16 minutes read
May 10, 2023
51 Easy Math Riddles for Kids to Make Math Learning Fun
Many children say math is boring. You can argue, but it really is, assuming that students spend their time in math classes yawning at the chalkboard.
But you can make math a bit funnier and cheer kids up before homework or math classes using fun riddles. Check these 51 simple math riddles for kids and discover their advantages for the learning process.
Before we start
If your kids enjoy riddles, they will inevitably love math because riddles make learning easier. Riddles alone are not enough to learn math, however tutors often use riddles to help kids remember math concepts easier.
Before we get into math riddles, it’s important to mention that personalized tutoring is one of the best ways to help your child understand math quicker.
Visit the Brighterly tutoring page to get started.
Math riddles benefit studying in many more ways than just making the process funnier thanks to their non-standard, creative, and tricky nature. Check four benefits that math riddles provide:
Maths Riddles for Kids Develop Logical Thinking
In essence, any math riddle is a logical problem that requires some calculations to get a solution. Additionally, riddles challenge the traditional understanding of math. That’s why such tasks foster students to think outside the box to find solutions.
We take this “out-of-the-box” mindset for granted as it’s something holistic, but it blends creative thinking and logical skills.
A student develops logical thinking while seeking alternative ways to solve a math problem and addressing their life experiences. On top of that, children learn to find references between math problems and real-life situations.
Math Riddles Improve Kids’ Concentration
Solving a math riddle requires a student to concentrate on the matter entirely. Children switch off reality in the solving process, recreating the given situations in their minds and recalling their memories.
They learn to channel their attention to a single activity, enhancing their concentration capacity in the process.
Math Riddles for Kids Contribute to Mental Flexibility
Students often learn specific rules to solve math problems. If none of these methods works, children begin to struggle.
They see the door and shuffle available keys, but none of them fits the lock’s hole – what’s the problem? But what if the door is already open, and all you need to do is pull the handle?
Let’s take a fun riddle about a circle as an example: The circle has sides. What are they?
Wait, but the circle is round. Consequently, it has no sides. Therefore, the riddle is wrong. But if you step out of a traditional mindset, you will guess that the circle has two sides – inside and outside.
By solving such riddles, your child develops mental flexibility – the ability to shift thinking patterns to adapt to different situations. This skill goes way beyond math as life can generate countless outcomes you will have to face every day.
Riddles Raise Metalinguistic Awareness
Riddles are essentially language manipulatives – they tell about real life using metaphorical words. Solving math riddles means decoding metaphors and comparisons. Riddles help kids grasp language more deeply and find similarities between allusions and real-life situations.
51 Kid’s Math Riddles with Answers
Check 51 teasing math riddles for kids with answers:
A family has five sons, each of them has a sister. How many kids does a family have in total?
The answer: The family has six kids – five sons have one common sister.
There are four oranges, and you take three. How many do you have?
The answer: You will have three oranges.
Suppose you have three ostriches on your farm laying three eggs in three minutes. How many ostriches do you need to produce 700 eggs in 700 minutes?
The answer: Only three. You don’t need additional birds because three ostriches lay eggs at a fixed pace.
Two math books complain to each other. What do they tell each other?
The answer: I have so many problems.
There is an empty basket, three feet in diameter and one foot deep. How many oranges can you put in this empty basket?
The answer: Just one. As long as you put something in an empty basket, it’s not empty anymore.
Isabella has a huge family: 20 cousins, ten aunts, and ten uncles. Each cousin has an aunt who’s not Isabella’s. How is that possible?
The answer: This aunt is Isabella’s mom.
John was going to visit a horse racing event. He met five women with four cats, three women with seven dogs, and one man with a Galápagos tortoise. How many people and animals watched the horse racing contest?
The answer: It’s only John because nobody mentioned others go with John.
This number can be positive or negative, and it starts with I and ends with R. What is this number?
The answer: It’s an integer.
What should you place between 3 and 4 to make it bigger than 3 but smaller than 4?
The answer: It’s a decimal point: 3.4.
How can you make 45 using only 4?
The answer: You have to use fractions: 44 + 4/4 = 45 because 4/4 = 1.
I say that 6 + 7 = 1. How can that be possible?
The answer: I talk about time because 6 AM + 7 hours is 1 PM.
What if I say that you can multiply any number by another one and get the same answer? What is this number?
The answer: It’s zero. Multiplying anything by 0 = 0.
You have a ten-pound bag of duck feathers. Sam has a ten-pound bag filled with gold ingots. Which bag is heavier?
The answer: The bag of feathers is as heavy as a bag of gold because both weigh 10 pounds.
A long 400-feet train travels 400 feet per minute. It goes through a 400-feet tunnel. How long does it take for a train to travel through the tunnel?
The answer: It will take two minutes. It takes one minute for the nose of the train and one more minute for its last wagon.
When David was eight, his little brother Alex was half of his age. David is 30 now. How old is Alex?
The answer: Alex is 26.
The explanation: David was eight, while Alex was four. Their age difference doesn’t change with time. David is still four years older than Alex no matter what.
How many times can you subtract 5 from 25?
The answer: You can subtract it only once. 25 – 5 = 20, and it’s no longer 25. If you keep on, you will subtract 5 from 20, then 15, and so on. None of these numbers is 25 anymore.
Mom baked 24 cookies for six kids. How many cookies does each of them get?
The answer: Each kid will get four cookies.
Which month has 28 days in it?
The answer: Since all months are 30-31 days long, and February has either 28 or 29 days, they all have 28 days.
A farmer decided to give his animals pocket money. He pays $13 to a rooster, $39 to a bee, and $52 to a spider. How much will a cat and a dog get?
The answer: Both a cat and a dog will get $26.
