Read Easy Riddles for Kids
First, familiarize your children with easy riddles by reading them!
Guess Who, Haiku by Deanna Caswell, illustrated by Bob Shea
What a creative twist! The traditional nature haikus become clever riddles for readers to guess the answers.
“from a lily pad
keep eyes spy a careless fly
a sticky tongue — SNAP!
Can you guess who the animal is from this haiku poem?”
Heads and Tails Underwater by John Canty
Of all the books, these are the easiest riddles for kids under 4! Three written clues plus a hint in the illustration will get kids thinking and making educated guesses (deductive reasoning) about the answers. Turn the pages to see if your guess was correct. Example: “I am gentle. I can sing. I am the biggest animal in the world. I am…” (“A whale.”)
Animals in the Sky by Sara Gillingham
Riddles help kids learn the constellations by their shapes with lift-the-flap answers and that give the answer and more information. “I have a big bushy mane, a long tail, and a loud roar. I am the king of the jungle! What animal in the sky am I? I am the Lion. My brightest star is called Regulus, which means “little king.”” The white and gold text and illustrations pop out off the page set onto turquoise and navy blue backgrounds.
Math for All Seasons by Greg Tang, illustrated by Harry Briggs
National Geographic Kids Just Joking Animal Riddles by J. Patrick Lewis
Funny animal-themed riddles are guaranteed to get your kids thinking and laughing!
Just Joking Jumbo by National Geographic Kids
Holy Smokes! Your kids will love this book. It’s packed full of awesome jokes, riddles, puzzles, and photographs; it’s hefty and impossible not to love. Fun facts added throughout make it extra interesting.
Riddles are usually written in poem form. Consider this riddle poem:
It can be cracked, It can be made,
It can be told, it can be played.
What is it?
(answer: a joke)
source: Riddle Me This
answer: an orange / image by bcmom
Writing Riddles With Beginning Writers (K-1st)
Start with a category like food or animals and let the kids pick their subject.
Give them a series of sentence stems from which they might start writing. (See below.)
Then say, “Choose an animal. Don’t write what it is in the riddle, just write clues describing the animal — use the sentence stems to start.”
Show them how you think of clues.
Use the popcorn ideas from this poem idea as an example. Say, “We could say everything about the popcorn just not say popcorn. The reader will have to figure out what I’m describing.” Which kind of is the whole point of poetry isn’t it?
Riddles are just much easier to comprehend than say The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. (Memory scar.)
I am __________________ (color)
I am the size of ___________________.
I smell like ______________________.
Sometimes you find me ________________.
Who / What am I?
Write your riddles in a lift-the-flap riddle book format. See these directions from Bookmaking With Kids.
answer: a dog / image by by Randy Son Of Robert
Write Riddles With Young Writers (2nd – 5th)
Again, it’s helpful to start with categories (sports, food, animals) and expand out — it avoids the “I don’t know what to write about” syndrome.
Work on writing riddles using your five senses. Comparison using like or as is a simile.
I smell like _____________________
I look like _________________________
I taste like __________________________
I feel like ________________________
I sound like (or I say) ____________________
Or, you can write descriptive sentences without similes.
First Grade Example:
P.S. Don’t forget to share the riddles you wrote!
Sharing is the best part of writing riddles.
Fun Riddle Games
Riddle Moo This
Kids can practice deductive reasoning with 300 fun riddles and animal-sound buzzers from Learning Resources. My kids think the buzzers are awesome. I think the thinking skills are awesome. The game is recommended for ages 5 and up but I think kids as young as 3 or 4 could play this game. The winner is the first person to collect 10 cards.
One player reads the clues for the others to guess. The first person to hit their buzzer and guess correctly wins the card.
It says, “Gobble-gobble”
Originally published: 4/3/2012
Date modified: 11/2/2021