Do you love riddles? If yes, that’s a good thing! A riddle is a phrase, question or statement with a double meaning to serve as a word puzzle. In general, puzzles are very beneficial for everybody. To go further, let’s learn how important riddles are for children, adults and old people.

All about Riddles

Before heading to the benefits, we must first understand completely what makes a riddle. Actually, there are two types of riddles: enigma and conundrum. Enigma is an allegorical or metaphorical puzzle that requires deep thinking. Conundrum, on the other hand, comes in puns.

Experts consider riddling as a “universal art.” How? Almost every culture has local riddles. Some countries that have many riddles are Philippines, Netherlands, Russia, China, Hungary and Finland. Many cultures already realized through riddling that everything is not what it seems.

Even ancient and medieval cultures had riddles. Here are some examples:

Babylon

Babylonian riddles are considered to be the oldest based on today’s records. According to research, ancient school texts from Babylon were riddles that sound too enigmatic for modern people because answers were not preserved. That only means that riddles in the ancient world were passed from one generation to another verbally. An example of a Babylonian riddle is “My knees hasten, my feet do not rest, a shepherd without pity drives me to pasture.” Speculated answers are rowboat or river.

Sanskrit

When it comes to the first ancient poetic and complex riddles with answers, we have the Sanskrit Rigveda. An example from the Rigveda goes this way: “Who moves in the air? Who makes a noise on seeing a thief? Who is the enemy of lotuses? Who is the climax of fury?” Believe it or not, these questions go together, not separately. Why? The answers for the first three are combined to answer the last question. The answers in the right order are bird, dog and sun. In Sanskrit, the answers are vi, çva and mitra. If combined, the answer to the final question is a famous man that time with a short temper – Viçvamitra.

Benefits of Riddles

Finally, we’re now going to find out why riddles are beneficial for different people. Let’s start with:

Children

Riddles can obviously improve how kids think. After all, they are oftentimes called brain teasers. Here are specific reasons why riddles are beneficial for children:

Parent-Child Bonding

Children usually develop behavioral problems if their parents don’t bond with them much. With parents giving riddles, kids are not afraid to blurt out answers. They get more confident in expressing themselves. That’s why riddles are useful to develop children’s social skills.

Opportunity to Teach

One thing that makes a riddle is that it can be passed on to different people until it reaches the next generation. It is an endless chain. A factor that contributes to this is children telling riddles they know to other people. It means that riddles can develop a child’s memory.

Improve Vocabulary

Riddles are usually told in a creative way with more advanced words. When kids want to share riddles, that’s after they understand the whole context. Riddles also encourage kids to ask about words they can’t understand yet.

Comprehension

Many kids can read at such a young age but can’t fully understand context. In order for a child to share riddles with other people, he must fully understand the riddle first. With great understanding comes great comprehension.

Preparation for Advanced Tests

Most tests in schools rely on creativity, logic and comprehension. Riddles can improve a kid in all those areas. They can improve the critical thinking and problem solving skills of a child.

Intellectual Humor

You know how most kids are when it comes to funny things. Children tend to love slapstick comedy and childish jokes. To improve a child’s taste in humor, you can give creative riddles to them. Riddles can entertain a child and get his brain working at the same time.

Adults

Some people may get surprised that riddles can still be beneficial for adults who have fully developed mental capacities already. Here are factors to prove that riddles can still be important for adults:

Memory Enhancer

Let’s face it, our memory as adults can be rusty sometimes. Riddles can actually help sharpening our minds. Experts suggest that puzzles such as riddles can reinforce the ongoing connection between brain cells. Riddles can enhance thought process because of mental alertness.

Accelerated Logic

Some riddles can be tough for adults. But, they can make a person think about the answer in all angles. They allow a person to think outside the box. Every trial and error in answering questions follows a system.

Encourage Imagination

To answer a riddle, you must recognize the details and combine them to form a bigger picture. That triggers a person to work with logic and imagination.

Release of Dopamine

Answering riddles enables the brain to produce a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine helps in improving motor skills, concentration, positive thinking, confidence, memory and understanding. That’s why some people won’t give up even if they answer the riddle wrong several times.

Old People

Being old is associated with poor memory and recognition. On the other hand, riddles can help in sharpening mental capacity once again. Check out the benefits of riddles to old people:

Reduce the Risk of Dementia

Studies suggest that in the year 2050, 37 million people over 65 years old will have experience mental illness due to old age. Puzzles, in general, can either slow down the effects of dementia or avoid it if done continuously. So, with riddles, our grandparents can read word puzzles from time to time to keep the mind sharp.

Exercise the Brain

Alzheimer’s is a critical disease among old people. If you know someone who already displays early stages of the disease, you can help exercise his mental faculties by giving riddles. Riddles can enhance cognitive functions such as memory because they can help increasing the number of new neurons inside the brain, especially in the hippocampus.

