Amazing Minds

Resources

Have you ever wanted to go back to a favorite site, but you can’t remember the name of the bookmark?  Have you ever wanted to use a great site with students only to discover it no longer exists?  I admit I have done both many times!  The purpose of this is to introduce you to some of my favorite resources and websites!  Some are free resources, some are products for sale, and some are challenging puzzles, problems, and interactive games to use with students!  Hopefully, you will find these sites as useful as I do!

You might want to open the student page and let your children try some new puzzles!  (Although the sites I recommend should be safe sites for students, it is always a good idea to check advertisements.)

Amazing Minds is an Amazon affiliate, so if you select a game or Amazon product and purchase it through this site, we will earn a small amount.  This helps us to continue to provide resources and materials.

Please send an email if you have questions, comments, or suggestions!  We want this to be as helpful as possible!

Paper and Digital Resources for Logic and Problem Solving

Paper and Digital Resources for Logic and Problem Solving
  • Perplexing Placement PuzzlesThese logic puzzles are designed to improve sequential reasoning skills and increase your ability to perceive and define relationships.  These types of puzzles are on the LSAT for a reason!
  • Perplexing Logic Puzzles Using Venn DiagramsImprove logical thinking skills while developing and applying algebraic concepts!  These also increase your ability to understand classifications and set theory.  I highly recommend this for middle school and algebra classes!
  • Building Problem Solving StrategiesThese problems are challenging and introduce a variety of problem-solving strategies, such as drawing pictures, creating a table, finding a pattern, algebraic reasoning, and more!  Each level includes 18 problems and an answer key.  There are detailed teacher notes to explain the strategy and how students might approach the problem.
  • Problem of the Week - Do you want to encourage and promote problem-solving with all students?  Begin a ‘Problem of the Week’ contest for your school, grade level, or classroom! These puzzles were designed for a school-wide initiative, although they can also be used in individual classrooms. 

  • Balance BendersThis series of books uses balances and objects to represent equations.  The puzzles build algebraic thinking in younger students and are a great way to visually represent systems of equations for middle school students.
  • Weight LogicWeight Logic by Marcy Cook are similar to Balance Benders.
  • Connections Logic PuzzlesThere are many books of classic deductive logic puzzles, but this series is my favorite!  In addition to using deduction, students must apply connections between clues.
  • Chinese Brain Twisters and More Chinese Brain Twisters - Use these puzzles with toothpicks to help build logical and visual thinking!  These ancient Chinese puzzles are wonderful!  For ideas on how to use these, visit our Mind-Bending Monday episode on this topic!
Teacher Resource Websites
  • youcubed - This website has many resources! This should definitely be the first resource you use for research and materials on growth mindset, but have you explored the resources for visual mathematics, fluency, and more? They have posters, research papers, lessons, online courses and videos, and more!
  • NRich - You may not be familiar with this University of Cambridge site, but it is full of rich mathematical challenges! They have challenges for early years through secondary education. You can also sort by topic. To see an example of how one problem can be differentiated, search for ‘Peaches Today, Peaches Tomorrow…’, which has four options.
  • Open Middle - Open Middle problems are designed so there are many ways to find the solution.
  • Which One Doesn’t Belong - These are good ‘high ceiling, low floor’ tasks. Once you see several examples, you will want to create your own!
  • Would You Rather Math - These K-12 questions ask students to make a choice and justify their response.
  • Visual Patterns - These patterns can be used in a variety of ways! Students in grades 4-5 can explain and extend the pattern, while middle school students can write equations using variables!
  • Dan Meyer - Dan Meyer created Three-Act Math Tasks, and his are amazing! Most are for middle and high school students. If you want inspiration as a math teacher, watch his TED talk!
  • Graham Fletcher - Graham Fletcher has three-act tasks, progression videos, and more for elementary students.
  • Robert Kaplinsky - Robert Kaplinsky has a variety of lessons and ideas. One of my favorite lessons is ‘What Fraction of Children are in the Right Car Seat?’ for fourth grade students.
  • Greg Tang Word Problems - These are basic application problems without extra information, but they do have ‘hints’ for students who are struggling with word problems. This is a great resource for parents to use, also.
  • Figure This! Math Challenges - This site is sponsored by NCTM and offers a variety of math problems! Be sure to try challenges 20 and 30!
  • Esti-Mysteries - This is part of Steve Wyborney’s blog post.  Students estimate first, then use given clues to refine their estimate.  The mysteries are free and ready to use!
  • Math Maven’s Mysteries - This has links to a variety of logic and skill-based problems that are rated by difficulty level.
  • Brain Teasers and Math Puzzles - This has a variety of brain teasers and are ranked by difficulty.

