Riddle me this: Why do kids love brainteasers? Answer: They supply hours of free entertainment, that challenge us to think outside the box. They also provide a healthy dose of humility when one is finally told the (so obvious!) answer. But brainteasers are the most fun when you — the parent — are asking them. Riddles and brainteasers allow you to feel much smarter than you really are as your kid struggles to come up with an answer. There’s no better way to pass the time or to get your brain crackling with energy and smarts.
Here’s a list of easy-to-remember brainteasers to entertain your kids, and prove, once and for all, that you do have more answers than your children.
- What word begins and ends with an E but only has one letter?
- What type of cheese is made backward?
- I’m tall when I’m young and I’m short when I’m old. What am I?
- In a one-story pink house, there was a pink person, a pink cat, a pink fish, a pink computer, a pink chair, a pink table, a pink telephone, a pink shower — everything was pink! What color were the stairs?
There weren’t any stairs, it was a one-story house.
- Who is bigger: Mr. Bigger, Mrs. Bigger, or their baby?
The baby, because he is a little bigger.
- Mike is a butcher. He is 5-foot-10-inches tall. What does he weigh?
- What are the next three letters in the following sequence? J, F, M, A, M, J, J, A, __, __, __
S, O, N. The sequence is the first letter of the months of the year. September, October, and November are the next in the sequence.
- Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?
Mt. Everest. It was still the highest in the world. It just had not been discovered yet!
- You are driving a bus. At the first stop, two women get on. At the second stop, three men get on, and one woman gets off. At the third stop, three kids and their mom get on, and a man gets off. The bus is grey, and it is raining outside. What color is the bus driver’s hair?
Whatever color your hair is! Remember, you are the bus driver!
- Imagine that you are in a boat, in the middle of the sea. Suddenly, you are surrounded by hungry sharks, just waiting to feed on you. How can you put an end to this?
- When you have me, you immediately feel like sharing me. But, if you do share me, you do not have me.
- What can you hold without ever touching or using your hands?
- First, I threw away the outside and cooked the inside. Then I ate the outside and threw away the inside. What did I eat?
Corn on the cob.
- A lift is on the ground floor. There are four people in the lift, including me. When the lift reaches the first floor, one person gets out and three people get in. The lift goes up to the second floor, two people get out six people get in. It then goes up to the next floor up, no one gets out, but 12 people get in. Halfway up to the next floor, the cable snaps, and the lift crash to the floor. Everyone else dies in the lift. How did I survive?
I got out on the second floor!
- A man left home running. He ran away and then turned left, ran the same distance, and turned left again, ran the same distance, and turned left again. When he got home, there were two masked men. Who were they?
The catcher and the umpire.
- What words are pronounced differently by merely capitalizing the first letter?
There are several, and there could be more: 1. job, Job; 2. herb, Herb; 3. polish, Polish
- What can be seen once in a minute, twice in a moment, and never in a thousand years?
The letter M.
- Which tire doesn’t move when a car turns right?
The spare tire.
- What gets wetter the more it dries?
- The more you take out of it, the bigger it becomes. What is it?
- What can travel around the world while staying in one corner?
- What is at the end of a rainbow?
The letter W.
- How many months have 28 days?
All 12 months.
- Railroad crossing, watch out for cars. Can you spell that without any Rs?
- Two mothers and two daughters went out to eat. Everyone ate one burger, yet only three burgers were eaten in all. How is this possible?
They were a grandmother, mother, and daughter.
- A man was taking a walk outside when it started to rain. The man didn’t have an umbrella, and he wasn’t wearing a hat. His clothes got soaked, yet not a single hair on his head got wet. How could this happen?
The man was bald.
- How many seconds are there in a year?
Twelve. January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd…
- You walk across a bridge and you see a boat full of people, yet there isn’t a single person on board. How is that possible?
All the people on the boat are married.
- Beth’s mother has three daughters. One is called Laura, the other one is Sarah. What is the name of the third daughter?
- What’s full of holes but still holds water?
- How can you throw a ball as hard as you can, only to have it come back to you, even if it doesn’t bounce off anything?
Throw the ball straight up in the air.
- I am an odd number. Take away one letter and I become even. What number am I?
Seven (take away the “s’”and it becomes “even”).
- What never asks questions but is often answered?
- What belongs to you but other people use it more than you?
- I have a large money box, 10 inches wide, and 5 inches tall. Roughly how many coins can I place in my empty money box?
Just one, after which it will no longer be empty.
- What does this mean? I RIGHT I
Right between the eyes.
- What five-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?
- Which travels faster? Hot or Cold?
Hot. You can catch a cold
- Jimmy’s mother had four children. She named the first Monday. She named the second Tuesday, and she named the third Wednesday. What is the name of the fourth child?
Jimmy! Jimmy’s mother had four children.
- What is special about the words: job, polish, herb?
They are all pronounced differently when the first letter is capitalized.
- Give me food, and I will live; give me water, and I will die. What am I?
- What goes on four feet in the morning, two in the afternoon and three in the evening?
- Peter’s father has five sons. The names of four sons are Fefe, Fifi, Fafa and Fufu respectively. What is the name of the fifth son?
- What’s full of holes but still holds water?
- What flies without wings?
- Turn me on my side and I am everything. Cut me in half and I am nothing. What am I?
The number 8.
- What has cities, but no houses; forests, but no trees; and water, but no fish?
- What has to break before you can use it?
- What is the one question you can never answer?
“Are you asleep yet?”
- What’s the one thing you can break without ever touching it?
- What goes up but never comes down?
- I shave every day, but my hair only grows longer. What am I?
- You walk into a room, and on a table, there’s a match, a lamp, a candle and a fireplace. What would you light first?
- A man dies of old age on his 25th birthday. How?
He was born on February 29.
- What can’t talk but will respond when you speak to it?
- The more of this there is, the less you see. What is it?
- I follow you all the time, but you can never catch or touch me. What am I?
- What’s clean when it’s black and white when it’s dirty?
- What has 88 keys but can’t open a single lock?
- What gets bigger the more you take away?
- Where does today come before yesterday?