5 Simple Brainteasers for Children… and for Adults

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“HOROBOD”- can you solve this puzzle?

PUZZLED? Someone had said, “Our minds are lazier than our bodies, if not used. Light your lazy dynamite. Use your brain chemicals.”

We are always using up our brain cells with stress, tension, worries and depression. It is also important to use them for something productive. Brain cells also need rest or some recreation time and what better way to let them have some fun with brainteasers. These simple, fun games will not stress your brain rather channelize your energy in a good way.

These are great ways to engage yourself and your kid, when they are at home or not playing or probably not going out due to rain or you to give them a break from studies. These can be equally challenging and ‘interesting’ for adults too, and you will enjoy the sheer fun in solving them together.

Simple reasons why brainteasers might be a good brain exercise  for your child:

1)      It develops analytical, interpretation and reasoning skills

2)      It will increase their knowledge base and imagination capabilities

3)      It might help them develop a hobby of puzzles which can help them in different contests

4)      It will help them increase their interest to actively participate in such activities

5)      It will help the family spend some quality time in a productive way

Solving puzzles or riddles is not for geeks or geniuses. Everybody loves to try out a nice puzzle- whether they are able to solve or not is a different question. The beauty of puzzles is that it makes you think ‘out-of-the-box’, which is important. It is not just a food for your brain,  but a treat for the mind.

So, here are 5 simple types of brainteasers which can be fun, engaging and interesting both for you and your child:

1) Rebus: This is the most exciting form of brainteaser. A rebus is an image, which depicts a line or a phrase or a song or an idiom. So the entire picture will mean a meaningful phrase. You can start with simple ones and then move to the difficult levels. Let me illustrate with an example:

Ans: CROSSROADS as ROADS are written in a crossing pattern

The one at the beginning of the article is also a rebus which means ‘ROBIN HOOD’ since ROB is written within  HOOD.

This helps to develop analytical and visual interpretation skills. It also helps them to think ‘out-of-the-box’. This also helps them to learn new phrases and idioms. You will be surprised at the amazing collection of rebus online; you will be tempted to solve each time you see one.

2) Tangrams: It is a Chinese geometrical puzzle consisting of a square cut into several pieces which can be arranged to make various other shapes. An  example will make it easy to understand:

 This is a very popular game among children, which enhances their power to understand and arrange things. They also learn to make  new things from a set given to them. Tangrams sets are available as games online and in shops also. This can be also a good gift for a child who is  learning to work with shapes. Some Tangrams can very mind boggling to solve for you too.

3) Jumbled Words: This is a popular form of fun by solving scrambled words and solving a picture puzzle. “Telegraph has a daily feature of jumbled words and me and hubby love solving them.” Here is an example:

Ans: Grime, Bench, Amazed, Expend. ‘BEAMING’

This helps them to learn new words, spelling correction and creative thinking. I am sure most of us have solved these at some point of time, so why not make it a habit for our children to solve them everyday.

4) 3 Clue questions: This is a familiar pattern which we see in quiz shows or contests. A series of clues are given in descending order of difficulty to reach for the answer. This is something which you can create yourself too for your child. This helps them to learn how to approach a problem step by step and think about the solution in each step. This also helps them to channelize their thoughts in a particular direction. You can play this game with cards too. This is kind of a version of ’20 Questions’ we used to play in our childhood. Below is an example:

 

Ans: The Wizard of Oz and  Judy Garland

5) Identify  the  logo/taglines: There are so many companies or things which we may not identify without their names, just from the picture. So this is a nice exercise to to let kids increase their knowledge base by letting them identify the logos of companies, products and services. This can be a fun game to see how many one can identify. Kids can play with cartoon character or books. I am sure even you might not be able to identify many though we use them in our day-to-day lives. Something like in this  example:

Ans: Warner Brothers, Target, British Petroleum… Can you identify others?

These are just the simple types of brainteasers which a kid can practice and each of the above can have different levels of difficulty. There are a few other examples like:

  • Scrabble
  • Connect the pieces
  • Who am I riddles?
  • Connect the pics
  • 4pics, 1 word
  • Maths puzzles
  • Logic puzzles
  • Find listed objects in a picture and many more…

The world of puzzles is endless and it gets more and more exciting and ‘addictive’once you start solving them and you get the logic behind it. These also help to develop many life skills like planning, arranging and others in children for their journey ahead.

Where do you get these?

1)     Google is a huge repository of different types of puzzles. You can search and create one for yourself and your kid. You can also search up specific puzzle sites.

2)      Ask them to collect puzzles or brainteasers too, if they hear or read about it.

3)      You can get them in books, magazines or newspaper.

4)      You can pick up from different game shows or programs or quizzing events

5)      You can create YOUR OWN PUZZLE- like clue questions or jumbled words

 “I have a repository page of such puzzles called The Brain Breezers: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Brain-Breezers/1408193286139523. I call it ‘the mind spa’- a place for your mind to relax. I simply love to collect and gather puzzles from various sources and put them in a single box. You can visit the link and pick up a few from there. In case you are puzzle-freak or you have a new one, please do contribute to my page.”

So, next time you see a puzzle or a brainteaser, give it a try, tickle your brain and charge up those cells, involve yourself if your child is trying to solve one, stock up puzzles for your child (according to age and understanding capability) and HAPPY PUZZLING!

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