Brain teaser riddles funny

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61 Brainteasers for Adults, Kids, and Everyone in Between

Riddle me this: Why do kids love brainteasers? Answer: They supply hours of free entertainment, that challenge us to think outside the box. They also provide a healthy dose of humility when one is finally told the (so obvious!) answer. But brainteasers are the most fun when you — the parent — are asking them. Riddles and brainteasers allow you to feel much smarter than you really are as your kid struggles to come up with an answer. There’s no better way to pass the time or to get your brain crackling with energy and smarts. 

Here’s a list of easy-to-remember brainteasers to entertain your kids, and prove, once and for all, that you do have more answers than your children.  

  1. What word begins and ends with an E but only has one letter?
    An envelope.
  2. What type of cheese is made backward?
  3. I’m tall when I’m young and I’m short when I’m old. What am I?
    A candle.
  4. In a one-story pink house, there was a pink person, a pink cat, a pink fish, a pink computer, a pink chair, a pink table, a pink telephone, a pink shower — everything was pink! What color were the stairs?
    There weren’t any stairs, it was a one-story house.
  5. Who is bigger: Mr. Bigger, Mrs. Bigger, or their baby?
    The baby, because he is a little bigger.
  6. Mike is a butcher. He is 5-footinches tall. What does he weigh?
  7. What are the next three letters in the following sequence? J, F, M, A, M, J, J, A, __, __, __
    S, O, N. The sequence is the first letter of the months of the year. September, October, and November are the next in the sequence.
  8. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?
    Mt. Everest. It was still the highest in the world. It just had not been discovered yet!
  9. You are driving a bus. At the first stop, two women get on. At the second stop, three men get on, and one woman gets off. At the third stop, three kids and their mom get on, and a man gets off. The bus is grey, and it is raining outside. What color is the bus driver’s hair?
    Whatever color your hair is! Remember, you are the bus driver!
  10. Imagine that you are in a boat, in the middle of the sea. Suddenly, you are surrounded by hungry sharks, just waiting to feed on you. How can you put an end to this?
    Stop imagining!
  11. When you have me, you immediately feel like sharing me. But, if you do share me, you do not have me.
    A secret.
  12. What can you hold without ever touching or using your hands?
    Your breath!
  13. First, I threw away the outside and cooked the inside. Then I ate the outside and threw away the inside. What did I eat?
    Corn on the cob.
  14. A lift is on the ground floor. There are four people in the lift, including me. When the lift reaches the first floor, one person gets out and three people get in. The lift goes up to the second floor, two people get out six people get in. It then goes up to the next floor up, no one gets out, but 12 people get in. Halfway up to the next floor, the cable snaps, and the lift crash to the floor. Everyone else dies in the lift. How did I survive?
    I got out on the second floor!
  15. A man left home running. He ran away and then turned left, ran the same distance, and turned left again, ran the same distance, and turned left again. When he got home, there were two masked men. Who were they?
    The catcher and the umpire.
  16. What words are pronounced differently by merely capitalizing the first letter?
    There are several, and there could be more: 1. job, Job; 2. herb, Herb; 3. polish, Polish
  17. What can be seen once in a minute, twice in a moment, and never in a thousand years?
    The letter M.
  18. Which tire doesn’t move when a car turns right?
    The spare tire.
  19. What gets wetter the more it dries?
    A towel.
  20. The more you take out of it, the bigger it becomes. What is it?
    A pit.
  21. What can travel around the world while staying in one corner?
