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85 brainteasers for kids (with answers!)

Brainteasers are always a good time, and they also promote quick-thinking skills.
Brainteasers encourage critical thinking and are a great way to let kids take a brain break from learning.
Brainteasers encourage critical thinking and are a great way to let kids take a brain break from learning.Jonathan Kirn / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Don't let your kids in on this little secret — brainteasers may seem like a plain old good time, but they're actually a great way to build critical thinking skills.

“I am a huge fan of this type of activity for children,” said Laura Linn Knight, author of “Break Free from Reactive Parenting.” She is a mother and a former teacher.

“It exposes children to new ideas and current (and) historical facts, it is engaging, it promotes quick-thinking skills, improves cognitive skills, and it builds on a child’s inherent ability (and) eagerness to learn,” she tells

Ready to offer your kids a fun brain break? Here are 85 brainteasers for kids that should keep them occupied for a while.

35 clever brainteasers for kids with answers

  • What is the end of everything? The letter "G."
  • I follow you all the time and copy your every move, but you can’t touch me. What am I? Your shadow.
  • A taxi driver is going down a one-way street the wrong way, and passes at least 10 cops. Why is she not caught? She was walking.
  • I turn once, so what is out will not get in. I turn again, so what is in will not get out. What am I? A key.
  • Put anything in me and I will make sure I’ll hold, doesn't matter hot or cold. What am I? A cup.
  •  I have wings, I am able to fly, I’m not a bird yet I soar high in the sky. What am I? A plane.
  • What gets wetter as it dries? A towel.
  • What has to be broken before you can use it? An egg.
  • What goes up and never comes down? Your age.
  • How can Sarah go 8 days without sleep? She only sleeps at night.
  • Johnny's mother had three children. The first was named May, the next was named June. What was the name of the third child? Johnny.
  • Give me air and I will live. Give me water and I will die. What am I? Fire.
  • What occurs once in a minute, twice in a moment, but never in one thousand years? The letter "M."
  • How many months have 28 days? All 12.
  • No matter how little or how much you use me, you change me every month. What am I? A calendar.
  • What word contains 26 letters, but only three syllables? Alphabet.
  • What goes up and down, but never moves? The temperature.
  • If there are three lollipops and you take away two, how many do you have? If you take two, then you have two.
  • A man left home sprinting. He ran for awhile 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 people wearing masks. Who were they? The umpire and the catcher.
  • Turn me on my side and I am everything. Cut me in half and I am nothing. What am I? The number 8.
  • What has cities, but no houses? A map.
  • What can be stolen, but never leave you? Your identity.
  • What word has six letters, but if you remove one letter, you’ll be left with 12? Dozens.
  • What is always in front of you but invisible? The future.
  • What is as light as a feather, but even the world’s strongest woman couldn’t hold it for more than a minute? Her breath.
  • The more there is the less you see. What is it? Fog.
  • You can find it in Mercury, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, but not in Venus or Neptune. What is it? The letter "R."
  • How far can a dog run into the woods? Halfway. Once it reaches halfway, it’s running out of the woods.
  • What travels faster: heat or cold? You can catch a cold, so heat travels faster!
  • 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? He was bald.
  • A cowboy rode into town on Friday. He stayed in town for three days and rode back out on Friday. How is this possible? The horse's name was Friday.
  • 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 snowing outside in December. What color is the bus driver’s hair? The same color as your hair — you are the bus driver.
  • I’m tall when I’m young, and I’m short when I’m old. What am I? A candle.
  • There’s a one-story house in which everything is yellow. Yellow walls, yellow doors, yellow furniture. What color are the stairs? There aren't any stairs. It's a one-story house.
  • What can you break, even if you never pick it up or touch it? A promise.