The explanation: A rooster has two legs, so it gets $6.5 per leg. The bee has six legs, so it gets 6.5 x 6 = 39. The same goes for a spider. A dog and a cat have four legs each: 6.5 x 4 = 26.
Suppose you have six oranges and six melons in your right hand and 24 apples and eight watermelons in your left hand. What do you have?
The answer: You have such big hands!
A triangle is very rude. What does it say to a circle?
The answer: You’re pointless.
I put three matches on a table. I ask you to add two matches to get eight. How can you do this?
The answer: You can make Roman eight: VIII.
I’m an odd number. But if you take away a letter from my name, I will become even. What number am I?
The answer: Seven
William is a historian. He takes two from five and gets four. How does he do that?
The answer: He takes letters F and E from FIVE and gets IV – Roman four.
Amy has as many apples as there are months in a year. How many apples does she have?
The answer: 12 apples.
A sphere has three, a circle has two, and a point has zero. What is it?
The answer: Dimensions. A sphere has three dimensions, a circle has two, and a point has no dimensions.
If you toss a coin five times, and it lands tails up each time, what are the chances it will land heads up the next time?
The answer: A coin lands either tails or heads, so there is a 50% probability of each outcome no matter how many times you toss a coin.
Bob adds three numbers. Afterward, he multiplies the same numbers and gets the same result. What are these numbers?
The answer: 1, 2, 3.
The explanation: 1 + 2 +3 = 6; 1 x 2 x 3 = 6.
Bees love geometry. What’s their favorite figure?
The answer: It’s a hexagon.
It’s round, but it’s not a circle and looks like an egg. What is it?
The answer: It’s an oval.
What should you add to 55,555 to make it equal 500?
The answer: The minus sign.
The explanation: Place minus (-) between 555 and 55 to make this equation: 555 – 55 = 500.
Which statement is correct: 12 plus 17 is 28, or 17 plus 12 are 28?
The answer: Both are false because 12 + 17 = 29.
The explanation: This trick distracts attention from math to verb and number agreement. However, it doesn’t matter since both equations are wrong.
A farmer bought a rooster to sell eggs for $0.1 each. The rooster lays five eggs a day. The question is how much will the farmer earn in a week?
The answer: The farmer will earn nothing because roosters don’t lay eggs.
What is the product if you multiply all numbers on a phone’s dial pad?
The answer: It’s zero.
The explanation: Since the phone dial pad ends with a zero, multiplying anything by zero equals zero.
Two fathers and two sons make wooden chairs. If each makes a wooden chair, why are there only three produced?
The answer: It’s because there are only three people – a father, his son, and his son’s son.
You have ordered a pizza for a dinner of eight. How many times do you need to cut the pizza to get eight slices?
The answer: You need to cut it four times.
The explanation: When you cut one time, you divide the pizza in half. When you slice it two times, you get four pieces. Consequently, you will get eight slices if you cut the pizza four times.
Continue the sequence: 2, 4, 8, 16, 32…
The answer: It’s 64 because you double each consecutive number.
What takes place once a year, twice a week, and never in a day?
The answer: It’s the letter E.
If a dozen eggs cost $0.12, how many eggs can you buy for a dollar?
The answer: You can buy 100 eggs.
I’m a place in a city, but I am also a math problem solution. The math problem is: What should you multiply by six to get a cube?
The answer: Times Square
Lorenzo was born in 1988. In 1968, he was 20 years old. How could that be?
The answer: It’s because Lorenzo was born in 1988 B.C. We count time backward – 1968 B.C. is 20 years later than 1988 B.C.
An old woman dies on her 24th birthday. How can that be?
The answer: She was born on February 29, in a leap year. It occurs once every four years. Consequently, 24 x 4 = 96.
A snail is in a 20-meter-deep pit. It climbs five meters but slides five meters back every day. How long will it take for a snail to escape the hole?
The answer: It will take 16 days.
The explanation: At first sight, it will take 20 days. On the first day, the snail reaches one meter. On the second day, it reaches two meters: 1 + 5 – 4 = 2. On the third day, it climbs three meters. On day 15, it reaches 15 meters.
But on day 16, the snail reaches 20 meters, and it doesn’t fall back because it escapes the pit.
What should you do to make 81 x 9 = 801 correct?
The answer: Just turn the numbers upside down. 18 x 6 = 108.
What does a plant grow in a math class?
The answer: It grows square roots – ba dum tss!
I will be everything if you put me on my side. I will be nothing if you cut me in half. What am I?
The answer: The number 8.
The explanation: If you put 8 on its side, it will become an infinity symbol ∞. If you cut it on its “waist,” it will become two zeros 0 0.
What is half of 2 plus 2?
The answer: Half of 2 equals 1; 1 +2 = 3.
It’s the longest side of the triangle, and it starts with H and ends with E. What is it?
The answer: It’s a hypotenuse.
Figures with sides have it, but a circle doesn’t. What is it?
The answer: It’s an angle.
It’s neither a circle nor an oval, but it’s round. What is it?
The answer: It’s a sphere.
It’s midnight now, and it’s raining. The weather forecast says it will be warm and sunny for the next two days. Will it be sunny in 48 hours?
The answer: No, it won’t be sunny weather because it will also be midnight in 48 hours.
The Bottom Line
Tricky math riddles for kids provide many more benefits besides making math classes or homework fun. While solving riddles and brain teasers, children develop math reasoning and analytical skills, learn to think outside the box, and improve concentration.
Quiz and Games is the perfect way to get the kids to listen to you during class activities and also during real-life examples!
Check out the best 70+ Math Quiz Questions from AhaSlides!
So, if you want to diversify your child’s math routine, you can take some of these 51 math riddles and have fun together.
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