How to Make a Math Puzzle

Math puzzle with multiplication facts; photos by the author

A math puzzle is inexpensive, finished in minutes, and lets kids get some hands-on time with numbers--important because many kids learn best when their sense of touch is engaged. Children can work on the puzzles alone or in groups and will welcome the break from the same old math sheets and quizzes. This puzzle can be created with anything from simple addition facts to algebraic equations, making it ideal for younger gifted children as well as those who are simply bored with the same old worksheets.

    Make a list of the math problems and answers you want to use in your puzzle; you'll need half as many problems as you have puzzle pieces.

    Assemble the blank puzzle. You can find blank puzzles of assorted sizes at your local craft store or educational supply store.

    Use a marker to copy the problems and answers onto the pieces. Write each problem on a separate puzzle piece, and write the answer on the piece to the right of it, so that it's written out like it would be on paper. You don't need to use equals (=) signs.

    Separate the puzzle pieces and store them in a large resealable plastic bag.

    Things You'll Need

    • Paper
    • Pencil
    • Blank jigsaw puzzle
    • Markers
    • Gallon-size resealable plastic bag

    Tips

    • If you can't find a blank puzzle, you can create your own out of plain cardboard. Simply trace and cut out puzzle shapes.

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