    A stamp.
  22. What is at the end of a rainbow?
    The letter W.
  23.  How many months have 28 days?
    All 12 months.
  24. Railroad crossing, watch out for cars. Can you spell that without any Rs?
  25. Two mothers and two daughters went out to eat. Everyone ate one burger, yet only three burgers were eaten in all. How is this possible?
    They were a grandmother, mother, and daughter.
  26. A man was taking a walk outside when it started to rain. The man didn’t have an umbrella, and he wasn’t wearing a hat. His clothes got soaked, yet not a single hair on his head got wet. How could this happen?
    The man was bald.
  27. How many seconds are there in a year?
    Twelve. January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd…
  28. You walk across a bridge and you see a boat full of people, yet there isn’t a single person on board. How is that possible?
    All the people on the boat are married.
  29. Beth’s mother has three daughters. One is called Laura, the other one is Sarah. What is the name of the third daughter?
  30. What’s full of holes but still holds water?
    A sponge.
  31. How can you throw a ball as hard as you can, only to have it come back to you, even if it doesn’t bounce off anything?
    Throw the ball straight up in the air.
  32. I am an odd number. Take away one letter and I become even. What number am I?
    Seven (take away the “s’”and it becomes “even”).
  33. What never asks questions but is often answered?
    A doorbell.
  34. What belongs to you but other people use it more than you?
    Your name.
  35. I have a large money box, 10 inches wide, and 5 inches tall.  Roughly how many coins can I place in my empty money box?
    Just one, after which it will no longer be empty.
  36. What does this mean? I RIGHT I
    Right between the eyes.
  37. What five-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?
  38. Which travels faster? Hot or Cold?
    Hot. You can catch a cold
  39. Jimmy’s mother had four children. She named the first Monday. She named the second Tuesday, and she named the third Wednesday. What is the name of the fourth child?
    Jimmy! Jimmy’s mother had four children.
  40. What is special about the words: job, polish, herb?
    They are all pronounced differently when the first letter is capitalized.
  41. Give me food, and I will live; give me water, and I will die. What am I?
  42. What goes on four feet in the morning, two in the afternoon and three in the evening?
    A human.
  43. Peter’s father has five sons. The names of four sons are Fefe, Fifi, Fafa and Fufu respectively. What is the name of the fifth son?
  44. What’s full of holes but still holds water?
    A sponge.
  45. What flies without wings?
  46. Turn me on my side and I am everything. Cut me in half and I am nothing. What am I?
    The number 8.
  47. What has cities, but no houses; forests, but no trees; and water, but no fish?
    A map.
  48. What has to break before you can use it?
    An egg. 
  49. What is the one question you can never answer?
    “Are you asleep yet?”
  50. What’s the one thing you can break without ever touching it?
    A promise.
  51. What goes up but never comes down?
    Your age.
  52. I shave every day, but my hair only grows longer. What am I?
    A barber.
  53. You walk into a room, and on a table, there’s a match, a lamp, a candle and a fireplace. What would you light first?
    The match.
  54. A man dies of old age on his 25th birthday. How?
    He was born on February
  55. What can’t talk but will respond when you speak to it?
    An echo.
  56. The more of this there is, the less you see. What is it?
  57. I follow you all the time, but you can never catch or touch me. What am I?
    Your shadow.
  58. What’s clean when it’s black and white when it’s dirty?
    A chalkboard.
  59. What has 88 keys but can’t open a single lock?
    A piano.
  60. What gets bigger the more you take away?
    A hole.
  61. Where does today come before yesterday?
    A dictionary.

