Kids young and old love mentally challenging games.
Playing games is one way to have fun. Creative elementary school teachers use them to fill in time or give kids a break from the regular routine. They are equally useful on long trips in the car and at the family dinner table while food finishes cooking. Visit The Family Dinner Project website and download game ideas categorized by age levels.
Another way to have fun is to challenge your family with riddles, mental tasks and interesting puzzles. Here are three types of challenges I used while teaching at all levels:
Riddles: Browse the internet to find interesting scenarios like the
“Man In Apartment 5C”
“On rainy days a man grabs his umbrella and hat, leaves his fifth-floor apartment at 7:30 AM, rides the elevator to the first floor lobby and walks to work. He returns at 5:00 PM, rides the elevator to the fifth floor and retires to his room.
However, on sunny days he grabs his sunglasses, leaves his fifth-floor apartment at 7:30 AM, rides the elevator to the first floor lobby and walks to work. He returns at 5:00 PM, rides the elevator to the third floor, takes the stairs to the fifth floor and retires to his room.
Challenge: What does the man look like?.
Procedure: One family member can keep asking questions until getting a “no” answer. Then it’s the next member’s turn and so on until they solve the challenge. (The answer is somewhere on page.)
Riddles: ” How far can a puppy walk into the woods?” or
“What do they call a home for several puppies?”
- Find an interesting photo and cut it into six pieces with the most interesting part completely on one of the 6 pieces.
- Number each 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 and save 6 for the interesting piece.
- Place each piece in separate numbered envelopes.
- Procedure. Place part #1 on table and ask your family: “What is the whole picture about?”
- Put #2 with #1. Now what’s the big idea?
- Place #3 on the table and so on.
Here is the whole picture and you “Now know the rest of the story.”
answers: Man: He’s very short. (needs the umbrella to reach the 5th floor button)
Puppies: A) an apupment or pup tent
B: half way when the middle is reached the puppy is walking “out” of the woods,
Note: It’s often more fun to encourage any answer for a week or two to prolong the discussion and find better answers.