Brain Teasers

96 Tricky Riddles For Kids — With Answers

The joyful pain of an impossible riddle.

Originally Published: 
Photo collage of a girl with a pencil in hand solving tricky riddles next to a spyglass.
BDG; Getty

If a funny riddle is like a brainier version of a corny joke, hard riddles with answers are like super challenging brainteasers that reward kids with laughter in the end.

In addition to teaching our kids empathy, cooperation, patience, and the like, we also want to engage their intellect. But that doesn’t mean giving them vocabulary quizzes at the dinner table — or relying exclusively on dumb jokes for laughs. Books, activities, and puzzles are all fun (emphasis on fun) ways to stimulate kids and engage them in problem-solving. But you don’t want to insult your kid’s intelligence by giving them puzzles that are too easy for them to figure out. As they get older, you’ll have to work harder to keep them on their toes with even tougher riddles.

When brainstorming tricky riddles with answers that’ll stump your kid, think about how their brain works. The best part of these tough riddles with answers is they reward every type of kid, depending on the riddle you give them: There are the number games for the math nerds, the wordplay for the book lovers, and the absurdist puzzles for the creative thinkers. Below are the best tricky riddles with answers that your kid may be able to figure out on their own… with enough patience.

Funny Riddles For Kids

1. Riddle: What is so fragile that saying its name breaks it?

Answer: Silence.

2. Riddle: What two things can you never have for breakfast?

Answer: Lunch and dinner.

3. Riddle: What is the capital in France?

Answer: The letter F is the only capital letter in France.

4. Riddle: What does man love more than life, hate more than any type of mortal strife; that which contented men desire; the poor have, the rich require; the miser spends, the spendthrift saves, and all men carry to their graves?

Answer: Nothing.

5. Riddle: If a red house is made of red bricks, and a yellow house is made of yellow bricks, what is a greenhouse made of?

Answer: All greenhouses are made of glass.

6. Riddle: How do you fix a cracked pumpkin?

Answer: With a pumpkin patch.

6. Riddle: What can never be put in a saucepan?

Answer: It’s lid.

7. Riddle: What can you catch but never throw?

Answer: A cold.

8. Riddle: What can travel around the world without moving from its corner?

Answer: A stamp.

9. Riddle: What kind of room has no walls or corners?

Answer: A mushroom.

10. Riddle: When is a door no longer a door?

Answer: When it’s ajar.

11. Riddle: What begins with an “e” and only contains one letter?

Answer: An envelope.

12. Riddle: You see a boat filled with people. It has not sunk, but you don’t see a single person on the ship when you look again. Why?

Answer: They were all married.

13. Riddle: What English word has three consecutive double letters?

Answer: Bookkeeper.

14. Riddle: Which letter of the alphabet has the most water?

Answer: The “C.”

15. Riddle: What two words, added together, contain the most letters?

Answer: Post office.

16. Riddle: What type of cheese is made backward?

Answer: Edam.

17. Riddle: What can fill a room but takes up no space?

Answer: Light.

Math Riddles For Kids

1. Riddle: Mr. and Mrs. Mustard have six daughters and each daughter has one brother. How many people are in the Mustard family?

Answer: There are nine Mustards in the family. Since each daughter shares the same brother, there are six girls, one boy, and Mr. and Mrs. Mustard.

2. Riddle: If 11 plus two equals one, what does nine plus five equal?

Answer: 11 a.m. plus two hours = 1 p.m., 9 a.m. plus five hours = 2 p.m.

3. Riddle: Can you write down eight eights so that they add up to one thousand?

Answer: 888 + 88 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 1,000

4. Riddle: I am four times as old as my daughter. In 20 years’ time, I shall be twice as old as her. How old are we now?

Answer: I am 40 and my daughter is 10.

5. Riddle: A girl has as many brothers as sisters, but each brother has only half as many brothers as sisters. How many brothers and sisters are there in the family?

Answer: Four sisters and three brothers.

6. Riddle: Lily is a lily pad in a small pond. Lily doubles her size each day. On the 20th day, she covers the whole pond. On what day was Lily half the size of the pond?

Answer: Day 19, it’s not 10 because on day 20 she doubled from day 19, so 19 must be half the size of the pond.

7. Riddle: When asked how old she was, Suzie replied, “In two years I will be twice as old as I was five years ago.” How old is she?

Answer: She’s 12.

8. Riddle: When John was 6 years old, he hammered a nail into his favorite tree to mark his height. Ten years later, at age 16, John returned to see how much higher the nail was. If the tree grew by 5 centimeters each year, how much higher would the nail be?

