exploring geometry. It is also helpful for enhancing creativity, imagination, and expression. Neocubes are highly engaging and will provide you with hours and hours of fun. It stimulates your brain and has even been found useful as a stress relieving activity.
30. Counting Shapes Puzzle
Counting Shapes Puzzle math puzzles for kids comes in a variety of forms and the objective of this puzzle is to find the number of shapes (triangle, square, circle, etc.) in each shape. This puzzle has many variations ranging from easy to difficult. There are multiple shapes hidden in these kinds of puzzles. This puzzle requires logical deduction, concentration, and observational skills.
Explore various math resources for parents.
31. Snake Cube
Snake cube puzzle is suitable for any age and it a form of cube-based math logic puzzles. It looks similar to Rubik’s cube in appearance but is actually very different in construction, In the snake cubes, the smaller cubes are linked and the cubes can be pulled apart. The challenge of this puzzle is to first unravel the cube and then put it back together. Though not based on actual math skills, this puzzle helps sharpen critical thinking and logical skills. It is also a great tool to explore various shapes.
As a bonus, we have includes some fun math puzzle games in the form of riddles and brain teasers.
Math riddles are so much fun and they are a kind of math puzzles for kids. Get, ready to test your child’s brain with these challenging and funny brain twisting math puzzles for students.
1. Two Fathers and Two Sons Riddle
Riddle: Two fathers and two sons went fishing together to catch fish for dinner. Together, they caught exactly three fish but each person had one fish for dinner. How is this possible?
Answer: The answer to this math challenge is that the grandfather is also one of the ‘fathers’. Hence, the other father is both a son and a father to the grandson. So, only 3 people went fishing-the son, his father, and his father’s father.
2. Make 1000 with eight 8’s
Riddle: Add eight 8’s to get the number 1,000 using only the addition method?
Answer: Here’s how this fun math problem is solved: 888 + 88 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 1,000.
3. How much did the dog get?
Riddle: A crow was given $9, a bee was given $27, and an octopus was given $36. How much money did the dog get?
Answer: The answer to this logical maths problem is based on the number of legs each animal has. The Crow has 2 legs, Bee has 6 legs and an octopus has got legs. Each one got $4.50 per leg. So the dog which has 4 legs got $18.
4. Crossing the River
Riddle: A farmer has a bundle of grass, a goat, and a tiger with him. He has to take them across the river in a boat. But the boat is weak and can fit only two things at a time and out of the two things, one would be the farmer himself as he would be operating the raft. The goat wants to eat the grass and the tiger wants to eat the goat. If the farmer is not present to watch over, the grass and the goat will get eaten. But, he finally takes them across. How did he do it?
Answer: This interesting math logic puzzle is solved in multiple steps:
- The farmer first takes the rabbit across the river. He leaves the grass and tiger behind. The tiger will not eat the grass.
- The farmer then comes back and takes the tiger with him. He will leave the tiger on the other side but return back with the rabbit.
- Next, he takes the grass and crosses the river. He leaves the grass with the tiger which it will not eat.
- Finally, he comes over to take the rabbit. Now, everyone has crossed the river.
5. Find the cost
Riddle: A pair of shoes and socks together cost a total of $150. The shoes cost $100 more than the socks. What is the cost of each item?
Answer: The shoes cost $125 and the socks cost $25. As mentioned in the question, the shoes are $100 more than the socks.
Though not based on math skills, brain teasers are interesting tools to improve logical thinking skills and they are in interesting math puzzles for kids. Though these pules seem simple, they actually require an immense amount of deduction power. Have fun with these brain-twisting teasers.
1. Turn the fish
Question: The task for this math challenge is to make the fish swim in the other direction by moving only 3 sticks.
2. Increase the Squares
Question: In this fun math problems, you need to create seven squares by just moving two matches.
3. Fix the equation
Question: In this mathematical puzzle, fix the equation 6 + 4 = 4 by moving just 1 matchstick.
Answer: There are two solutions to this problem.
Learn more about stick logical puzzles.
4. Penny Triangle
Question: In this math puzzle for kids, you need to flip the triangle upside down by moving only three pennies.
5. Swiss Cross
Question: In this math challenges, you need to cut the cross into four congruent pieces (same shape and size) and join them to make a square.
This article lists some of the best math puzzles for kids. Why not introduce it to your child as there are plenty of advantages of using math games. Some of the benefits of math puzzles are:
- Makes math fun and interesting
- Helps overcome math anxiety
- Solving a puzzle is rewarding
- Reinforces math facts and fluency
- Promotes strategic thinking
- Improves spatial skills
- Help the child develop new approaches
- Develops mathematical memory
- Involves diverse mathematical principals
- Boosts critical thinking and reasoning skills
- Increases patience and perseverance
- Improves creativity
- Helps the child understand math instead of memorizing
- Provides hands-on learning experience
- Encourages mathematical language
- Connect to new math curriculums like Common Core (abc.org/common-core-math-help-for-parents )or similar curriculums
Math is important in our everyday lives and playing math games is an effective way to teach math to children. It has been proven to boost math learning in children. Math puzzles are a type of game-based math learning tool with fun math problems.
Such math challenges provide a delightful break from textbooks and worksheets. It improves your children’s confidence, removes math anxiety, and makes learning math enjoyable. It also boosts reasoning skills that are important for everyday life. Math puzzle games are effective in helping your children develop an understanding of math and its various concepts through a real-time experience that is not possible with traditional methods. They also strengthen abstract thinking and understanding of non-verbal concepts in math.
Try these delightful math puzzles today and boost your kid’s math skills!
There are numerous other ways that you can use in conjunction with math puzzles to make math engaging and fun for your kids. We have included some of the most interesting ways to teach math skills to your child. Click on the links below to know more.
- Math and Logic Puzzles – Math is Fun
- 20 Math Puzzles to Engage Your Students | Prodigy Math Blog
- 10 Magical Math Puzzles Students Will Love – WeAreTeachers
- Favorite challenging math puzzles – Homeschool Math
- Can Your Middle Schoolers Solve These Math Puzzles …
- Free Math Puzzles — Mashup Math
- Puzzles | Math for fun and glory | Khan Academy
- 20 Tricky Maths Puzzles for Kids with Answers
- 50 Math Riddles for Kids with Answers [Updated] | Edsys
- Funny Math Riddles for Kids – Kids Math Games Online