Math riddles are a fun way for kids to develop their math skills and work on problem solving. Kids will enjoy the challenge. You can use these at home or in the classroom for a daily math question.
Math riddles and brain teasers help kids think more creatively about math problems and develop critical thinking skills. Most of the work kids do in math class doesn’t involve this type of thinking, but it’s an important skill for kids as they advance in their math courses.
Below are 40 math riddles for kids, split into easy and challenging.
Easy Math Riddles
These easy math riddles are fun for kids who are in lower elementary. They’ll need some basic math skills like adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. Older kids may also enjoy some of these as a warm-up before doing harder problems.
1. Tony is shorter than Jake but taller than Amaya. Shelley is shorter than Jake but taller than Tony. Put the kids in order from tallest to shortest.
Answer: 1. Jake 2. Shelley 3. Tony 4. Amaya
2. Movie tickets cost $8. Ryan buys 3 tickets, Jess buys 1, and Liv by 4. How much did they spend in all?
3. Ayliyah has 6 cartons of eggs. Each carton holds one dozen eggs. How many eggs does she have in all?
Answer: 72 eggs
4. Callie’s little sister Tara was half her age when Callie was 18. Callie is now 30. How old is Tara?
Answer: Tara is 21
5. Farmer Brown has 5 cows, 7 hens, 3 ducks, and 4 goats. How many legs do the animals have in all?
Answer: 56 legs
6. John has 2 daughters. Each daughter has 1 brother. How many kids does John have?
Answer: 3 (If the sisters each have 1 brother, there’s only 1 brother in the family.)
7. What number always gives you the same answer when you multiply it by any number?
8. 2 mothers and 2 daughters each bake a cake. Only 3 cakes are baked. How is this possible?
Answer: It’s a mother, her daughter, and her daughter’s daughter
9. Put me on my side and I am everything. Cut me in half and I am nothing. What am I?
Answer: The number 8 – on its side, it looks like the infinity symbol – when cut in half, it looks like a zero
10. Santiago has to write the numbers 1-100 on raffle tickets. How many times will he write the number 4?
Answer: 20 times
4, 14, 24, 34, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 54, 64, 74, 84, 94
11. You can purchase a dozen eggs for $0.12. How many eggs can you get if you have a dollar?
Answer: 100 – each egg costs 1 cent
12. Leta was running the 100-yard dash. At the last minute, she passed the person in second place and crossed the finish line. What place did Leta finish?
13. There are four cupcakes on a table. Josiah takes away 1. How many cupcakes does he have now?
Answer: 1, he only took 1 cupcake and took the other 3
14. How many squares can you see?
Answer: 14 squares
15. Eric has two coins totaling $0.30. One of the coins is not a nickel. What two coins does Eric have?
Solutions: One quarter and one nickel – one of the coins isn’t a nickel, but one is.
16. Farmer Brown has 2 chickens that lay 2 eggs per minute. How many chickens does Farmer Brown need if he wants to get 200 eggs in 200 minutes?
Answer: 2 chickens (each chicken lays 1 egg per minute)
17. Rosa drew 2 triangles, 1 square, and 3 rectangles. How many lines did she draw?
Answer: 22 sides
18. Bai’s parents had 5 children. Each child is 3 years apart. Bai is the youngest and he is 5. How old is Bai’s oldest sibling?
19. Marco reads one book each week. How many books does he read in a year?
20. Haley has a pound of cotton candy. Ji-hyun has a bag of popcorn that weighs one pound. Ajay has one pound of peanuts. Whose weighs the most?
Answer: They all weigh the same. A pound is a pound. The amounts in each bag will differ.
Hard Math Riddles
These challenging math riddles are sure to give your kid’s brain a workout. Older kids and adults will find them fun. Younger kids who have advanced math skills will also enjoy tackling these.
21. Josef flips a coin 17 times. Each time he flips it, it lands on tails. What are the chances it will land on tails for the 18th flip?
Answer: 50/50 (a coin toss always has a 50/50 chance)
22. You add a number to itself, multiply by 2, then divide by 4. You get the original number again. What number is it?
Answer: This trick works with any number!
23. Meera has a bag of marbles. There are 31 red marbles, 6 blue marbles, and 14 yellow marbles. If she reaches in and pulls out one marble at a time without looking, how many marbles must she draw until she’s guaranteed at least two different colors?
Answer: 32 marbles. Although it’s unlikely, she could draw 31 red marbles in a row. The 32nd marble would have to be a different color.
