Bored or stuck at home? Want to limit mindless screen time? Today we’ve put together a list of free brain teasers, optical illusions, puzzles, mind games and more to stimulate brain activity! These are great free tools to get your kiddos brain going, and give your own a wakeup in the process as well.
What are Brain Teasers? Brain Teasers are a clever and fun way of challenging your brain! These problem solving games will keep you on your toes and will force you to think outside of the box! Young and old alike will get a brain work out with these Brain Teasers! Check out these free games below:
- Puzzle Prime Brain Teasers
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: Brainteasers
- Puzzles and Brainteasers from Sarah Webb
- Iowa State University Extension Brain Teasers (.pdf file)
- 100 Brain Teasers With Answers for Kids and Adults
- BrainNQ: Brain Resources
- Mind Games - Math, Puzzle, and Brain Games!
- Riddles And Brain Teasers - Fun Mental Challenges For All Ages!
- Brain Pages: Brain Games
- Free Brain Games for Kids
- Brain Teaser Question: Grade 2
- BRAINTEASERS (.pdf file)
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences' Riddles and More!
- Word Brainteasers from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
- Bellevue University Blog Network: Exercise that Brain! International Brain Teaser Month
- Riddles.com - BRAIN TEASERS
- Queendom: Mind games, IQ quizzes, brain teasers, math games, word games
- Brain Builders Part 2
What are Optical Illusions? Optical Illusions are all about visual perception. Optical Illusions deceive the eye and make you think you're seeing something that does not exist or is other than it appears. Optical Illusions are fun for all ages and can really make you think twice about how you view things. Check out these Optical Illusions below!:
- Explore a Plethora of Optical Illusions
- 133 Optical Illusions
- Optical Illusions and Optics for Kids
- The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences' Lots and Lots and Lots of Illusions
- National Eye Institute's Optical Illusions
- How Your Eyes Trick Your Mind
- Motion Induced Blindness Illusions
- Stereokinetic Phenomenon
- Optical illusions and the view from space
- Rotating Snakes
- Motion Aftereffect
- Dalmatian Dots Optical Illusions
- The Illusion Index - Optical Illusions
- Ramp Aftereffect
- All About Perception and Brightness
- Lilac Chaser Optical Illusion
- Neon Color Spreading
- Magic Eye
- Gestalt Principles in Optical Illusions
- Watercolor Optical Illusion
- Webvision ~ Benham's Top Illusion
- Contrast/Color "Illusions"
- Benham's Top Optical Illusion
- Assimilation Background Illusion
- Mona Lisa Painting
- Rotating Face Mask Optical Illusion
- Facial Optical Illusions and More
- Thatcherization Illusion
- Rocky Faces Illusions
What are Riddles? Riddles are a question or sentence that is purposely phrased in a way that requires thorough thought on the correct answer. Riddles are fun and have been used all throughout literature. Try these fun riddles online:
- Brain Den: Riddles with Answers
- Riddles for Adults: Funny, Hard and Challenging
- The 33 Best Riddles for Kids That Aren't Too Confusing
- Hardest Riddles Ever. Can You Solve Them? - Reader's Digest
- Riddles.com - KIDS RIDDLES
- Reader's Digest: Best Riddles for Kids
- Not So Hard Riddles - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
- University of Kentucky Department of Entomology - RIDDLE BUG HUNT
- Energy Kids: Riddles, Games & Activities
- Space Riddles from South Central Library System (.pdf)
- Kids Sea Riddles - Dolphin Research Center
- Scholastic Teacher's Activity Guide - Student's Riddle Activity
- Humor: Riddles - LibGuides at Youngstown State University
Puzzles and Other Educational Games
Check out this list of free online puzzles and educational games to keep your brain and memory sharp!
- Puzzles and Games from Official State of Connecticut Website for Children ConneCT
- Math and Logic Puzzles
- Educational World - Sudoku Puzzles
- 81 Top Games for Seniors and the Elderly: Fun for All Abilities
- Favorite math puzzles for kids
- Neuroscience for Kids - Memory Experiments
- 20 Math Puzzles to Engage Your Students
- Sudoku from ABCya!
- Free Kids Educational/Learning Sudoku Games Online
- Typing Games
- Listen: A Memory Game
- Free memory games online for seniors
- Educational Games for all Subjects
- Education World: Learning Games Archive
Not Quite Free, But Cheap…
We’ve hoped you enjoyed our free resource list above so far. We also wanted to mention a few budget-friendly ways to buy physical items that stimulate the brain and are available from several notable retailers. Below we’ve called out a few of our favorite sections on popular retailer websites and how to score a discount when shopping there.
Barnes & Noble has a whole section of Puzzles, Brain Teasers, and Logic puzzles. Ranging usually between $5 to $20. They offer free curbside pickup or free shipping on $35 or more, plus they’ll often run 50% off sale events or you can score with a Barnes and Noble coupon code from time to time.
Hobby Lobby has dozens of traditional puzzles, as well as tons of fun arts and crafts supplies to keep your brain stimulated and get the creative juices flowing. Often you can score a 40% off Hobby Lobby coupon good for a significant discount on a single item! This coupon can be used online or in-store, so don't forget to grab one before you checkout!
Finally, Kohl’s also has a decent selection of brainteasers in their Toys section. Often many of these are on sale or on clearance and can pair nicely with an extra discount as Kohl’s very frequently offers between 15% - 25% off when using a Kohl’s promo code at checkout. Find fun mindbenders like Kanoodle, Mini Mysteries, Rubik's Cube and additionally browse popular brands like Educational Insights, Melissa & Doug, YAY! and more.
We hope you enjoy this list of activities, we’ve been mindful when putting together this list of over 50 freebies that stimulate your brain! Feel free to get in touch if you have other suggestions to add to the list.