One of the objectives to fostering your child’s creativity is to help them become better creative problem solvers. The Creative Problem Solving process uses both divergent and convergent thinking. Divergent thinking is wide and free. When you diverge, you generate many options. Divergent thinking is followed by convergent thinking, in which you assess, judge, and strengthen those options, and then decide what to keep and how to proceed.
Solving riddles is a great Creative Mindflexor to help your child first use “divergent thinking” by opening their mind to all the possible answers and then to use “convergent thinking” in choosing from all their generated possible answers to determine what they think the best answer to the riddle is.
There are many types of riddles. Here are a couple to use with your children to get you started. The answers are at the end of this post.
A story riddle incorporates a story.
A clever boy wanted a candy bar but didn’t have any money with him, so he tells the shopkeeper:
“I know almost every song that has ever been written.”
The shopkeeper laughs at this, but the boy says,
“I am willing to bet you a candy bar that I can sing a song that you have heard of with the woman’s name of your choice in it.”
“Deal”, says the shopkeeper. “How about my mother’s name, Felicity Jane Ashley?”
And so the boy sang and earned himself a free candy bar.
What song did he sing?
Rebus Puzzles are little pictures, often made with letters and words, which cryptically represent a word, phrase, or saying.
Can you guess what each of these three word pictures are trying to say?
3. m ce
ASSOCIATED WORD PUZZLES:
In an associated word puzzle, a list of words is given. To solve the puzzle, think of a single word that goes with each to form a compound word (or word pair that functions as a compound word).
Can you think of a word associated with all three of these words, in each of these two puzzles?
1. Swiss, cottage, cake
2. motion, poke, down
A math puzzle involves using math or logic to guess the answer.
A bat and a ball cost $1.10. The bat costs one dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?
WHO/WHAT AM I PUZZLES:
These puzzles involve a riddle whose answer is either a person, place or thing.
1. What can you catch but not throw?
2. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries?
3. What goes around the world but stays in a corner?
4. I have an eye but cannot see. I am stronger and faster then any man alive but have no limbs. Who am I?
5. I am a five letter word that is under you.
If you remove my 1st letter, then i am over you.
If you remove my 1st and 2nd letters than i am all around you.
Who am i ?
YOUR OWN RIDDLES
It’s not only fun to answer riddles; it’s also fun to make up your own. You can help your children come up with their own riddles. The Who/What Am I? riddles are the easiest to start with – just follow these three steps:
1. Think of what you want the answer to be.
2. Think of things your answer does and what they look like.
We used to do these with gifted talented students when I taught them. I enjoyed trying these out!