Professional Organizations
Individual Strategy Games and Puzzles
  • Thread the Maze - The rules are simple, but the solution is not! In these challenging puzzles, you must ‘weave’ a thread that solves a maze on both sides of the board! You’ll have to think ahead to solve this maze!
  • Scrambled Jigsaw Puzzles - In this challenging and fun puzzle, every piece is the same size and shape. The challenge: to rearrange the pieces so that there are exactly 7 animals on every island! This is best for older children and adults. You will love it!
  • Leapin’ Lizards - Can you move each of the 5 chameleons to the rock of a matching color? This clever puzzle contains 40 challenges from beginning to expert level.
  • Block by Block - Can you use the 5 pieces to complete all 60 challenges? This game is a fun way to build spatial reasoning skills!
  • Brick by Brick - This is a two-dimensional puzzle similar to Block by Block. Use 5 pieces to complete 60 challenges!
  • Laser Maze - Can you use mirrors, beam splitters, and a lot of thinking skills to direct a laser through a maze and light up the target? This fun game has 60 challenges from beginning to expert.
  • Circuit Maze - This STEM toy was a finalist for Toy of the Year! There are 60 challenges from beginning to expert. Children learn about how electrical currents work as they use logical thinking to light the correct beacons!
  • Rush Hour - This traffic jam game has won over 20 awards, including Mensa Select! The beginning set comes with all cars and 40 challenges from beginner to expert!
  • Rush Hour Set 2
  • Rush Hour Set 3
  • Rush Hour Set 4 - These sets increase in difficulty, and each comes with a new car. The original set is required to play.
  • Tantrix - Use different numbers of tiles to form continuous loops in different colors. This link is to one set, but it is also sold with several sets to play a game.

 

Partner/Team Strategy Games

  • Quarto - This Mensa Select award-winning game requires deductive reasoning skills and is fun to play! The simple goal makes it easy to learn, and the game takes about 15 minutes to play. Your goal is to place 4 pieces in a row that share a common attribute. The challenge: your opponent chooses which piece you play. This is always a favorite!
  • Quoridor - This Mensa Select award-winning game requires complex strategies and is fun to play! The simple goal makes it easy to learn, and the game takes about 15 minutes to play. Your goal is to be the first to move your piece to the opposite side of the board. You can slow your opponent by building walls, but you have to navigate the walls your opponent builds.
  • Pylos - This Mensa Select award-winning game requires deductive reasoning skills and is fun to play! Your goal is to place your sphere at the top of the pyramid. The rules are simple, but the strategy takes time to master! The game is easy to learn and takes about 15 minutes to play. You will want to play it often!
  • Muggins! - This is one of my favorites!  They have a variety of games.  All require fact fluency to play, but you will need to develop a strategy to win!  Bluffing is allowed!   
  • Hive - Hive is a board game without a board! Like chess, each piece moves in a unique way. This is a fun and interesting game! As you improve, you can buy additional pieces to add to the game.
  • SET - This classic game using attributes can be enjoyed by all ages! This is also available above as a card game.
  • Blokus - This game takes only a minute to learn, but it will provide hours of fun! Try to place as many pieces on the board as you can, but there are rules about how to place them!