Riddles are definitely not just for children. Exercise your mind from time to time by reading tricky word puzzles. Now that you know more about the benefits of riddles. Let’s play some. 😀

Early childhood education is probably one of the most difficult lines of work in the world yet holds a great impact to the formation of a good society. Parents may be considered as the first teachers of a child however they can only teach life lessons as much as their experience took them. In order to augment and create a follow through in the learning process of a kid, an institution with trained professionals should start inculcating the basic academic and behavioral principles as early as they can.

Preschool teachers do not solely rely on their personal knowledge and training in molding kids into good citizens. Just like warriors who are to face a grueling battle, preschool teachers need their own set of weapons and these weapons are strategically placed or made available on their classrooms. If all considerations and researches about effective early childhood education are applied, then a preschool classroom is a “teacher” on itself.

These preschool classroom must –haves may be stand alone or need guidance from the teachers. Their true objective is to foster conversation, exploration of materials, and learning to make predictions. The more it sparks curiosity and interaction between kids, engaging them to worthwhile activities which for them may look like just games, the more they are lured into learning something important.

Easel

Easel is one of the fundamental tools that should in a preschool classroom. It serves as a medium for preparing kids to know and experience art. Aside from the fun they get in color mixing, they are also slowly introduced to the basic principle of colors.

Easel also promotes eye-hand organization, small motor control and artistic freedom.

Building Blocks

Block play offers young fellas opportunities to discover their potentials. Basic block building is an excellent way of introducing balance and stability, creativity and design, color appreciation, mental stimulation, mathematics, self-expression and a lot other diversity of skills, such as motor, social and cognitive abilities.

On the other hand, building blocks are brilliant instrument for teachers to teach the young children without getting bored and it encourages positive social interaction which is a vital fraction of learning.

Magnets

Magnets are one of those stimulating toys that engage hands-on learning movement. Children and even adults love them simply because they are able to arouse our curiosity.

Playing with magnets offers important lessons for young children in experimentation, recognition, and categorization.

Learning with magnets can be a good way of promoting coordination just by exercising the hand and finger reflexes which is essential for writing. Moreover, by simple linking and disconnecting magnets, a child is subconsciously using his brain and practices thinking skills on dealing with gravity and equilibrium.

Play Dough

 

Preschool teachers should include Play Dough as one of the interactive teaching materials. Play Dough, also known as Play Doh, is a non-toxic modeling clay, and an astonishing tool that provides a lot of learning opportunities for youngsters.

Learning with play dough can be messy; however, using this amazing tool can be very beneficial to children. Play Dough has some calming therapeutic effect to cranky kids. It helps them to express their emotions. Not only that, Play Dough enhances hand-eye coordination, creativity, motor and skills, and amplifies inquisitiveness and understanding.

Children Of The World Learning Floor Puzzle

Racism is never a problem to young kids. It is important to expose little fellas to different cultures for them to understand how different life would be on the other side of the world. Introducing the different groups of people through puzzle, especially to the age class which they can relate to, prepares them to be emphatic and sensitive to the different cultures and traditions they may encounter in the future.

Costumes

A hefty wardrobe of different costumes can also be a good element for an effective preschool education. Ofcourse, the objective of costumes is not about trying clothes to kids, but rather focus on the roles they can portray when they are suited up with a specific set of clothes. Once kids are on their costumes, they can role play different groups of people or certain profession which may now test their behavior towards the character and how they handle their personal emotions while maintaining character.

Alphabet and Numerical Puzzles

 

Letters and numbers engraved puzzles are essential in learning for preschoolers. Aside from the excitement puzzles give to kids, it also fosters a variety of cognitive and spacial skills. Puzzles rouse child’s curiosity, fortifies concentration and determination.

Legos

Acquire some critical judgment and engineering going with Legos! Lego has grown into an international trend in the field of education. Legos are one of the instruments that expand lateral thinking in an enjoyable setting.

Moreover, Lego is an excellent way of introducing three dimensions to preschoolers. Aside from enhancing critical thinking and creativity, Lego has the ability to boost literacy as kids work following set of guidelines. It offers youngsters an opportunity to explore new skills without the apprehension of failure.

Puppets

Puppets make magnificent illustration aids for preschool-age children. It’s a fun way of attracting kids’ attention and getting their full cooperation. Puppets can augment children’s communication skills by providing well thought-out chances to interact with the puppets.

There are children who are averse to speak and have stage frights. By using puppets, they may be more willing to speak as they are using the puppets as medium.

Dramatic Play Set

Playing different roles is a must for preschoolers. By doing so, youngsters will have plenty of ideas on choosing their future professions. Moreover, the activity will improve their communication and interaction towards others.

On the other hand, dramatic play set will also enable kids to think critically and accordingly on the given situation.

Musical Learning Toy

It is important for every child to be exposed not only to different sights and smells, but also to variety of sounds.  The Musical Learning Toy will help preschoolers to distinguish one sound from another. By using this, they will be more acquainted on a certain sound and be able to determine it once they’ve encountered it as they grow up.

Animal Wooden Dolls

It is undeniable that most of the young children on their ages aren’t able to see different kind of animals due to safety and health purposes. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t teach them those. With the Animal Wooden Toy, kids will have ideas on the appearances and names of the animals without even seeing them physically. Also, it can be a great tool for learning, because preschoolers can easily identify things by images and shapes.

