Puzzles, Magic Tricks, Games & Other Event Resources

These are just a few of many such amusements that can be enjoyed at your Celebration of Mind event!

Looking for a Special Presentation for Your Event?

Check out our Featured Presenters, a CoMpendium of CoMpelling CoMmunicators, vetted by CoM organizers are featured here as some of our best!

Posters, Invitations & Banners to Help You Get Started

Our Event Host Welcome Package includes posters, a banner and two sizes of invitations to help spread the word and gather attendees.

How to Fold a Trihexaflexagon

Use the included templates to create these folded paper polygons that appear to have two sides. Follow the step-by-step instructions to form the included patterns, or use the included templates as guides to create your own. Submitted by: MathsCraftNZ Time Required: 15...

Crocheting a Mobius Strip

Use a combination of chain stitches and double crochet stitches to crochet a Mobius Strip as large or small as you wish. Using a new material, such as yarn, to create this unique wonder will reveal something new about its structure. Submitted by: MathsCraftNZ Time...

Map Colouring and the Four Colour Theorem

Can you colour this map using only four colors? The Four Colour Theorem says that no more than four colours can be used so that the regions that share a common boundary do not share the same colour. Submitted by: MathsCraftNZ Time Required: 30 minutes + You’ll Need:...

Drawing Pursuit Curves

When predators hunt their prey they move along pursuit curves which can turn into logarithmic spirals when the right factors align. Recreate this pursuit on paper to explore this concept, ultimately creating beautiful patterns. Submitted by: MathsCraftNZ Time...

Rubik’s Magic

Own a Rubik's Magic or found yourself curious about how they work? These videos reveal some of the near endless constructible configurations to be explored. Bonus! If you are the lucky owner of this mathematical wonder, you can use this Celebration of Mind template...

World’s Greatest Mathematical Card Trick

Invented by mathemagician Art Benjamin, shared by mathematician and prolific puzzle author Ian Stewart, and published by Author Garth Sundem, The World's Greatest Mathematical Card Trick is a search to identify the four aces. Follow this simple setup and rules until...

Letters Puzzle Game

First, complete the puzzle by using each of the letters from 'Celebration of Mind' three times to fill in this puzzle with 13 words. Then, play head-to-head to cover up repeated letters quicker than your opponent. Submitted by: Jeremiah Farrell Time Required: 30...

Recreational Mathematics

Martin Gardner recounts 25 years of puzzles and discoveries in this Scientific American article. Many of his very own puzzles are featured and their mathematical solutions are described in depth in this 1998 feature article. Source: Scientific American Time Required:...

Semi-Magic Squares

Semi-magic squares are thought of as matrices in this arithmetic exploration. Split up a a shuffled deck of cards to create a magic-square out of playing cards with additional challenges. Submitted by: James Tanton Time Required: 30 minutes You’ll Need: paper, pencil,...

Square Permutations

Do square permutations always exist? Work through solutions and scenarios through this exploration activity. Submitted by: James Tanton Time Required: 30 minutes You’ll Need: paper and pencil [maxbutton id="4"...

Dividing Squares into Triangles

Explore the complexities in dividing squares into triangles. How many different ways can you divide a square into triangles of equal area? Attempt to answer this question, and others, while solving multiple challenges throughout the activity. Submitted by: James...

Dots on a Circle

How many regions are created by connecting dots with line segments intersecting parts of a circle? Explore what happens when those dots are placed haphazardly versus symmetrically, as well as other theories and relationships. Submitted by: James Tanton Time Required:...

Playing with Evens and Odds

Explore the concept of handshakes through this twist on connect-the-dots. Draw lines, representing handshakes, between dots, representing people, so that the number of lines drawn matches the number next to each dot. Submitted by: James Tanton Time Required: 30...

Playing Pool

Explore angles as you theoretically shoot pool balls across grid paper in an attempt to land them in the pockets of the pool table. Where will the ball land if the pool table is a different size or the ball travels along another diagonal? (If this activity looks...

Checkerboard Power

Explore the results of a variety of movements around a checkerboard. See how a piece's step count, its movement pattern and the board itself can affect the outcome of a piece's landing spot. Submitted by: James Tanton Time Required: 30 minutes You’ll Need: paper and...

Sliding Around

Robert A. Hearn's Martin Gardner-inspired, coin-sliding puzzle takes sliding-coin puzzles to the next level. Instead of solving the puzzle in the fewest number of moves, these puzzles are similar to sliding-block puzzles in that there are specific places where coins...

Math Puzzle Booklets

The Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival has gathered 44 pages of fun, mathematical puzzles. Solve squareable and trapezoidal numbers, staircase numbers, word and non-word puzzles, logic puzzles, and more with these four booklets packed full of challenges! Source:...