 

Games that Involve both Strategy and Chance
  • Clue - A classic detective game with one murder and six suspects! Can you use the clues to be the first to solve the murder
  • Sequence - Be the first player or team to create the required number of sequences to win! With more than one option for each card, however, you will have to use a strategy!
  • Phase 10 - Can you be the first to complete 10 different phases? This fun card game requires variations of sets and runs for each hand.
Strategy Games for Younger Children
  • Guess Who - In this classic game, players ask yes or no questions to determine the mystery character! It is a great game to introduce young children to strategies based on attributes.
  • Rush Hour Junior - This junior version of the award-winning Rush Hour has fewer cars and is appropriate for ages 5 and up.
  • Laser Maze Junior - This junior version of the award-winning Laser Maze has fewer pieces and a smaller board. It is appropriate for ages 6 and up.
  • Roller Coaster Challenge  - Your child will love building roller coasters using specific pieces in this is award-winning version game for ages 6 and up!  There are 36 challenges!  Solve each one then watch your roller coaster glide, dip, curve, and loop!
Websites: Logic Puzzles and Problem Solving
  • Figure This! Math Challenges - This site is sponsored by NCTM and offers a variety of math problems! Be sure to try challenges 20 and 30!
  • Math Maven’s Mysteries - This has links to a variety of logic and skill-based problems that are rated by difficulty level.
  • Brain Teasers and Math Puzzles - This has a variety of brain teasers and are ranked by difficulty.
  • Puzzlers Paradise - These are classic deductive logic puzzles. You can either solve them interactively or print a copy to take with you!
  • Greg Tang Word Problems - These are basic application problems without extra information, but they do have ‘hints’ for students who are struggling with word problems. This is a great resource for parents to use, also.
Websites: Interesting Mazes and Strategy Games
  • Logic Mazes - These are a-MAZE-ing! Don’t be fooled; they are much more challenging than an average maze. The mazes change based on your movement, so you have to plan ahead. You might want to start with Eyeball Mazes or Alice Mazes.
  • Dynamic Mazes - These mazes have tunnels!
  • Dry Cleaner Maze - Even if you don’t want to work for a dry cleaning company, this will be one of your favorites!
  • Tilt Mazes - Even without the wooden box, these interactive tilt mazes are very challenging and fun!
  • Magnetic Block Puzzles - These are based on tilt puzzles, but the pieces come together as if they are magnetic!
  • ConSlide Puzzle - This is a new type of sliding block puzzle. Some of the pieces are connected! Have fun!
  • Orientation Maze - With each move, you change your orientation and your choices!
  • Theseus and That Pesky Minotaur - This classic game can be addictive! You will have to plan ahead to avoid the minotaur!
  • Plank Puzzles - Can you find a way to cross a swamp using just a few planks?
  • Mastermind - My friend Sandra and I loved this game when we were in school! (It was not on the computer!)
  • Peg Game - This is a fun strategy game. You will have to make the first move to get a link to the instructions.
  • Tower of Hanoi - Use any number of disks to find a strategy that works. Does your strategy work with 8 disks? What is the minimum number of moves?
Websites: Visual and Spatial Logic Puzzles
  • SET Game Daily Puzzle - This classic game using attributes can be enjoyed by all ages! This is also available above as a card game.
  • Triangles - You get one point each time you complete a triangle. Bill, however, is a worthy opponent!
  • Bloxorz - Roll the piece in different directions to place it into the square hole. It is more challenging than it sounds!
  • Puzzle Parlor - If you like tangrams, you will love Puzzle Parlor! Choose from a variety of shapes and puzzles.
  • 3-D Tetris - Do you like 3-D puzzles? Use multiple controls to rotate these shapes before they land.

 

Websites and Games: Interactive Math Games

* These incorporate basic math facts but also require critical thinking.

  • Product Game - You have to know basic multiplication facts to play, but strategic thinking is required to win! Play against a friend or against the computer.
  • Kakooma - Use basic facts (either addition or multiplication) to quickly evaluate options and beat the time limit.
  • 24! Game  - Use basic facts (either addition or multiplication) and use each number once and only once with a goal of 24.
  • 24! Game: Double Digit  - Use basic facts (either addition or multiplication) and use each number once and only once with a goal of 24.

 

 

 

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