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45 Fun Brain Teasers for Kids [With Answers]

What are brain teasers?

Before you explore our examples, you might be wondering what brain teasers actually are.

Cambridge Dictionary defines a brain teaser as “a problem for which it is hard to find the answer, especially one which people enjoy trying to solve as a game.”

Brain teasers are a type of puzzle — and as the list below reveals, they come in many different forms. Often presented as a riddle, question or activity, brain teasers require a little extra brainpower to solve.

It's important to note that if you have any English language learners in your class, brain teasers for kids might pose a challenge for them. If that's the case, they might need you to walk them through the brain teaser more closely, or you can find ones that better suit their language level.

Brain teasers for kids differ from other complex or abstract problems because they’re usually done for fun. Although you can use them to analyze problem-solving and critical thinking skills, they’re often used as an amusing activity to encourage logical and lateral thinking, or thinking “outside the box.”

45 Brain teasers for kids

We’ve compiled a list of language, math and visual brain teasers to get your students thinking. Get inspired by the examples below — including answers!

Language brain teasers for kids

1. Riddles

When you hear the term “brain teaser,” a riddle is likely the first thing that comes to mind. Riddles are perplexing — sometimes misleading — questions or statements that require creative thought to solve.

Riddles are usually fun, and plenty of them can add some humour to your classroom.

Enjoy our list of riddles for kids below!


a) Billy’s mother had five children. The first was named Lala, the second was named Lele, the third was named Lili, the fourth was named Lolo. What was the fifth child named?

b) Choose the correct sentence: “The yolk of the egg is white” or “the yolk of the egg is white.”

c) It’s as light as a feather, but the strongest person can’t hold it for more than five minutes. What is it?

d) The more there is, the less you see. What is it?

e) What gets more wet while it dries?

f) You can find it in Mercury, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, but not in Venus or Neptune. What is it?

g) It likes food, but water kills it. What is it?

h) What’s full of holes but can still hold water?

i) Which is heavier, a pound of feathers or a pound of rocks?

j) How far can a dog run into the woods?

k) You’re driving a city bus. At the first stop, three women get on. At the second stop, one woman gets off and a man gets on. At the third stop, two children get on. The bus is blue and it’s raining outside in December. What colour is the bus driver’s hair?

l) There are three houses. One is red, one is blue and one is white. If the red house is to the left of the house in the middle, and the blue house is to the right of the house in the middle, where’s the white house?

m) It’s at the center of gravity and you can find it in Venus, but not Mars. What is it?

n) What goes on four feet in the morning, two in the afternoon and three in the evening?  (This is from the classic myth, Oedipus and the Riddle of the Sphinx)

o) What travels faster: heat or cold?

p) A man was walking in the rain in the middle of nowhere without a coat or an umbrella. He got soaked, but not a single hair on his head was wet. How can this be?

q) A cowboy rode into town on Friday. He stayed in town for three days and rode back out on Friday. How is this possible?


a) Billy

b) Neither. Egg yolks are yellow, not white!

c) Breath

d) Fog

e) A towel

f) The letter “R”

g) Fire

h) A sponge

i) Neither. Both weigh a pound!

j) Halfway. Once it reaches halfway, it’s running out of the woods.

k) Whatever colour your hair is. Remember, you’re driving the bus!

l) In Washington, D.C.

m) The letter “V”

n) A human. The times of day represent stages of human life. At the beginning of life, a baby crawls on four “feet.” As a person gets older, they walk on two feet. Later in life, a person will walk on three “feet” (two feet, plus a cane to help them walk).

o) Heat travels faster because you can catch a cold!

p) He was bald.

q) The horse’s name was Friday.

As a bonus, use these riddles to challenge preconceived notions and get students thinking about natural bias.

a) Two boxers are in a match scheduled for 12 rounds. (Pure boxing only - no kicking, UFC takedowns, or anything else). One of the boxers gets knocked out after only six rounds, yet no man throws a punch. How is this possible?

b) A father and son have a car accident and both are very injured. They are taken to separate hospitals for treatment. When the boy is taken in for an operation, the surgeon says, “I can’t do this surgery…. this boy is my son!” How is this possible?


a) The two boxers are women.

b) The surgeon is the boy’s mother.

2. Language associations

These brain teasers for kids explore the complexities of the English language. Use them to boost student knowledge of sounds, words, spelling, categorization and more.a) Word association: find a word that associates with the following sets of words.

  1. Cake, swiss, cottage
  2. Glasses, screen, day
  3. Cream, cube, cap
  4. Knife, fly, cup

b) Find the mystery word. Replace the third letter of each word with a new letter to create a different word. When read vertically, the new letters will reveal the mystery word.

For example, the word MAKE could become MARE, MALE, MATE and so on. It’s your job to figure out which one works to create the mystery word. 







Hint: It’s something you’ll find outside.

c) Find rhyming pairs. Unscramble the words below so that each pair of words rhymes.




  1. Cheese
  2. Sun
  3. Ice
  4. Butter








Mystery word: FLOWER


  1. BEAR (or BARE) & SHARE

You can also use printable brain teasers for kids like this one:

3. Lateral thinking problems

Lateral thinking problems require creative thinking with an indirect approach.

