ideas for using puzzles in the classroom to teach logical thinking and problem-solving

What can you do with a puzzle? – Readilearn

Puzzles are a fun way to encourage thinking and problem solving as well as mathematical and language skills. The celebration of National Puzzle Day on 29 January is a great excuse to introduce some puzzles into the classroom. The day may be American in origin, but there’s no reason the rest of us can’t join in the fun too.

I have always enjoyed puzzles; both the fun of figuring something out or solving a problem and the satisfaction in having done so.  My favourite types of puzzles include (in no particular order):

  • Jigsaw
  • Sudoku
  • Crosswords
  • Logic puzzles
  • Block puzzles
  • Word puzzles
  • Lateral thinking puzzles

Puzzles aren’t just those that come in a box, a book or online. Life presents us with puzzles and problems with regular frequency. Most days we will be faced with something that will stretch our thinking in divergent, convergent or lateral ways. It is good to provide children with opportunities to think too. Brief interludes of puzzle solving throughout the day can add fun, energise and refocus.

A variety of puzzles and resources to develop children’s thinking are available in the readilearn collection. Some are interactive lessons ready to teach on the interactive whiteboard. Others are printable for offline use. All provide opportunities for learning in context with the greatest benefit coming from the discussions with the teacher and other students.

Check out this previous post for other thoughts about Logical thinking and problem solving.

Learning with readilearn puzzles

Sorting puzzles

Continue reading: What can you do with a puzzle? – Readilearn

19 thoughts on “What can you do with a puzzle? – Readilearn

  1. Patricia Tilton

    I think that various puzzles are important in a child’s development. My sister (6 yrs younger) could master a puzzle at age 3, beating everyone in the family. I can see the many advantages it gave her and the relationship to her chosen career. I like word, jigsaw, and Sudoko, but don’t have time to do them unless I’m traveling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norah Post author

      Puzzles are great for so many different things. I wonder what career you sister chose. I’m curious about the relationship of puzzle-solving to it. Puzzles would be a good diversion while travelling. I have a jigsaw app on my iPad and usually do one or two a day as a break. It usually takes me between 8 and 16 minutes to complete a 100-piece puzzle, which seems to be just the right size for the iPad.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Norah Post author

      It’s good to hide the learning in a puzzle. Actually, there’s so much learning in a puzzle and drag and drop is a great tool. Quite a few of the readilearn puzzles employ drag and drop.



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