How to Increase IQ
Brain Exercises

Benefits of Meditation
Mental Math

Riddles and Puzzles
Lateral Thinking

A Few Lateral Thinking Puzzles

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One of the classic lateral thinking problems involves nine dots, as in the example above. The challenge is to connect them all in four straight lines, without lifting the pen or pencil from the page. When you figure this one out you will have a new appreciation for the expression "thinking outside of the box." Lateral thinking puzzles like this help you increase your brain power by getting you out of thinking "ruts." They habituate you to creative thought as a normal function of thinking and problem solving.

Problem Solving Games for Groups

Some of the best problem-solving games can be played as a group. These are especially good for long trips in a car. For example, have someone look out the window and choose an object at random. Then everyone in the car can try to come up with the best way to make money with it. A street sign becomes a place to advertise, and trees are to be sold door-to-door. A truck can be used in a hundred ways to make money, but look for the best new way for the sake of the game. (A traveling grocery store?).

Other problem-solving games for a group involve using a specific creative thinking technique, such as "concept combination." This involves taking two concepts or objects and combining them in some novel way. As a group game, the point is just to see who has the best idea. What can you come up with from the combination of a chair and a microwave? Perhaps an easy-chair that has a cooler and microwave and television built in. Or microwaveable "couch potatoes" ; a potato snack in the shape of a couch.

Try the "change of perspective" technique as a problem-solving game. Take a topic ranging from morality to having a job. Who can come up with the most unique (and perhaps coherent) new perspective? Could there be a world where there were no jobs? What would morality be to a virus if it had consciousness?

More Lateral Thinking Puzzles

Some lateral-thinking riddles and puzzles involve a scenario, real or imagined, and a selection of materials to be used to accomplish something. Imagine a ping-pong ball in the bottom of an iron pipe that is set in cement. The pipe sticks up two-feet, perfectly vertical, and is less than a millimeter larger inside than the ball. If you have only a box of frosted-flakes, and a piece of plastic (6'x6'), how many ways can you think of to get the ball out of the pipe? Of course, if you set this up for real, you'll know for certain if a proposed solution will work, but either way it is a good mental exercise.


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Want More?

Riddles are really nothing more than lateral-thinking puzzles. You have to move laterally in your mind, away from the usual line of thought, in order to solve a riddle. What did the others do when the cannibal was late for dinner? They gave him the cold shoulder. You can find brain teasers and another bad cannibal joke on the page;

Brain Teasers Riddles

Also check out:

Difficult Riddles

Hard Riddles

Lateral Thinking has a definition and a few lateral thinking puzzles.

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