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Free Printable Math Puzzles

Want to incorporate math puzzles into your classroom to help your students build their critical thinking and problem-solving skills? As a busy teacher, your time is limited. That’s why I created this collection of free printable math puzzles to make it easy to incorporate some puzzling fun into your classroom. 

Even though I put this collection of free math puzzles together for my own high school math students, these free printable puzzles are suitable for a wide variety of ages.

These puzzles have been used by thousands of elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, and high school teachers from around the world. It is amazing to see how a single puzzle can be used with students across a wide variety of grade levels. 

My goal is to provide a single good resource that teachers can visit that equips them to implement math puzzles (or maths puzzles for my British and Australian readers) in their classrooms. 

Here you will find a list of my most recently published puzzles as well as a list of puzzles by category to help you find the perfect puzzle to challenge your students.

Why use Math Puzzles in the Classroom?

Why should you use puzzles in math class? I answer this question with another question. Why wouldn’t you want to use puzzles in the classroom? 

Puzzles are fun. Puzzles are the most effective way I know to get students thinking, communicating, persevering, and experimenting. Logic puzzles bring out all of the behaviors in students that I want to develop as a math teacher including strategic thinking skills, logical reasoning, improved number sense, fluency with mental calculations, and problem solving skills. 

When I give my students a math puzzle to solve, I’m less concerned about them arriving at the correct answer. My goal is to engage their brains and help build their inner mathematician skills. 

It is my firm belief that puzzles provide the perfect medium for practicing perseverance in the mathematics classroom.

Sarah Carter (Math = Love)

Depending on the puzzle you pick, puzzles can be a fun way to reinforce mathematical concepts. Working on sequences? Try a puzzle that asks students to find the missing numbers. Working on integers? Try a puzzle that involves positive and negative numbers. Need to practice vocabulary? Math crossword puzzles are where it’s at! 

But I don’t think that every puzzle that you use in the classroom has to be tied to your specific standards. Puzzles are a great way to get students’ brains warmed up before beginning a topic. They also make a great brain break activity to break up a long set of notes. 

Where Do These Printable Logic Puzzles Come From? 

Even though I’ve always loved puzzles, it wasn’t until around year 5 of my teaching career that I started making a concerted effort to incorporate them into my classroom on a regular basis. Since then, my love for puzzles has grown exponentially.

As I have scoured books and the internet for new and interesting puzzles to use with my students, I have shared the puzzles I have used here on my blog. Over the years, thousands of other teachers have joined me in including puzzles in their own classrooms. 

I have curated a collection of over 244 free puzzles that can be used with all different levels of students. These puzzles are a mixture of classic puzzles, recreations of puzzles I have found published in various sources, and original puzzles that I have designed myself.

How to Incorporate Puzzles in the Classroom

Here are a few different ways I have used puzzles in my high school math classroom over the years.

Puzzle Table

When I first started incorporating puzzles in my classroom, I designated a “puzzle table” in my classroom. Each week, I would put a different math puzzle on the table. 

I never announced to students that this was the puzzle table. I just put out the puzzle and watched what students would do with it. Soon, students were reminding me on Monday if I forgot to change the puzzle. That’s how much my students looked forward to these brain teasers. 

Of course, some students wanted nothing to do with my puzzles. And that’s entirely okay. I use puzzles as a way to augment student learning. I never want to force my love of puzzles upon students. 

Puzzle of the Week

Most recently, I have been using a puzzle of the week format to engage my math learners with logic puzzles. I post several different puzzles on the dry erase board at the front of the classroom. Students can grab these puzzles to work on whenever they finish an assignment early. Other students make a habit of grabbing a puzzle to work on before class starts. 

Jigmaze Puzzle

On a weekly basis, I switch out these puzzles. I try to craft a mix of simple puzzles and more complex puzzles so that students have some sort of puzzle to work on all week long. My students get annoyed at me if the puzzles are too easy and they finish all of the puzzles on Monday! 

I have experimented with both having a puzzle table in my classroom where various puzzles with students and with using a corner of a dry erase board in my classroom to post a “Puzzle of the Week.” 

Math Puzzle Worksheets

Another easy way to incorporate puzzles into your classroom is to give puzzle-based math worksheets for students to work on. These printable worksheets make great last-minute sub plans. 

I also like this approach for celebrating various holidays in the classroom. I will give students puzzles related to a specific holiday to solve in class. These are one of the only times of the year where I make all of my students work on mathematical puzzles at the same time. 

The only other time of year where I usually do full-class puzzles is at the beginning of the school year. I try to fit as many math puzzle games into my first week of school as possible. I also recommend checking out my collection of math games. 

Puzzle Answer Key

I intentionally do not post puzzle answer keys on my website. While students hate this approach, I find that many math teachers actually appreciate being able to assign a puzzle for students that is not easily google-able. 

I do share puzzle solutions with teachers via email. Please send me an email at sarah@mathequalslove.net with the name of the school you teach at and the subjects you teach. And, I will be happy to forward the puzzle solutions to you! 

Most Recent Puzzles

Not sure exactly what sort of puzzle you are looking for? Or are you looking for a puzzle you saw recently on my twitter or instagram accounts? Here are my most recently shared puzzles. 

3D Puzzles

These three dimensional puzzles use materials frequently found in the math classroom such as wooden cubes, dominos, and linking cubes. I find that my math students love puzzles that involve manipulating physical materials.

Domino Puzzles

Each of these puzzles either requires a set of dominos to solve or is based on dominos.

Equation Puzzles

Your students’ math skills will be put to the test with these equation puzzles.

Letter Puzzles

Each of these puzzles involves building a different letter of the alphabet. You wouldn’t believe how hard it could be to assemble the letter T from only four puzzle pieces.

Magic Square Puzzles

Magic Squares are a great opportunity to fit in some sneaky mental math practice! Your students will be doing a million different addition problems while solving a magic square puzzle without even realizing it!

Magnetic Puzzles

These puzzles are suitable for hanging on a dry erase board or other magnetic surfaces with magnets on the back of each puzzle piece.