I love introducing my students to new puzzles over the course of the school year. I often pull out strimko puzzles (a logic puzzle that is often compared to sudoku puzzles) on days when I am missing a large portion of my students due to activities or events.
Strimko puzzles are one of my favorite fun end of year math activities. Sometimes I even have students come and grab puzzles from my classroom to work on in their other classes when classes start winding up at the end of the semester.
In a strimko puzzle, you must place the numbers in the puzzle so that no number is repeated in any row, column, or stream. A stream is a set of circles which are connected by the lines in the puzzle.
If you are not familiar with Strimko Puzzles, I wrote a review here on my blog of one of the Strimko puzzle books back in 2017.
The problem with being puzzle-obsessed is that I am constantly finding new puzzles that I want to share with my students. It really is a case of too many puzzles and not enough time.
Displaying Puzzles in the Classroom
This year, I’m trying something new. I’ve decided to post some of my favorite paper and pencil logic puzzles for students to grab and work on whenever they wish.
This will hopefully let me expose my students to way more different types of puzzles that I would normally have time to.
My new favorite magnetic pockets from Charles Leonard made it super easy to put a set of puzzles for students to grab and take on my dry erase board.
You will notice that I am also using one of the pockets to hold a set of plastic pentomino pieces for the Star Pentominoes Puzzle.
They must be a bit eye-catching because when I administered the ACT in my classroom recently, several of the students in the room took a set of Strimko puzzles with them when they left.
These were students that I do not teach, so I was happy to be able to share a bit of puzzling fun with them!
These would also work great on the side of a filing cabinet if you don’t have enough dry erase space. I realize I am super lucky to have dry erase boards on 3 of the 4 walls in my classroom!
Strimko Puzzle Booklets
The Grabarchuk Family, the lovely creators of Strimko Puzzles, have a free downloadable set of 24 easy level 4 x 4 strimko puzzles on their website. I printed these off in booklet form.
Note: I did choose to NOT print the pages that included the answers to the puzzles!
I folded the booklets in half and stapled right along the edges to “bind” the puzzle book.
I really appreciate the fact that the magnetic pockets are see-through on the front so students can see exactly what they are grabbing out of the pocket.
These puzzle booklets are super ideal for students to grab and take home or to other classes because they not only include 24 strimko puzzles to solve, but they also walk students through how to solve the puzzles!
The booklet includes the three basic rules for strimko puzzles as well as a step-by-step example of how to solve a strimko puzzle.
Once students understand how the puzzles work, they can move on to the fun part: solving puzzles!
In order to capture student interest in trying these new logic puzzles, I decided to create a poster to hang next to my magnetic pocket full of puzzles.
I designed an 11 x 17 poster (printed on 11 x 17 cardstock) that features a blown-up image of the puzzle’s logo and the three main rules that must be followed when solving a Strimko Puzzle.
Rules of Strimko Puzzles
Rule 1: Each row must contain different numbers.
Rule 2: Each column must contain different numbers.
Rule 3: Each stream must contain different numbers.
This third rule is the one that students struggle the most with!
I really like the way that the rules are illustrated with a gray outline showing what is meant by each row, column, and stream. I took this image of the rules right out of the free downloadable puzzle set on the Strimko website!
Free Downloadable Poster with Strimko InstructionsStrimko Instructions 11 x 17 (Editable Publisher File ZIP) (1134 downloads )
If your students enjoy puzzles like this, I also recommend introducing them to Hidato Puzzles.
More Printable Paper and Pencil Logic Puzzles
- Sixes Number Challenge
- 3-1-4 Pi Day Number Challenge
- Sankaku Puzzles
- Strimko Puzzles in the Classroom
- Square Sudokus
- Make It Pythagorean Puzzles
- Number Ball Puzzles by Naoki Inaba
- Hidato Puzzles
- Step Puzzles by Naoki Inaba – A Logic Puzzle for Introducing Arithmetic Sequences
- Kazu Sagashi Puzzles from Naoki Inaba
- Factor Tree Puzzles Inspired by Dr. Harold Reiter
- Strimko Logic Puzzles Review
- Tents and Trees Puzzles
- Slants Puzzles
- Angle Mazes by Naoki Inaba
- Zukei Puzzles
- Japanese Logic Puzzles for the Secondary Math Classroom
- Area Maze Puzzles from Naoki Inaba
- Masyu Puzzles
- KenKen In The Classroom
- Futoshiki Puzzles
- Hashi Puzzles
- Shikaku Puzzles
- Nonogram Puzzles
- Digit Cells Puzzle