Table top brainteaser puzzles
January 17, 2014 5:03 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find more good ideas for brainteaser puzzles like these?

A friend is putting together a game/puzzle exhibit at a school science fair (ages 7 - 13) and thought a few things like this might go nicely. Ideally, these should be things which could be made from wood, played on a table top, and require some abstract thinking to solve.

Classics like the fox, goose and beans puzzle are great, but I probably don't know most of them. I'd like to avoid puzzles which require much special knowledge, such as chess or roman numerals. Any ideas for what might go well in that setting?
posted by klausman to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Tower of Hanoi
posted by get off of my cloud at 7:49 PM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

For some word-based puzzles, google around for Lateral Thinking puzzles. Here's some. You could print them out in large print on cardstock and laminate for the display. Some of the ones that I remember:

A man is afraid to go home because the man in the mask is there. Why?
A man lives on the 23rd floor. In the mornings, he uses the elevator to go all the way down. In the evenings, he goes to the 15th floor and walks the rest of the way. But on rainy days, he goes all the way to the 2rd floor. Why?
Here are some more brain teaser puzzles. some of them are mental and some are physical.

For physical puzzles, just looking around I found these:
Pinterest: I really like the stacking cups flash cards. You could do them with science facts. these are commercial, but look like you could make some. I like the one on the bottom with 4 colored blocks.
Braingle: some of these might work.
Some heavy duty ones from Mother Earth News, who also gives a good search term: "wooden brain teaser homemade" .

There's a lot out there, but honestly, when I saw the page you linked in your original post I thought "geez, there's a ton on here. How many more do you need?"
posted by CathyG at 1:54 PM on January 18, 2014

I don't have any puzzles to suggest, but wanted to mention that this solution for one of the puzzles in your "these" link is wrong.

If you look at the diagonal from lower left to upper right, the numbers 3 + 2 + 1 do not add up to 15.

Several hints at the correct solution are given below (To embiggen text: Control-shift and "+" for windows or command-shift and "+" for macs. Do this repeatedly until the text is big enough. Then to make text smaller again: Use control/command key again with "-" and without shift key.):

Hint 1: The middle number is wrong. "2" will not work there.

Hint 2: Put only even numbers in the corners. "8" in the upper left corner is fine, but the other corner spots must have only even numbers.

Hint 3: Keep "8" where it is, and have "2" and "5" swap places. Remove the other pegs and start from there. Remember that only even pegs should be in the corners. Now that you know that "5" is the correct peg for the middle, the rest should be easy.
posted by marsha56 at 1:15 AM on January 19, 2014

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