These questions require logic and careful thought to solve. The most notable example of a lateral thinking problem is the classic Monty Hall problem.

Here are two examples of lateral thinking problems kids can try to solve.

a) The river crossing problem

Image source: Popular Mechanics

A farmer is travelling with a fox, a goose, and a bag of beans. During his journey, he comes across a river with a boat to cross it.

The farmer can only fit one thing in the boat with him at a time. If left alone together, the fox will eat the goose or the goose will eat the beans. How does the farmer get everything across the river safely?

b) The light bulb problem

There are three light switches outside of a room-- labeled number one, number two, and number three. The door to the room is closed and you can’t see in. All three switches are off.

You need to figure out which switch belongs to which bulb. You can use the switches however you want to, but can only enter the room once. How do you do it?


a) Here’s the step-by-step solution:

  1. The farmer brings the goose across the river first (if he leaves the goose alone, it will either eat the beans or be eaten by the fox).
  2. The farmer brings either the fox or the beans across and leaves the other one alone.
  3. Now the farmer has two items on the other side of the river, including the goose. If he leaves the goose again, the same problem will occur. So, the farmer must bring the goose back to the other side.
  4. The farmer brings the other item back (either the fox or the beans) and leaves the goose alone again. The fox and the beans are now on the other side of the river.
  5. The farmer returns and brings the goose across the river again.

b) Turn on the first switch and leave it on. Turn on the second switch for a few minutes, and then turn it off again. When you enter the room, one light bulb will be on. You’ll know it goes with switch one because you turned it on. Another bulb will be hot. You’ll know that goes with switch two because it was on for a little while. The bulb that’s off and cold goes with switch three because you didn’t touch it.

Math brain teasers for kids

Like math puzzles, these brain teasers for kids can increase engagement with math content and inspire your students to work on math concepts and problems outside of regular lessons.

1. Math riddles

These riddles are just as amusing as the ones above, but they’re math-focused. Use them to give students some extra math practice and encourage resourceful thinking.

Math riddles

a) Divide 30 by ½ and add What’s the answer?

b) A clerk at the butcher shop is six feet tall and wears size 10 shoes. What does he weigh?

c) A farmer has 19 sheep on his land. One day, a big storm hits and all but seven run away. How many sheep does the farmer have left?

d) Your sock drawer only contains 18 white socks and 18 blue socks. How many times do you need to reach inside the drawer and take out a sock to guarantee a matching pair?

e) You planted sunflower seeds in your back garden. Every day, the number of flowers doubles. If it takes 52 days for the flowers to fill the garden, how many days would it take for them to fill half the garden?

f) Using only addition, how can you use eight eights to get the number 1,?

g) When Ashley was 15, her mother was Now, her mother is twice her age. How old is Ashley?


a) It's You’re dividing 30 by ½, not by two. Thirty divided by ½ is the same thing as multiplying it by two, which is Plus 10 makes 70!

b) Meat. He works at the butcher shop, so he weighs meat for a living.

c) Seven. The riddle says all but seven run away, meaning there are seven left who didn’t.

d) Three times. On the third time, you’ll get either a white or a blue sock to match with one of the other two you’ve already grabbed.

e) It would take 51 days. If the number of flowers doubles every day, half the garden would be full the day before, on the 51st day.

f)  +88 +8 +8 +8

g) Ashley is Her mother is 22 years older, so when Ashley is 22, she’s now half her mother’s age.

2. Pattern problems

These questions require students to identify a pattern before they can answer a particular question. Kids must use creative and logical thinking to find the answers.

a) If:

2 + 2 = 44

3 + 3 = 96

4 + 4 =

5 + 5 =


6 + 6 = ?

b) What makes this number unique: 8,,,?

c) Solve the pattern puzzle below. Find the missing number to replace the question mark.

