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Types of riddles and puzzle games suitable for children

Riddles refer to puzzles posed as a question or a statement, that is solved by others.

Puzzles refer to complex issues being solved and answered by thinking or using skills.

Riddles and puzzles are great tools and fun toys used to aid children in their developmental period.

What are the common topics of riddles for children?

Riddles do contain information or environments that children are exposed to in their daily lives. As such, the topics are broad, listed below are the topics that are relatable to children.

  1. Animals

  2. Food

  3. Languages and culture

  4. Countries

  5. Stories

  6. Weather, environment, and items

  7. Buildings

  8. Subjects (E.g. Mathematics and science)

  9. Furnitures

  10. Human body

What are the examples of riddles to share with children?

As the topics for riddles are broad, so is the difficulty.

The difficulties of the riddles are easy, normal, and difficult. The examples of the riddles below are ranked as such.

Easy riddles

  1. What is the capital of Singapore?

Answer: The letter “S”. The capital refers to the only letter that is capitalized in Singapore.

  1. What are the two things that are not eaten for breakfast.

Answer: Lunch and dinner. Lunch and dinner are meals that do not occur in the early hours of the day.

  1. What has a tail and a head, but not a body?

Answer: A coin. The “tail” and the “head” refer to the sides of the coin, and there is no body in a coin.

  1. What is broken when it is not kept?

Answer: A promise. When promises are not kept, it is considered as broken promises.

  1. What belongs to you but used more by your friends?

Answer: Your name. Your name is often called by your friends despite belonging to you.

Normal riddles

  1. There are three apples in the basket. Two apples had been taken away by you, how many apples do you have?

Answer: Two apples. You had taken two apples away from the basket, there is only one apple left.

  1. When John was 8 years old, his brother was half his age (4 years old). Now John is 14 years old, what is the age of his brother?

Answer: 10 years old.

14 - 8 = 6

6 + 4 = 10

  1. Giselle has a big family. She has 20 aunts, 20 uncles and 30 cousins. Each of her cousins has an aunt that is not Giselle’s aunt. Why is that so?

Answer: Their aunt is Giselle’s mother.

  1. It is raining in the midnight. The forecast for tomorrow and the day after is clear. Will there be a sunny weather in the next 48 hours?

Answer: No. As the present time is within the midnight period, the next 48 hours will still be midnight. The sky will not brighten during midnight.

  1. Mrs Tan has 3 daughters. Each of these daughters has a brother. How many children does Mrs Tan have?

Answer: Mrs Tan have 4 children. Each of the daughter has the same brother, there will be 3 daughters and a son.

Difficult riddles

  1. What goes around the world, but never leaves the corner?

Answer: A stamp. Stamps are placed at the corner of an envelope, but envelops can be sent around the world.

  1. What has keys but no locks, has space but no room, can be entered but can’t go inside?

Answer: A keyboard. A keyboard has keys, a space bar and an enter key cap.

  1. What fills up a room but takes up no space?

Answer: Light. Light shines throughout the room, but does not take up spaces within the room.

  1. What disappears when people talk?

Answer: Silence. Silence ends when noises are made.

  1. What is found in Mercury, Earth, Mars, and Jupiter, but not in Venus or Neptune?

Answer: The letter “R”. The letter “R” is not in the spelling of Venus and Neptune, but appears in Mercury, Earth, Mars, and Jupiter.

Riddles can be served as a joke to make the children’s day. For example:

  1. What jumps higher than a building?

Answer: Anything that jumps. Buildings do not jump as it is firmly attached to the ground.

  1. What room has no doors or windows?

Answer: A mushroom. Mushrooms are fungi, it is not a room.

  1. What fruit is always sad?

Answer: A blueberry. Feeling blue refers to being sad or depressed.

  1. What is the music played in a birthday party for a group of bunnies?

Answer: Hip hop music. Since bunnies like to hop around.

  1. An elephant in Africa is called Lala. An elephant in Asia is called Lulu. What is the elephant called in Antarctica?

Answer: Lost. The weather in Antarctica is very cold and is covered in ice. Not suitable for elephants.

Teaching riddles to children benefits them greatly. They are able to:

● Expand their vocabulary,

● Understand the context of the concepts with the aid of riddles,

● Relax their brain while keeping their brain working to solve the riddles,

● Have a break from screen time.

● Teach others and learn more about themselves,

● Improve their reading comprehension, creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Puzzles are categorized into three types, known as non-connecting puzzles, connecting puzzles and interlocking puzzles.

Non-connecting puzzles

Non-connecting puzzles are the simplest puzzles for children to solve. It contains pieces that are separated and not fitted with one another.

If the child finds the puzzle difficult to solve, parents may consider reducing the amount of puzzle pieces and explain the shape, colour, or the other details of the remaining pieces.

Connecting puzzles

Connecting puzzles require more complex skills to be solved by children.

Most of the connecting puzzles are board puzzles, which does not have reference to the pictures.

It can be challenging for children to pick up.

Parents may consider outlining the pieces in the puzzle board or placing certain pieces in. This helps the child to understand and try, be willing to complete the puzzle.

Interlocking puzzles

Interlocking puzzles are known as jigsaw puzzles.

The pieces have parts known as “tongue” and “grooves”, which allow the pieces to be held together.

Interlocking puzzles can be connecting puzzles. However, connecting puzzles are not interlocking puzzles.

Interlocking puzzles are commonly found in 5, 9, 12 and above pieces.

If the child is unable to complete or understand the puzzle, parents may ask the child to pick the pieces that defined a character’s face and body, or explain about specific details in the picture.

Playing puzzles help children to develop various skills and create more learning opportunity for them.

They are able to:

● Develop finger strength, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, perseverance, and problem-solving skills.

● Be detail-orientated, able to see the similarities and differences.

● Develop memory skills (remember the pieces of the puzzles), planning skills and the ability to test their ideas.

● Learn how to deal with challenges, how to overcome challenges and how to deal with the emotions linked to challenges (E.g. Anger, frustrations, etc).

How does parents introduce riddles and puzzles to their children?

Parents should understand that children will not be able to complete puzzles and riddles that are difficult.

They should start with puzzles and riddles that are easy for them to solve, explain to them about the pieces of puzzles and riddles. This help the children to gain confidence after they are able to solve the riddles and puzzles.

Starting with the difficult riddles and puzzles does not help children to gain confidence and be encouraged. Instead, they will feel defeated and upset, as they are not able to understand and solve the riddles and puzzles.

I hope the information available helps you to understand more about riddles and puzzles that are suitable for children. As this article may serve as an aid to help you introduce riddles and puzzles into their lives.

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