Math Brain Teasers for Kids

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Help your students have fun while they exercise their cognitive abilities with these educational brain teasers. This article includes teasers that focus on different areas of math as well as several learning resources that can give them additional practice with each math concept.

Addition, Subtraction and Multiplication

Use this brain teaser to get students practicing their addition, subtraction and multiplication skills!

You want to buy a hoverboard to zip around school. Unfortunately, hoverboards are $100. You design a cookie and milk stand to make some money. You sell milk for $1 a cup and charge $2 a cookie. You sell 25 glasses of milk and 34 cookies. How much more money do you need for the hoverboard?

Solution: Students should first find out how much they made off the milk and how much they made off the cookies. Then, they should add these totals together and subtract the total from the price of the hoverboard.

Quick Tip:

Students can get additional practice with these computations with lessons on addition, subtraction and multiplication. These lessons walk students through each step of these mathematical processes.

Word Problems

Help students practice word problems and hone their thinking skills with this creepy crawler brain teaser.

Your friend Jimmy was out walking in the woods when he ran into a spider's web and ran all the way back to you. Once you got him to calm down, he explained that he ran through the biggest spider's web in the whole forest. He claims it had 24 flies and spiders on it altogether, along with 154 legs. He asks you to help him figure out how many spiders were on it based on the legs.

Solution: Students should begin by figuring out how many legs there would be if all the bugs were flies (6 x 24). However, this leaves 10 extra legs! Because spiders have 8 legs instead of 6, adding 2 extra legs to some of the creatures in the web will deal with the leftover legs. Including 5 spiders takes care of the extra legs and leaves you with 19 flies.

Quick Tip

Help your students get even better at solving these problems with this chapter on math word problems. Students can watch video lessons to go through the exact process for working with this mathematical concept.

Averages

This brain teaser helps students work with averages.

Bean and Sprout were taking turns kicking soccer balls into the net. On Bean's first turn, he kicked the ball in 45 times and missed 15 times. Sprout also kicked in 45 and missed 15. Bean successfully got the ball in the net 30 times on his next turn but missed 30 kicks. Sprout got a text and had to leave before she could have her second turn. Who had the better average?

Solution: Have students figure out the average of both players in the first round (they both made 75% of their kicks). Then, they should figure out Bean's average for his second turn (he only made 50% this time!) This lower percentage pulls down his first round performance and leaves Sprout with the higher average for the day.

Quick Tip:

Students can learn even more about this subject by exploring this chapter on statistics. These lessons provide easy to follow instructions regarding this part of math. Students can also access some quick self-assessment quizzes for extra practice!

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