Image source: AOL


a) The missing number is The answer is the number multiplied by itself and then the number added to itself. Six multiplied by six is 36, and six plus six is

b) It contains each one-digit number, zero through nine, listed in alphabetical order.

c) The missing number is Each number in the circle is the sum of the numbers in the opposite quadrant. In this case, the numbers are eight and nine — added together makes

d) The answer is 14 (or 16), if you’re on the other side of the debate.

3. Prodigy Math Game

This math activity is a bit different from others on the list. It’s not a traditional brain teaser, but it can also be used as a fun, skill-building alternative to traditional math class.

Prodigy is a game-based learning platform that takes your students on an online fantasy adventure while they answer standards-aligned math questions. It’s engaging and effective at teaching necessary skills. 

Prodigy's free teacher tools help you differentiate learning, send assessments in-game and even collect student insights!

Create my free teacher account

Visual brain teasers for kids

1. Spot the difference

This ever-popular activity might remind you of your own childhood — and kids still love it! Spot the difference puzzles require lots of deduction and attention to detail.

Here’s an example of a printable spot the difference activity.

2. Rebus puzzles

A rebus is a visual word puzzle that uses lateral thinking to find its intended meaning. The word or phrase is depicted with a visual illustration, including letters and words. Students must think creatively to figure out the meaning from the clues they’re given. 


Image source: Stack Exchange


a) Top secret

b) Think outside the box

Visit the link below if you want more fun rebus puzzles for your students:

3. Optical illusions

Get tricky with your students! Optical illusions use visual tricks that alter the perception of what you’re really seeing. Students will love trying to figure out what’s really going on in these examples.

a) How many legs does the elephant have?

Image source: Brain Den


a) Four

b) They’re exactly the same colour. If you place your finger over the spot where the squares meet, you can see they’re the same. Try this impossible paper puzzle if you want a more hands-on optical illusion. You can make one to show your class, then have students make their own as a fun brain teaser to show friends and family.

4. Stroop effect test

The Stroop effect was discovered in the s by John Ridley Stroop. During the test, you’re given a list of colour names, with each word being a different colour than what they describe.

The test involves saying the colour of a word, rather than reading the word itself. Your mind must process the two conflicting pieces of information, which slows down reaction speed and requires careful thought to get through.

Image source: The Crafty Classroom

Benefits of brain teasers for kids

You know your students enjoy them, but did you know there are plenty of additional reasons to make brain teasers a regular activity in the classroom?

A study on the attention spans of six-year-olds found children who were given brain teasers were more attentive than those who were not — showing brain teasers were effective at boosting children’s attention spans.   

Brain teasers for kids can also:

  • Strengthen problem solving and critical thinking skills
  • Encourage lateral thinking and build new perspectives
  • Improve cognitive abilities like memory and processing speed
  • Inspire teamwork and communication
  • Engage students and motivate them to learn
  • Provide necessary breaks from traditional class work

How to use brain teasers in the classroom

In addition to their many learning advantages, brain teasers are a great way to break up the day and engage your students. Here are just a few ways you can use brain teasers for kids as a teaching strategy and maximize the benefits in your classroom:

  • Engagement-boosting activity before or after lessons
  • Bonus questions in assignments and tests
  • Optional “free time” activity
  • Encourage team building — split students into groups to solve them together
  • Supplement lessons — choose brain teasers about the subject you’re teaching

Final thoughts on brain teasers for kids

No matter what subject or skill you want to focus on, a brain teaser is a great addition to traditional teaching methods. Plus, it’s something students will actually be excited to do.

Remember that brain teaser are designed to be fun for kids. it’s not about finding the right answer, but the mental exercise they get from trying to find the solution.

Use any of the brain teasers in this list whenever you need a boost of energy in your classroom. Bonus points if you can stump any adults!

Create or log in to your free teacher account on Prodigy – a game-based learning platform for math that’s easy to use for educators and students alike. Aligned with standards across the English-speaking world, it’s loved by more than a million teachers and 50 million students.

