50 Riddles that will challenge your students thinking skills

Kids love riddles.  They are great fun, and often view them as an intellectual challenge that can be solved with some thinking outside of the box. 

Below are 50 fun riddles your students will love to try and solve.  You can use them as icebreakers or start a discussion around critical and creative thinking.

QUESTIONS for students

  1. What goes up and down the stairs without moving?

  2. Give it food and it will live; give it water and it will die.

  3. What can you catch but not throw?

  4. I run, yet I have no legs. What am I?

  5. Take one out and scratch my head, I am now black but once was red.

  6. Remove the outside, cook the inside, eat the outside, throw away the inside.

  7. What goes around the world and stays in a corner?

  8. What gets wetter the more it dries?

  9. The more there is, the less you see.

  10. They come at night without being called and are lost in the day without being stolen.

  11. What kind of room has no windows or doors?

  12. I have holes on the top and bottom. I have holes on my left and on my right. And I have holes in the middle, yet I still hold water. What am I?

  13. I look at you, you look at me, I raise my right, you raise your left. What is this object?

  14. It has no top or bottom but it can hold flesh, bones, and blood all at the same time. What is this object?

  15. The more you take the more you leave behind.

  16. Light as a feather, there is nothing in it; the strongest man can't hold it for much more than a minute.

  17. As I walked along the path I saw something with four fingers and one thumb, but it was not flesh, fish, bone, or fowl.

  18. What can run but never walks, has a mouth but never talks, has a head but never weeps, has a bed but never sleeps?

  19. I went into the woods and got it, I sat down to seek it, I brought it home with me because I couldn't find it.

  20. What can fill a room but takes up no space?

  21. It is weightless, you can see it, and if you put it in a barrel it will make the barrel lighter?

  22. No sooner spoken than broken. What is it?

  23. Only two backbones and thousands of ribs.

  24. Four jolly men sat down to play And played all night till the break of day. They played for cash and not for fun, With a separate score for everyone. When it came time to square accounts, They all had made quite fair amounts. Now, no one has lost and all have gained, Tell me, now, this can you explain?

  25. Jack and Jill are lying on the floor inside the house, dead. They died from lack of water. There is shattered glass next to them. How did they die?

  26. Why don't lobsters share?

  27. A barrel of water weighs 20 pounds. What must you add to it to make it weigh 12 pounds?

  28. Big as a biscuit, deep as a cup, Even a river can't fill it up. What is it?

  29. Clara Clatter was born on December 27th, yet her birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible?

  30. He has married many women but has never married. Who is he?

  31. If a rooster laid a brown egg and a white egg, what kind of chicks would hatch?

  32. If you have it, you want to share it. If you share it, you don't have it. What is it?

  33. You can't keep this until you have given it.

  34. Take off my skin, I won't cry, but you will. What am I?

  35. What book was once owned by only the wealthy, but now everyone can have it? You can't buy it in a bookstore or take it from the library.

  36. What can go up and come down without moving?

  37. What do you fill with empty hands?

  38. What do you serve that you can't eat?

  39. What do you throw out when you want to use it but take in when you don't want to use it?

  40. What goes up and never comes down?

  41. What has a foot on each side and one in the middle?

  42. What has to be broken before it can be used?

  43. What kind of coat can be put on only when wet?

  44. What question can you never answer "yes" to?

  45. What's the greatest worldwide use of cowhide?

  46. Which is correct to say, "The yolk of the egg are white?" or "The yolk of the egg is white?"

  47. You answer me, although I never ask you questions. What am I?


ANSWERS to riddles

  1. Carpet

  2. Fire

  3. A cold

  4. A nose

  5. A match

  6. Corn

  7. A stamp

  8. Towel

  9. Darkness

  10. Stars

  11. A mushroom

  12. A sponge

  13. A mirror

  14. A ring

  15. Footsteps

  16. Breath

  17. Glove

  18. River

  19. Splinter

  20. Light

  21. A hole

  22. Silence

  23. Railroad

  24. Four men in a dance band

  25. Jack and Jill are goldfish.

  26. They're shellfish.

  27. Holes

  28. A kitchen strainer

  29. She lives in the Southern Hemisphere.

  30. A priest

  31. None. Roosters don't lay eggs.

  32. A secret

  33. A promise

  34. An onion

  35. A telephone book

  36. The temperature

  37. Gloves

  38. A tennis ball

  39. An anchor

  40. Your age

  41. A yardstick

  42. An egg

  43. A coat of paint

  44. "Are you asleep?"

  45. To hold cows together

  46. Neither, the yolks are yellow.

  47. A telephone