Coin Puzzles

Play online or download popular coin puzzles at The Puzzle Playground. Slide, remove, or rearrange coins to form new patterns to solve these creative challenges. Source: Puzzles.com Time Required: 15 minutes + per puzzle You’ll Need: coins, or pen/pencil [maxbutton...

How to Create String Art

A set of 90 degree axes quickly turns into a beautiful parabola with a few quick strokes or stitches. There's no limit to what you can create as you repeat this simple pattern. Submitted by: MathsCraftNZ Time Required: less than 15 minutes for the simplest design...

NumCode

Use revealed segments of digits to fill in each grid's cells made of of numbers 1 through 9. With their Sudoku-like style, these unique visual challenges are quite addictive! Submitted by: Peter Grabarchuk at Puzzlium Time Required: 15 minutes+ per puzzle You’ll Need:...

Puzzlium Cut by Painting ABC

Use visual spatial reasoning to cut each shape into the number of identical parts shown. Rotation and/or reflection of pieces are allowed, making solutions more challenging than puzzles initially appear. Submitted by: Peter Grabarchuk at Puzzlium Time Required: less...

Puzzlium Hardest Puzzles

How quickly can you solve three of Puzzlium's most challenging puzzles? Put your writing instrument and scissors to the test in these logic and visual spatial challenges. Submitted by: Peter Grabarchuk at Puzzlium Time Required: 15 minutes to 60 minutes per puzzle...

Sliding-Coin Puzzles

In honor of Martin Gardner, mathematical and algorithmical solutions to some of his most publicized sliding-coin puzzles. Reconfigure coins by using a sequence of slides to reconfigure coins to create new patterns in some of Gardner's puzzling challenges. Source:...

Golden 16

Use the brightly colored shapes surrounding the line drawing or have fun coloring the composition to create unique patterns and tilings. Experiment with adding a few extra lines to see if you can find other shapes within the pattern such as: Penrose darts, smaller...

David’s Star Tiling Theory

Hexagon tiling resembles the creation of honeycombs in this mathematical tessellation. The edge-and-cover angle weave is used to create David's Star, a simple stitch with endless options for creative color patterns. Submitted by: Gwen Fisher Time Required: less than...

Beaded Cubes

Use spatial reasoning while practicing basic sewing skills in this mathematical weaving activity. Turn a 2D representation into a 3D model with step-by-step instructions on bead weaving, a popular sewing technique Submitted by: Gwen Fisher Time Required: less than 60...

Retrolife Puzzles

These elegant logic puzzles are played with black and white colored counters and an open grid. Arrange them into challenges of your own and see how long it takes you to solve them. Submitted by: Yossi Elran Time Required: 30 minutes + You’ll Need: black and white...

Magic Square Game

Based on Leonard Euler’s Semi Magic Squares. Arrange the 16 cubes into a magic square, find a partner and play a magic cube game where you take turns placing the pieces into a square. Choose your pieces carefully--if you place a cube in a row with another cube of the...

Armand Tribute Crossword Puzzle

If you’re thinking you don’t know much about Armand T. Ringer and therefore won’t have much success at a related crossword puzzle, think again. This poet and math enthusiast might be someone that you’re actually quite familiar with. Need a hint? Look at the letters in...

Doubly Marked Robinson Tiles

These Robinson Tiles are like nothing you’ve seen before and are sure to boggle your mind! Cut them out and play around with putting them together. What structure do they naturally force? What patterns can you find? Use the blank tiles provided to draw your own set...

Games Kit

A collection of 12 classic games that were part of the Portuguese Championship of Mathematical games (2004-2013). Each of the selected games strengthens focus, visualization, forward thinking, and problem solving skills and can easily be created using simple household...

Wordless Geometry

Can you figure out what fraction of each shape is shaded? It seems tricky but you don’t even need a paper or pencil to solve these simple puzzles—just look carefully and use some clever thinking! Submitted by: Daniel Finkel Time Required: 10 minutes + You’ll Need: the...

Latin Erdős

A Sudoku-like strategy game in which players take turns placing numbered tokens on a grid. Tokens must be placed so that no single number appears twice in a row or column. It’s no simple task, but it’s possible to fill an entire grid with numbers! Submitted by: Jorge...

Card Deck of Games

Rules to 26 simple pencil and paper games including classics such as Nim, Dots and Boxes, Sudoku, Hex and others you’ve likely never heard of before! Submitted by: Jorge Nuno Silva Time Required: 15 minutes + per game You’ll Need: paper & pencil [maxbutton id="4"...