Sign up now!
  1. Institute for rock magnetism
  2. Poetry lines
  3. Questions about dna and rna

+ Riddles for Kids and Adults (With Answers)

1. When I’m young, I’m sweet in the sun. At middle-age, I make you gay. When old, I’m valued more than ever. What am I?


2. Without it, I am dead. If I am not it, then then I am behind. What am I?


3. How many three cent stamps are in a dozen?

A dozen (but you probably said four).

4. Can a man legally marry his widow’s sister in the state of California?

If his wife’s a widow, the guy is dead!

5. How far can a raccoon run into the woods?

Halfway. After that, he’s running out of the woods.

6. What has a mouth, but cannot eat. Moves, but has no legs. Has a bank, but no money?

A River!

7. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a long one. Michael J. Fox has a very short one. Madonna doesn’t use one. The Pope doesn’t, either. What is it?

A surname.

8. I am the beginning of sorrow and the end of sickness. You cannot express happiness without me. I am always in risk but never in danger. You may find me in the sun, but I am never out of darkness.

The letter S

9. Mike is a butcher. He is 5’09” tall. What does he weigh?


Guess the next three letters in the series GTNTL.

I, T, S. [The complete sequence is the first letter of every word in the preceding sentence.]

On my way to St. Ives, I met a man with seven wives. Each wife had seven sacks, each sack had seven cats, and each cat had seven kits. Kits, cats, sacks and wives. How many were going to St. Ives?

One! Only I was going to St. Ives

Which is heavier? A pound of feathers or a pound of rocks?

Both weigh exactly one pound!

You are a cyclist in a cross-country race. Just before the crossing finish line, you overtake the person in second place. What place did you finish in?

Second. If you pass the person in second, you take second, and they take third.

A man is looking at a photograph of someone. His friend asks who it is. The man replies, “Brothers and sisters, I have none. But that man’s father is my father’s son.” Who was in the photograph?

His son.

The number 8,,, is a unique number. What is so special about it?

It’s the only number including every digit arranged in alphabetical order.

There are three houses. One’s red, one’s blue, and one’s white. If the red house is to the left of the house in the middle, and the blue house is to the right to the house in the middle, where is the white house?

In Washington DC.

You’re in a cabin and it’s pitch black. You have one match on you. Which do you light first: the newspaper, the lamp, the candle, or the fire?

You light the match first.

A man pushes his car to a hotel and tells its owner he’s bankrupt. Why?

Because he’s playing Monopoly.

A man left home running. He ran a ways and then turned left, ran the same distance and turned left again, ran the same distance and turned left again. When he got home, there were two masked men. Who were they?

The catcher and the umpire.

Your dad tells you he’ll pay you $ an hour for the 6 seconds that you take to wash your hands before dinner. How much did you make for washing your hands?

A penny.

A farmer has 19 sheep and all but seven die. How many are left?


In a year, there are 12 months. Seven months have 31 days. How many months have 28 days?

All of them.

Before Mount Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?

Mt. Everest. It just hadn’t been discovered yet!

A plane crashes on the border of the U.S. and Canada. Where do they bury the survivors?

You do not bury the survivors!

I do not have any special powers, but I can predict the score of any football game before it begins. How can I do this?

The score is always the same before the game: zero to zero!

A family lives in a skyrise building on the tenth floor. Every day their daughter takes the elevator from the family’s apartment on the 10th floor to the ground floor and goes to school. When she returns later that day, she uses the elevator to get to the fifth floor, and then uses the stairs for the remaining five floors. Why?

She can’t reach the buttons higher than five.

Give me food, and I will live. Give me water, and I will die. What am I?


Which travels faster: Hot or Cold?

Well you can catch a cold, so hot’s probably faster.

You are driving a bus. At the first stop, two women get on. At the second stop, three men get on and one woman gets off. At the third stop, three kids and their mom get on, and a man gets off. The bus is grey, and it is raining outside. What color is the bus driver’s hair?

Whatever color your hair is! Remember, you’re the bus driver.

Imagine that you are in a boat, in the middle of the sea. Suddenly, you are surrounded by hungry sharks, just waiting to feed on you. How can you put an end to this?

You just stop imagining! Thought Catalog Logo Mark



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