Printable Brain Teasers
Printable brain teasers, found free online, provide a near endless supply of information for humans to absorb.
Definition of a Brain Teaser
A brain teaser is a kind of puzzle that is created to elicit a lot of cogitating or mental/cognitive activity in or order to solve the brain teaser. In many cases a brain teaser requires one to think in very conventional ways within the normal confines of the mind given one’s own personal knowledge. There are other forms of brain teasers that require one to think in a lateral way – a more creative way if you will. These types of brain teasers include logic puzzles and riddles. Crossword puzzles and Sudoku are counted among some of the more popular printable brain teasers.
The First Brain Teaser
The brain teaser has been around since the dawn of mathematics. The great Greek mathematician Archimedes was believed to be a great enthusiast of the brain teaser. He would often create mathematical problems that he would challenge students and peers alike to solve.
Exercise Your Brain
The brain teaser serves a much larger purpose then just being something fun to do in order to pass the time. You can literally exercise your brain to think faster and more efficiently if you partake in brain teaser games. The more you “exercise” your brain the more brain cells you produce; increasing your thought processes and reasoning ability. The Nintendo Corporation has recently released a number of brain games for use on its portable Nintendo DS system as a fun way to train your brain to think better.
Children who start to use brain teasers are more likely to succeed in school than those that do not. This is because the brain of a child is not yet fully developed and is, in all reality, a sponge. They can learn and retain knowledge a lot easier than a full grown adult. Teaching these cognitive skills early on will allow for a higher probability of advancement in not just intelligence but to aid in difficult problem solving and life choices.
The Different Kinds of Brain Teasers
In the world of the brain teaser there are several styles or versions which test your mind differently. There are many puzzles and brain teasers out there to be had but not everyone thinks in a way suitable to some. There are brain teasers that exercise the cognitive, or logical nature, of the brain whereas others require a more creative way of thinking in order to solve them – a MacGyver puzzle if you’re so inclined. The great thing about these brain teasers are that they are very easily printed and websites are dedicated to them.
Though not what one would consider a way to exercise your brain they are still fun. They teach us a lot about how our brains perceive certain things like shapes, sizes and colors or series of such. You can look at an object that appears to be moving but is actually stationary. Your mind can play tricks on you as it tries to decipher things in front of you. A Rorschach test is an example of brain and perception.
Another style of brain vs. perception is in the word/color game:
The game is simple. When you look at each word say the color of the word but not the word itself. This is so difficult because the right half of the brain is attempting to discern the literal color while your left half is trying to say the word. Essentially your brain is fighting for dominance against itself.
Not many people realize this but the logic puzzle was actually created by Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The logic puzzle comes from the mathematical field of deduction and you could think of it as a fun way of doing algebra. In school our teachers would refer to them as word math. There are a couple different kinds of logic puzzles like “grid logic” which would include your crossword puzzles and Sudoku.
You are given a set of premises, typically two, and from these you discern an answer to the question and these are commonly known as syllogisms. Two-premise logic puzzles are usually pretty easy so Carroll began to create puzzles that consisted up to 8 premises.
A simple 2-premise logic puzzle could be:
Question: Is every puzzle fun?
- Some games are fun.
- All puzzles are games.
Answer: Not necessarily.
Another logic puzzle example could be:
A young man went to a carnival and approached a booth. The attendant said to the young man, “If I write your exact weight on this piece of paper you owe me $50 but if I can’t then I owe you $50.” There is no scale present so the young man agrees figuring he could just lie to the attendant. In the end the young man paid the $50 – but how did he lose?
It’s simple really because the attendant wrote “your exact weight” on the piece of paper.
Mathematical Brain Teasers
These brain teasers use a series of mathematical “tells” that you need to arrange into an equation of some sort in order to come up with an answer. Algebra is a great example of mathematical brain teasers as you have to solve for A, B, C or whatever after being given all the information you need in order to do so. These can also be construed as a riddle to some depending on the form of the brain teaser.
Three people are out for dinner and the bill is $30. Each person pays $10 and leaves. The waiter realizes he overcharged them by $5 and gives it to the hostess to catch up to them and return it. The hostess pockets $2 for her trouble so each person receives $1 back saying they were overcharged just $3 and not $5. To each person they’ve only paid $9 for their meal for a total bill of $27. The hostess pocketed $2 for a total of $29. Where did the extra $1 go?
We have all the facts but the answer to the riddle lies in the order you do the math. Take the initial charge of $30 and subtract $5 for a total of $25. Add the $3 that was given back for a total of $28 and then, finally, add the $2 kept by the hostess for a total of $30.
Where to Find Printable Brain Teasers Online
As popular as what brain teasers are there is no wonder that there are so many sources on the Internet where we can find them as well as print them:
- Brain Teaser Central
- Amusing Facts
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
- Internet 4 Classrooms
- Sharp Brains
- Free Party Games
- Kid Printables
- Smart Kit
- Washington Educational System
- Brain Bashers
Why Print Brain Teasers?
Sure – brain teasers are fun for you and you can do them online but why print them? This isn’t much of a brain teaser because the answer is simply to help others train their brains. We can use these brain teasers as motivational tools.
If you are an employer you could run an incentive program using printable brain teasers. Every month you could print out a series of brain teasers and distribute them. Encourage your employees to figure them out and give perks like extra lunch break, pizza, donuts or maybe tickets to a sporting event. You can use the same practice for your children or students. When we put brain teasers into practice you can find that work can improve because, even if they don’t realize it at the time, they are exercising their brains and increasing their cognitive ability. Logically their work will improve for the better.
By Michael Johnson