20 Math Riddles for Kids
Math is one of those things kids either love or loathe. Sometimes kids convince themselves they’re just no good at math and they never will be. When they hit that wall, it’s hard to turn things around, but it’s not impossible. Math riddles for kids can make learning fun and that’s a great way to start building confidence in your student.
These math riddles incorporate logic, basic math skills, patterns, and even some hidden algebra. You can use them as test prep or as an extra challenge if your child is ready to try a new skill. If you’re a competitive family, try writing one riddle on your family’s fridge whiteboard each day. The first person to solve the riddle gets a point. You could even break up into teams. We’re not gonna lie—some of these math riddles for kids are pretty tricky, so you might just find yourself peeking at the answers or asking your kids for help!
And click here for more fun riddles. Can you figure out this one before you click? Why is a traffic cop the strongest man in the world?
Q: How do you make the number 7 an even number without addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division?
A: Take out the “s.”
Q: I am a number with a couple of friends. What am I?
Q: Can you write down eight eights so that they add up to one thousand?
A: 888 + 88 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 1000
Q: How many sides does a circle have?
A: Two. The inside and the outside
Q: Three times what number is no larger than two times that same number?
Q: In 1990, a person is 15 years old. In 1995, that same person is 10 years old. How can this be?
A: The person was born in 2005 B.C. Therefore, he was 5 years old in 2000 B.C, 10 in 1995 B.C, and 15 in 1990 B.C.
Q: How many times can you subtract the number 5 from 25?
A: Once, because after you subtract 5 once, it’s not 25 anymore.
Q: When is 1500 plus 20 and 1600 minus 40 the same thing?
A: When it’s military time
Q: If you toss a coin 10 times and it lands heads up every time, what are the chances it will land heads up if you toss it again?
A: There is a 50/50 chance of each toss being either heads or tails. The previous toss does not impact the next toss.
Q: There is a clothing store in San Jose. The owner has devised his own method of pricing items. A vest costs $20, socks cost $25, a tie costs $15 and a blouse costs $30. Using this pattern, how much would a pair of underwear cost?
A: $45. The pricing method consists of charging $5 for each letter required to spell the item.
Q: I am four times older than my son. In 20 years’ time, I will be twice as old as he is. How old are we now?
A: 40 and 10
Q: If a boy blows 18 bubbles, then pops 6, eats 7, pops 5, and blows 1, how many are left?
Q: An apple is 40 cents, a banana is 60 cents, and a grapefruit is 80 cents. How much is a pear?
A: 40 cents. The price of each fruit is calculated by multiplying the number of vowels by 20 cents.
Q: 81 x 9 = 801. What must you do to make this equation true?
A: Flip it upside down. 108 = 6 x 18
Q: You want to boil an egg for two minutes but you only have a three-minute hourglass, a four-minute hourglass, and a five-minute hourglass, how can you boil the egg for only two minutes?
A: Once the water is boiling, turn the three-minute hourglass and five-minute hourglass over. When the three-minute hourglass runs out, put the egg in the boiling water. When the five-minute hourglass runs out, two minutes have elapsed and it is time to take the egg out of the water.
Q: How can you make the following equation true by drawing only one straight line: 5+5+5=550? There are two possible answers.
A: Draw a line on the first plus sign that turns it into a 4! The equation then becomes true: 545+5=550.
You could also change the equal symbol to a crossed-out equal symbol which means “not equal to.”
Q: I am a three-digit number. My tens digit is five more than my ones digit. My hundreds digit is eight less than my tens digit. What number am I?
Q: If you go to the movies and you’re paying, is it cheaper to take one friend to the movies twice, or two friends to the movies at the same time?
A: It’s cheaper to take two friends at the same time. In this case, you would only be buying three tickets, whereas if you take the same friend twice you are buying four tickets.
Q: A sphere has three, a circle has two, and a point has zero. What is it?
Q: When I take five and add six, I get eleven, but when I take six and add seven, I get one. What am I?
A: A clock
Do you have any clever math riddles for kids to add to the list? Put them in the comments!