Looking for a way to while away the time with your kids while you’re waiting for your food at a restaurant or cruising on a road trip, but don’t want to resort to using a smartphone to entertain them?
Take part in a good old riddle showdown.
Riddles aren’t only fun, but they can help boost your children’s verbal fluency, problem-solving skills, and creative thinking. Riddles, and other brain teaser-type verbal puzzles, typically rely on clever new angles to look at something common,or on words with veiled or multiple meanings.
Riddles for Kids: Some Ground Rules
Riddles should be fun, and to make sure the riddles you share with your kids are fun, it’s best to follow a few ground rules.
Rule #1: The riddles have to be in the language the kids involved speak. So, if the kids you’re riddling speak English, make sure the riddle can be understood in that language.
Rule #2: Give the kids a theme to orient them in the right direction. So, give them a head’s up that you’re giving them an animal riddle when the answer involves an animal. Let them know they’ll have to think in numbers when you give them a math riddle. In every way you can, give the kids the best chance to stay engaged and work hard at solving the riddles. If you’re going to be giving them a particularly tricky riddle, go ahead and let them know ahead of time.
Rule #3: Let them know it’s ok not to know things. For example, to answer most riddles, your kid needs to know what the words in the riddle mean and their various applications. For example, when you ask, “What has a head, a foot, and four legs?” your kiddo needs to know that the concept of “legs” applies not only to animals but to beds. If they don’t know that, well, the riddle is a way for you to teach them and expand their perspective and vocab.
The Art of Manliness’s Collection of Riddles for Kids
Below you’ll find 44 riddles for kids. Some of them are classics (“What’s black and white and read all over?”The answer is not a zebra.); some may be new to you.Some are hilarious jokes disguised as riddles; others are reliant on puns.
There’s also a nice mixture of easy, medium, and hard riddles, so you’ll find puzzles for all ages and abilities here.