Every classroom needs a bulletin board. Open communication is important in the classroom environment. So, as a teacher, I make sure that new announcements must not only be disseminated vocally. I always post a follow-up on the bulletin board to ensure that my students will not forget.

Other than announcements, I use our bulletin board to motivate my students. I post inspirational quotes and anecdotes there. I also put the names of my best-performing students. You can actually post anything on a bulletin board, as long as it is relevant to education and the students.

Bulletin Board Background Suggestions

Having a bulletin board, however, is not a foolproof way to inform students. Why? Some bulletin boards look so dull that students would not even bother looking at it. When our bulletin board was still plain, just a simple corkboard with no designs at all, I print papers for nothing. My students would not even stay there for a minute and read all the papers.

When I started designing our bulletin board background with some enthusiastic helpers, my students flocked there once it was finished. Most of them stayed longer to read each post. Since then, I change our bulletin board’s design every month. Before I even run out of ideas, thank goodness I stumbled upon this article from Organized Classroom blog. I was blown away with some ideas I never thought of before.

Fadeless Paper

With Fourth Grade Florida Fun as inspiration, bulletin board backgrounds can be covered with fadeless paper. Meanwhile, burlap ribbon is used on borders. Bandanas are added for extra decoration. The overall result is one unique bulletin board.

Fourth Grade Florida Fun

Fabric

For a wide range of colors and designs, I commonly use fabric. After reading the blog, I started using my old bed sheets. I just make sure to cut them perfectly. If ever I would run out of ideas again, I’ll just resort to fabric. Another good thing about fabric is how easy to remove tapes from it. If you don’t want to tape your posts, you can attach strings across the board and just clip papers there. I do that sometimes. Attaching the strings may be challenging but once you start clipping your posts, everything gets easier. I use pins to attach the strings. The strings may also be put in different directions for style. For a simpler one, just straight lines would do.

Burlap

This is one of my favorite ideas. Who would have thought that burlap looks so nice as a bulletin board background? Burlap may look rugged. But, colorful papers and decorations would definitely pop. The best part? The material would tolerate the aftermath of staples and pins. It is also very inexpensive. It is perfect for themed bulletin boards, specifically rustic or western.

Wrapping Paper

I already used wrapping paper as a bulletin board background several times before. Still, it’s my go-to material until now. Like fabric, it has a lot of colors and designs. But, it is cheaper than fabric.

Aluminum Foil

Using aluminum foil is clever! I would start using this in my future bulletin boards. Aluminum foil surely attracts attention. With a shiny background and colorful posts, my students will be thrilled.

Plastic Tablecloth

Putting plastic tablecloth over the whiteboard is unique.  It is simple yet effective.

Contact Paper

For a plain background, contact paper can be a good accent. It is also easy to cut and attach to the board.

Newspaper

Another favorite of mine is using old newspapers as bulletin board background. I can save money with this material. The board looks sophisticated with this cover. I just make sure to put more color into it by decorating the borders and posts.

Wax Paper

For bulletin boards with lots of cutout images and colorful accents, wax paper is perfect to use as base. It almost has the same effect with aluminum foil. It is a shiny white material. That can surely catch attention.

Paint

I don’t resort to this much because I’m the type of teacher who pays attention to resourcefulness. But, painting the bulletin board background makes everything so easy. If you want a wrinkle-free board with one permanent color, this is perfect for you.

Scrapbook Paper

For me, scrapbook paper is kind of expensive than most of its kind. But, the final result is so beautiful. The patterns on scrapbook papers are just so beautiful and elegant to look at. Mrs. Teachnology blog shared a clever way to utilize this material. Cutting smaller squares from various patterns and lining them up is a nice idea. It is one of the most sophisticated bulletin board ideas I’ve ever seen.

Mrs. Teachnology

Shower Curtain

I will definitely use this one: shower curtain. The material has a big coverage and smooth texture. I will surely have fun using this material. Some shower curtains have intricate patterns which is perfect. I think the end result is one clean, smooth background.

Tissue Paper

Genius idea alert! The final result photo from Cross Curricular Corner is jaw-dropping. I’m going to use this one as well. Tissue papers are so thin and colorful that when overlapped, they make one amazing background. The overall look is trendy and youthful.

Cross Curricular Corner

Plain Corkboard

I know some teachers would still prefer the traditional corkboard. So, I suggest a level-up on the corkboard by putting colorful and creative borders. Also, you can put colorful papers and headers. I have to admit, corkboards look clean and simple. Added with colors, the total look would be easy and warm on the eyes.

Final Thoughts

Let’s never underestimate the purpose of bulletin boards. Other than the fact that it’s a source of class information, teachers can establish rapport with their students. How? I love working with my students. In some instances, my students are the ones suggesting some ideas. Once the students know how to talk openly with you, there would be no class conflict in the long run. Sometimes, I even hold simple group competitions on who gets to pitch the best design. Have fun decorating your bulletin board!