24. Use only the digit 8 to add to 1000.
Answer: 888 + 88 + 8 + 8 + 8
25. How many days are in 4 years?
Answer: 1,461. One of the years has 366 days due to a leap year.
26. 14 friends are at Shawn’s house for a party. Of the kids, 3 are wearing shoes, 5 are wearing socks, and 2 are wearing both. How many of the kids are barefoot?
Answer: 8 kids are barefoot
27. If you count from 1 to 1,000, which single-digit number between 1-9 will you say the most times?
Answer: 1 – you’ll have the same amount of all the numbers except for 1 because you use it in 1,000
28. What three numbers can you add or multiply and get the same answer?
1, 2, 3
29. The equation 5 + 5 + 5 = 550 is incorrect. Can you draw just one straight line to make it true?
Answer: Draw a vertical line on either the first or second + sign. It makes it into a 4. The equation is now 545 + 5 = 550 or 5 + 545 = 550.
30. Mateo has a large jar of sugar. He needs exactly 1 cup of sugar to make lemonade. He doesn’t have anything to measure one cup, but he has a 5-cup container and a 3-cup container. Is there any way for Mateo to get just 1 cup?
Answer: Mateo starts by filling the 3-cup container. He pours it into the 5-cup container. He refills the 3-cup and pours that into the 5-cup container as well. Because there’s only room in the 5-cup for 2 more cups, he’s left with 1 cup of sugar in the 3-cup container.
31. Elia has an unkown number of books on her shelf. She chooses a book that is 3rd from the right and 5th from the left. How many books are on her shelf?
Answer: 7 books
32. 3 bakers can bake 3 loaves of bread in three hours. How many loaves can 6 bakers make in 6 hours?
Answer: 12 loaves
33. When you add two consecutive numbers, you get 31. What are the two numbers?
Answer: 15 and 16
cat = 3
35. The pet store has an interesting pricing system. Cats cost $8. Parakeets are $4. A spider is $16. Bees are $12 each. Fish are free. How much is a dog?
Answer: $8 – the animals are priced by how many legs they have.
36. Using the number 8 exactly 8 times, write an addition equation that equals 1,000.
Answer: 888 + 88 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 1,000
37. You’re planning to take some friends to the zoo and you’re going to buy everyone’s tickets. Would it be cheaper for you to take 1 friend to the zoo on Monday and 1 to the zoo on Tuesday or to take 2 friends on the same day?
Answer: It’s cheaper to take 2 friends on the same day. You’ll buy 3 tickets – yours and theirs. If you take your friends on 2 different days, you’ll buy 2 tickets for them and 2 tickets for yourself.
38. A shirt and a pair of pants cost $75 together. The pants cost $35 more than the shirt. How much is each item?
Pants = $55
Shirt = $20
39. Laila and her friend Angelo go fishing. They get 30 bites and all but 8 get away. How many fish did they catch?
Answer: 8 fish – all the others got away
40. A teacher knows that one of his students cheated on a test. He’s narrowed it down to four students. When he questions the students, he gets these answers:
Ana: “It wasn’t Benny. It was Danvir.”
Benny: “It wasn’t Chun. It wasn’t Danvir.”
Chun: “It wasn’t Danvir. It was Benny.”
Danvir: “It was Chun. It was Benny.”
Each student told one truth and one lie. Who cheated?
Funny Math Jokes for Kids
Now that you’ve used your brain power, it’s time to tickle your funny bone. Enjoy these funny math jokes!
Q: Why was 6 afraid of 7?
A: Because 7 8 9 (7 ate 9)
Q: What was the math teacher’s favorite dessert?
Q: Are monsters good at math?
A: No, not unless it’s Count Dracula.
Q: How can you make 7 an even number?
A: Take away the “S”
Q: What do you call a group of dudes in a math class?
Q: What did the 0 say to the 8?
A: “Nice belt.”
Q: What did the triangle say to the circle?
A: “You’re pointless.”
Q: What do you call a hen who counts her own eggs?
A: A mathemachicken
Q: Why did the two 4s skip dinner?
A: They already ate (8).
Math Riddles Enhance Learning
Math riddles give kids a chance to apply their math skills in different situations outside of the basic word problems. Riddles also help kids develop their critical thinking skills. Be sure to share these riddles with your child. Teachers may want to use them as bell ringers to get their students’ minds warmed up.