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9 Pumpkins Puzzle

This 9 Pumpkins Puzzle is sure to provide your students a fun Halloween themed math challenge. Without lifting your pencil, draw 4 straight lines that pass through all nine of the pumpkins.

9 pumpkins puzzle for halloween

History of the Puzzle

This is a Halloween-specific version of a classic brainteaser known as the 9 Dots Puzzle. The original puzzle is often attributed to Sam Loyd, but that fact is debatable.

Using the Puzzle in the Classroom

Recently, a blog reader asked me if I had any Halloween math puzzles available to download. This question got me thinking about what puzzles I have used with my students in the past that could be modified for Halloween.

9 Pumpkins Halloween Puzzle

This is a classic example of a “think outside the box” brain teaser. As long as students are thinking “inside” the grid of the nine pumpkins, they will be unable to find a solution to the puzzle.

When I have used this puzzle with my students in the past, I like to give them the puzzle in a dry erase pocket. This lets them try multiple solution methods without having to do a lot of erasing on their paper or redrawing of the grid of nine dots/pumpkins.


dry erase pockets

I cannot imagine teaching math without my dry erase pockets! They instantly make any activity more engaging and save me countless hours at the copy machine since I can use the same class sets of copies year after year.

Here are my current go-to recommendations:

If you don’t have a classroom set of dry erase pockets, you could also use heavy duty sheet protectors. But, I highly recommend investing in a classroom set of the pockets since they are so much more durable.

9 Pumpkins Halloween Puzzle

Activities That Pair Well with 9 Pumpkins Puzzle

Free Download of 9 Pumpkins Puzzle

9 Pumpkins Puzzle (PDF) (4093 downloads )

9 Pumpkins Puzzle (Editable Publisher File ZIP) (968 downloads )

Be sure to check out my other Halloween math activities for middle school or high school math classrooms.

Puzzle Solutions

I intentionally do not make answers to the printable math puzzles I share on my blog available online because I strive to provide learning experiences for my students that are non-google-able. I would like other teachers to be able to use these puzzles in their classrooms as well without the solutions being easily found on the Internet.

However, I do recognize that us teachers are busy people and sometimes need to quickly reference an answer key to see if a student has solved a puzzle correctly or to see if they have interpreted the instructions properly.

If you are a teacher who is using these puzzles in your classroom, please send me an email at with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.

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