Answer: The nail would be at the same height since trees grow at their tops.

Animal Riddles For Kids

1. Riddle: A dog crosses the river without getting wet, and without using a bridge or boat. How?

Answer: The river was frozen.

2. Riddle: First, think of the color of the clouds. Next, think of the color of snow. Now, think of the color of a bright, full moon. Now, answer quickly: What do cows drink?

Answer: Water.

3. Riddle: What has a head, a tail, is brown and has no legs? Answer: A penny.

Easy Riddles For Kids

1. Riddle: What breaks yet never falls, and what falls yet never breaks?

Answer: Day and night.

2. Riddle: A man looks at a painting in a museum and says, “Brothers and sisters, I have none, but that man’s father is my father’s son.” Who is in the painting?

Answer: The man’s son.

3. Riddle: The person who makes it has no need for it; the person who buys it has no use for it. The person who uses it can neither see nor feel it. What is it?

Answer: A coffin.

4. Riddle: It can’t be seen, can’t be felt, can’t be heard, and can’t be smelled. It lies behind stars and under hills, and empty holes it fills. What is it?

Answer: The dark.

5. Riddle: An electric train is headed east. Where does the smoke go?

Answer: Electric trains don’t produce any smoke!

6. Riddle: Where does today come before yesterday?

Answer: In the dictionary.

7. Riddle: What four-letter word can be written forward, backward, or upside down, and can still be read from left to right?

Answer: Noon.

8. Riddle: What is at the end of the rainbow? Answer: The letter W!

9. Riddle: What is seen in the middle of March and April that can’t be seen at the beginning or end of either month?

Answer: The letter R.

10. Riddle: What word in the dictionary is spelled incorrectly?

Answer: “Incorrectly.”

11. Riddle: What belongs to you, but everyone else uses it?

Answer: Your name.

12. Riddle: How far can you walk into the forest?

Answer: Halfway. After that, you’re walking out.

13. Riddle: Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the tallest mountain peak in the world?

Answer: It was still Mt. Everest.

“What Am I” Riddles For Kids

1. Riddle: If you drop me, I’m sure to crack, but give me a smile and I’ll always smile back. What am I?

Answer: A mirror.

2. Riddle: The more you take, the more you leave behind. What are they?

Answer: Footsteps.

3. Riddle: I am always hungry and need to be fed, but whatever I touch will soon turn red. What am I?

Answer: Fire.

4. Riddle: With pointed fangs, I sit and wait; with piercing force, I crunch out fate; grabbing victims, proclaiming might; physically joining with a single bite. What am I?

Answer: A stapler.

5. Riddle: I have lakes with no water, mountains with no stone, and cities with no buildings. What am I?

Answer: A map.

6. Riddle: I have branches, yet I have no leaves, no trunk, and no fruit. What am I?

Answer: A bank.

7. Riddle: When I’m used, I’m useless. Once offered, soon rejected. In desperation, I’m often expressed. What am I?

Answer: An excuse.

8. Riddle: Different lights make me strange, thus into different sizes I will change. What am I

Answer: I am the pupil of an eye.

9. Riddle: I have cities, but no houses. I have mountains, but no trees. I have water, but no fish. What am I?

Answer: A map.

10. Riddle: I have four legs, but no hair. People ride me for hours, but don’t go anywhere. Without needing to be tugged or turned on, I always manage to be ready for work. What am I?

Answer: A desk.

11. Riddle: You go at red and stop at green. What am I?

Answer: A watermelon.

12. Riddle: I am higher without a head. What am I?

Answer: A pillow.

13. Riddle: I am easy to lift but hard to throw. What am I?

Answer: A feather.

14. Riddle: You measure my life in hours, and I serve you by expiring. I’m quick when I’m thin and slow when I’m fat. The wind is my enemy. What am I?

Answer: Candle.

15. Riddle: Take one out and scratch my head. I am now black but once was red. What am I?

Answer: A match.

16. Riddle: Until I am measured, I am not known. Yet how you miss me when I have flown. What am I?

Answer: Time.

17. Riddle: Two in a corner, one in a room, zero in a house, but one in a shelter. What am I?

Answer: The letter “R.”

18. Riddle: Spelled forward I’m what you do every day, spelled backward I’m something you hate. What am I?

Answer: Live.

19. Riddle: I’m covered with eyes, but I can’t see and live mostly in the dark. What am I?

Answer: A potato.

20. Riddle: I have a single eye but can’t see. What am I?

Answer: A needle.

