Math Puzzles for Everyone (with printables)

math puzzles blog thumbnail

Math puzzles are a great way to develop mathematical thinking and learn to make logical connections, as well as build confidence in mathematics. They are an excellent “workout” for the brain and turn the process of learning math into a more engaging, meaningful and interesting activity.

How about some matches math puzzles first?

It is always fun to try and figure out how you can move or remove one or more matches to create a completely different arrangement. Sometimes the steps are super obvious and you may quickly go “Yeah, I got this!” :). Other times solving a puzzle requires a bit more thinking and several attempts.

math puzzles remove 2 matches

In order to solve math puzzles it often helps to know and understand math terminology. Like in this case, for example, the word “congruent” means “identical in shape and size; all sides and angles are equal”.

math puzzle move only two matches

Tangrams

Tangrams offer lots of educational benefits. They allow you to see different shapes from different perspectives. Trying to combine multiple shapes into one big shape helps develop visual-spatial skills. Junior, middle and high school students are encouraged to complete one tangram a day when studying Geometry and Measurement.

A tangram consists of 7 shapes:

  • 2 large right triangles
  • 1 medium-sized right triangle
  • 2 small right triangles
  • 1 small square
  • 1 parallelogram

Print the template (preferably in colour), cut out the shapes and start creating various formations or try matching our suggestions:

tangram cut out template

Can you build a tangram house or a bird like the ones below? What other cool combinations have you come up with? Share on your Instagram page and tag @intomath101 or comment under this blog post. We are so excited to see your creations!

You might also like some online interactive tangrams.

tangram house template
tangram bird template

Logic Puzzles

Well, first of all, logic puzzles are entertaining. They are also challenging and who doesn’t like challenge. Some of them may require prior knowledge of certain mathematical concepts, others can be figured out by deduction. Below are some logic puzzles worth attempting.

Who doesn’t love some of the beautiful creatures on our planet – the butterflies! Well, here they are, sitting on a piece of graph paper in a well defined pattern. Can you move any 3 of these butterflies such that all of the nine butterflies are still all in separate rows and columns?

math puzzles logic with butterflies

Next, see if you can figure this one out.

Given are nine positive consecutive numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Place three “+” or “-” signs between any of the combination of these numbers to get 100 as a result

You may combine the given numbers to make two or three digit numbers like 12 + 84 – 6.., etc

Math puzzles can be done in any setting and at any time. They are a fun way to see math from a different angle and to take a break from theory or repetitive practice (which is definitely important but may be tiring).

Many math puzzles are based on mathematical theorems and proofs and visa versa – many cool math proofs and discoveries that we now take for granted have been derived through mathematicians solving complex math puzzles.

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