20 math brainteasers for kids

  • Which number stays the same no matter what number you multiply it with? 0.
  • What are eight 8s that add up to 1,000? 8 + 8 + 8 + 88 + 888 = 1,000.
  • How do you write 23 using only the number 2? 22 + 2/2 = 23.
  • When Rebecca was 8 years old, her little brother, Bob, was half her age. If Rebecca is 20 years old today, how old is Bob? 16.
  • Rachel goes to the supermarket and buys 10 tomatoes. Unfortunately, on the way back home, all but 9 get ruined. How many tomatoes are left in a good condition? 9.
  • What is the next number in this sequence: 2, 5, 9, 14, ... ? 20. (2 + 3 = 5; 5 + 4 = 9 ; 9 + 5 = 14; 14 + 6 = 20)
  • What can you put between 4 and 5 so that the result is more than 4, but less than 5? A decimal.
  • Use the numbers 2, 3, 4 and 5, as well as the symbols + and = to make a true math equation. 2 + 5 = 3 + 4.
  • Which weighs more: 16 ounces of feathers or a pound of solid gold? They weigh the same. 16 ounces is always 1 pound.
  • How do you make the number 7 even without adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing? Take out the “S.”
  • When is 1500 plus 20 and 1600 minus 40 the same thing? When it’s military time.
  • If 2 is company and 3 is a crowd, what are 4 and 5? 9.
  • A farmer has seventeen sheep. All but 6 of them die. How many sheep does he have left? 6.
  • If a hen and a half lays an egg and a half in a day and a half, how many eggs will half a dozen hens lay in half a dozen days? 24 eggs, or 2 dozen.
  • Emily has four daughters, and each of her daughters has a brother. How many children does Emily have? Five. Each daughter has the same brother.
  • Two fathers and two sons are in a car, yet there are only three people in the car. How? The three people are a grandfather, father and son.
  • When does 9 + 5 = 2? When you're telling time. 9:00 + 5 hours = 2:00
  • If 3 cats can catch 3 bunnies in 3 minutes, how long will it take 100 cats to catch 100 bunnies? 3 minutes.
  • You have two coins that total 30 cents. One of them is not a nickel. What are the two coins? A quarter and a nickel. (Only one of the coins is not a nickel.)

30 funny brainteasers for kids

  • What five-letter word gets shorter when you add two letters to it? Short.
  • What fruit can you never cheer up? A blueberry.
  • What type of cheese is made backward? Edam.
  • How do you catch a school of fish? A bookworm.
  • What can you catch, but not throw? A cold.
  • Why did the math textbook feel sad? It was full of problems.
  • What invention allows you to look through a wall? A window.
  • What do you get when you cross a snowman and a vampire? Frostbite.
  • I have four wings, but cannot fly. I never laugh and never cry. What am I? A windmill.
  • What is a tortilla chip's favorite dance? Salsa.
  • What kind of running means walking? Running out of fuel.
  • What has a thumb and four fingers but is not alive? A glove.
  • Name three consecutive days without using the words Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Yesterday, today and tomorrow.
  • What kind of coat can only be put on when it's wet? A coat of paint.
  • What has three feet, but cannot walk? A yardstick.
  • The more you take away, the bigger I become. What am I? A hole.
  • Which building has thousands of stories? The library.
  • What kind of room has no windows or doors? A mushroom.
  • What is harder to catch the faster you run? Your breath.
  • What do you call a fairy who hasn’t taken a shower in a week? Stinkerbell.
  • Where does today come before yesterday? The dictionary.
  • What can't be put in a saucepan? Its lid.
  • What has many needles, but doesn’t sew? A pine tree.
  • What can travel all around the world without leaving its corner? A stamp.
  • What has a head and a tail but no body? A coin.
  • What tastes better than it smells? Your tongue.
  • What has a bottom at the top? Your legs.
  • What is so fragile that saying its name breaks it? Silence.
  • If you drop me I’m sure to crack, but give me a smile and I’ll always smile back. What am I? A mirror.
  • What is a writing utensil's favorite state? Pencil-vania.