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Brain Teasers for Middle School Kids

by: Marziyya S Malik ; edited by: Ronda Bowen ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

Brain teasers are typically math and IQ related questions that arouse children's problem solving skills and broaden their learning scope. Here's a list of fun and interesting brainteasers you can introduce middle school children to - at home or in the classroom.

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    Educational puzzles and games are also necessary besides the traditional games. If you are in charge of games and mental puzzle activities at school, you may consider incorporating these brain boosting games in everyday activities. In fact, parents can also use them at home, particularly if their children aren't paying much attention to mathematics and logic homework. Such activities can help increase their interest.

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    Bottleneck

    Stick a quarter in a bottle and stop its opening using a cork. Get the coin out without having to pull out the cork or smashing the bottle.

    Solution: Push in the cork inside the bottle. The coin will easily find its way out if you shake a little.

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    Family Ties

    What is your mother's brother's brother in law is called:

    • your father
    • your uncle
    • your cousin
    • your grandfather

    Answer: "your father" or "your uncle."

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    Anagrams

    In classic anagrams, you either have to rearrange an entire phrase or a word to make another phrase or a word. You must not subtract or add any letters. For instance, two phrases could be:

    • "no city dust here does ease thirst," and
    • "the countryside the desert oasis."

    The best strategy is to guess different combinations and note down each letter on a paper. This way, it can be easier to find the right phrase/word. Some other examples of anagrams are:

    Motley Crue: Me Cruel Toy

    William Shakespeare: I'll make a wise phrase

    Bob Marley: Marble Boy

    Gene Simmons: Immense Song

    Jay Leno: Enjoy L.A.

    The Morse Code = Here Come Dots

    Mother-in-law = Woman Hitler

    John Mayer = Enjoy harm

    Belgium = Big mule

    Microsoft Windows = Sown in discomfort

    George Bush = He bugs Gore

    The eyes = They see

    Waitress = A stew, Sir?

    Barbie doll = Liberal bod

    The Titanic disaster = Death, it starts in ice

    Western Union = No Wire Unsent

    Apple Products = Support Placed

    Bruce Springsteen = Creep brings tunes

    Tom Cruise = So I'm Cuter

    graduation = out in a drag

    vegetarian = ate in grave

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    Crack the Code

    After school on Tuesday, Mary found a sticky-note taped on her locker saying: "Yg ctg jcxkpi c uwtrtkug rctva hqt Ou. Dtqyp." First, she couldn't decipher what it meant, then she heard somebody whisper "M stands for K." Using this one little hint, she cracked the entire code. Give it a shot! Solution: The cracked code is, " We are having a surprise birthday for Ms. Brown."
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    Name the Puppy

    Once upon a time, there lived a puppy called Nelly who lived on the farm. With him lived three other dogs as well whose names were Blackie, Brownie and Whitey. There were total four puppies on the farm so what do you think the fourth one was called?

    Answer: Nelly!

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    Washing the Washington's Socks

    The Washington family children, Andie, Beth, Cameron and Daniel do their own laundry on weekly basis. They recently came to the conclusion that it takes a lot of time to sort the socks since its difficult to determine which socks are whose! The children then decided to save the time by always wearing a single color socks, green, blue, red and yellow.

    Using these clues, you have to figure out which child got which socks:

    • Andie doesn't like green or yellow socks.
    • Beth doesn't like blue or green socks.
    • Cameron likes blue socks.
    • Daniel chose the socks that both Andie and Beth didn't like for themselves.

    Answer: Andie wore red, Beth wore yellow, Cameron picked blue, and Daniel chose green.

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    Zoo Favorites

    Lena, Jimmy, Keith and Haley are in an argument and are unable to decide which animals in the zoo should they visit first! the giraffes, the leopards, the lions or the deer. Each child wants to see the animal of his choice first. Lena is not very fond of cats or any animal in the cat family. Jimmy is into animals that don't have horns, while Keith doesn't like animals that have spots on them. Haley disagrees with both Lena and Keith, so which do you think is each child's favorite animal?

    Answer: Lena's favorite animal is giraffe, Jimmy's is leopard, Keith's is lion and Haley's is deer.

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    Farmer and the Sack

    There was once a poor farmer who wanted to sell some lentils and peas so he went to the market. Now the problem was that he had only one sack and he didn't want to mix both lentils and peas. As a solution, he poured in the lentils first, tied the sack from the center and filled in the top portion with peas. When he got to the market, an inn-keeper happened to be there searching for lentils but he did not want peas.

    The farmer started thinking of solutions but couldn't come up with anything. Trading the sacks was not allowed and pouring out the produce anywhere else except the sacks was prohibited as well. Can you help figure out a way to transfer lentils to the innkeeper's sack without having to soil the produce?

    Solution: Pour the peas into the innkeeper's sack. Then bind it and turn it inside out. Then pour in the lentils, unbind and pour the peas back to the farmer's sack.

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    Parents often have to struggle getting their kids away from television and computer games to get them to focus on boring homework. As you can see, such brain boosting puzzles and activities can provide kids with a fun activity that doesn't involve wasting time rather is educational itself in nature. Besides it can strengthen your bond with them or with their siblings if you assist them perform these activities.

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    References

    Brain Den. (2011). Logic Riddles. Available at: http://brainden.com/logic-puzzles-3.htm

    Discovery Education. (2011). Brain Boosters. Available at: http://school.discoveryeducation.com/brainboosters/

    Image Credit: Wikimedia