21. Riddle: I’m a well-established band, but I’ve never played a note. What am I?

Answer: A rubber band.

22. Riddle: I am an odd number. Take away a letter and I become even. What number am I?

Answer: Seven.

23. Riddle: Lighter than what I am made of, more of me is hidden than is seen. What am I?

Answer: An iceberg.

24. Riddle: I turn once, what is out will not get in. I turn again, what is in will not get out. What am I?

Answer: A key.

25. Riddle: I am something people love or hate. I change people’s appearances and thoughts. If a person takes care of themself, I will go up even higher. Some people might want to try and hide me, but I will show. No matter how hard people try, I will never go down. What am I?

Answer: Age.

26. Riddle: I have keys, but no locks and space, and no rooms. You can enter, but you can’t go outside. What am I?

Answer: A keyboard.

Logic Riddles For Kids

1. Riddle: The man who bought it doesn’t want it for himself. The man who buys it doesn’t buy it for himself. And the man who needs it doesn’t know he needs it. What is it?

Answer: A coffin.

2. Riddle: A room contains a match, a kerosene lamp, a candle, and a fireplace. What do you light first?

Answer: The match.

3. Riddle: If your uncle’s sister is not your aunt, what relation is she to you?

Answer: Your mother.

4. Riddle: Which is heavier: a ton of sand or a ton of feathers?

Answer: They’re the same: They both weigh a ton.

5. Riddle: What has a bottom at its top?

Answer: Your legs.

6. Riddle: What has a tail and a head but no body?

Answer: A coin.

7. Riddle: It’s shorter than the rest, but when you’re happy, you raise it up like it’s the best. What is it?

Answer: A thumb.

8. Riddle: Three playing cards in a row. Can you name them with these clues? There is a two to the right of a king. A diamond will be found to the left of a spade. An ace is to the left of a heart. A heart is to the left of a spade. Now, identify all three cards.

Answer: Ace of diamonds, king of hearts, two of spades.

9. Riddle: What is it that, given one, you’ll have either two or none?

Answer: A choice.

10. Riddle: George, Helen, and Steve are drinking coffee. Bert, Karen, and Dave are drinking soda. Using logic, is Elizabeth drinking coffee or soda?

Answer: Elizabeth is drinking coffee. The letter E appears twice in her name, as it does in the names of the others that are drinking coffee.

11. Riddle: What goes through cities and fields, but never moves?

Answer: A road.

13. Riddle: What common English verb becomes its own past tense by rearranging its letters?

Answer: Eat and ate.

14. Riddle: Which of the following words don’t belong in the group and why? CORSET, COSTER, SECTOR, ESCORT, COURTS.

Answer: Courts. All of the others are anagrams of each other.

15. Riddle: Only one color, but not one size. Stuck at the bottom, yet easily flies. Present in sun, but not in rain. Doing no harm and feeling no pain. What is it?

Answer: A shadow.

16. Riddle: Who is that with a neck and no head, two arms and no hands?

Answer: A shirt.

17. Riddle: What English word retains the same pronunciation, even after you take away four of its five letters?

Answer: Queue.

18. Riddle: What can run but never walk, has a mouth but never talks, has a head but never weeps, has a bed but never sleeps?

Answer: A river.

19. Riddle: A man calls his dog from the opposite side of the river. The dog crosses the river without getting wet, and without using a bridge or boat.

Answer: The river was frozen.

20. Riddle: The day before yesterday, I was 21, and next year I will be 24. When is my birthday?

Answer: December 31; today is January 1.

21. Riddle: Two fathers and two sons are in a car, yet there are only three people in the car. How?

Answer: They are a grandfather, father, and son.

22. Riddle: A man describes his daughters, saying, “They are all blonde, but two; all brunette but two; and all redheaded but two.” How many daughters does he have?

Answer: Three: A blonde, a brunette, and a redhead.

23. Riddle: What five-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?

Answer: Short.

24. Riddle: A word I know, six letters it contains; remove one letter, and 12 remain. What is it?

Answer: Dozens.

25. Riddle: What is 3/7 chicken, 2/3 cat, and 2/4 goat?

Answer: Chicago.

26. Riddle: What word of five letters has one left when two are removed?

Answer: Stone.

27. Riddle: If two’s company, and three’s a crowd, what are four and five?

Answer: Nine.

28. Riddle: If there are three apples and you take away two, how many apples do you have?

Answer: You have two apples.

29. Riddle: Two in a corner, one in a room, zero in a house, but one in a shelter. What is it?

Answer: The letter “r.”

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