The Global Math Project Videos

These videos aren't quite activities in themselves, but they were too great not to share with our Celebration of Mind event hosts. Have fun turning these concepts into math problems to play with!              ...

Mathemagician Crossword

Calling all mathemagicians! Solve all 127 magical clues to complete this New York Times Thursday crossword puzzle. Submitted by: Dana Richards Time Required: 30 minutes + You’ll Need: pen or pencil [maxbutton id="4"...

74G4G7

In this edge-matching puzzle you’ll have to figure out how to arrange seven double-sided hexagons in a hexagonal pattern so that all of the meeting corners on both sides match either with dots or without. There are two solutions to this brain boggler! Submitted by:...

Patterns II

A clever logic game in which one player designs a secret master pattern and the other players work to uncover it with as few clues as possible. This one is sure to strengthen those inductive reasoning skills! Submitted by: prepared by John Miller, from Gamut of Games,...

Mathematically Correct Breakfast

Turn an ordinary breakfast into magic by following these simple instructions on how to slice a bagel into two linked halves. Not only is it more fun to eat a bagel this way, but you'll have slightly more surface area to apply your cream cheese! Submitted by: George W....

Martin Gardner Puzzles

Here you will find dozens of Martin Gardner related puzzles and solutions. Play online or download and print. Submitted by: ThinkFun and Puzzles.com Time Required: up to you! [maxbutton id="4" url="http://www.puzzles.com/puzzleplayground/Authors/MartinGardner.htm"...

Cheshire Cat Vanish

This delightful illusion is sure to put a smile on your face as quickly as it vanishes from one Cheshire cat. All you need to do is print, cut and move the three puzzle pieces around to see 5 cats turn to 4! Which cat do you think will disappear? Submitted by:...

Rhombic Triacontahedron with Lizard Tessellation

This hands–on activity is wonderful fun and learning for kids--you’ll combine art and mathematics as you make a polyhedron decorated with a cool lizard tessellation. Submitted by: Robert Fathauer Time Required: 30 minutes + You’ll Need: scissors, stiff paper or card...

MARTIN 6×6 Challenge

A Sudoku sliding puzzle using the letters in Martin’s name. Complete the puzzle so that the 6 horizontal and vertical rows contain all six colors and the six letters of Martin’s name in any order. Submitted by: Kate Jones Time Required: 30 minutes + You’ll Need:...

Pack of Little Fibs Trick

A quick card trick requiring only 6 cards and some very simple math. Learn it in minutes and impress for years! Submitted by: Colm Mulcahy Time Required: 10 minutes You’ll Need: a card deck [maxbutton id="4"...

Seven-Card Trick

You don’t need to be a magician to perform this simple magic trick—it’s self-working and requires no actual skill but will stump your audience every time! What’s really going on is some clever mathematics; but don’t worry, you won’t have to do any fancy calculations...

Nobbly Wobbly Workshop

Host your own Nobbly Wobbly Workshop! Materials and resources will leave your group considering the aesthetics, psychology, and mathematics involved in quality puzzle making and solving. Submitted by: Dick Esterle Time Required: 20 minutes + You’ll Need: scissors and...

Ice Cream Trick

Wow any audience with this no fail ice cream trick. Based on simple mathematical principals which you can learn about here, but appearing to be nothing more than magic! Submitted by: Colm Mulcahy Time Required: 15 minutes You’ll Need: a deck of playing cards...

3D Dragon Illusion

Print, Cut, Fold and assemble your very own Thinky the dragon. Close one eye and slowly move around the room. Isn’t it amazing how Thinky follows you wherever you go? Submitted by: ThinkFun Time Required: 15 minutes You’ll Need: paper, scissors, glue or tape...

Möbius Strip Surprise

This simple mathematical wonder seems like magic every time! You’ll only need scissors, tape and your printed PDF to create Martin Gardner’s Möbius Surprise. Before you cut, challenge your friends to guess what it will turn into. You are sure to be amazed! Submitted...

Flexagon Party

There is no better way to celebrate Martin Gardner than to throw a Flexagon party! Here you will learn how to make basic and advanced hexaflexagons and trihexaflexagons. Find books, videos and all sorts of resources that will introduce you to the magic behind these...

Dollar Bill Geometric Vanish

Without violating the laws of physics or logic you’ll amaze your friends by showing them how seamlessly you’re able to make Martin’s face disappear from this dollar bill. Simply cut as shown and reassemble. Can you explain the math behind this magic? Submitted by:...

Vi Hart Balloon Booklet

In this edge-matching puzzle you’ll have to figure out how to arrange seven double-sided hexagons in a hexagonal pattern so that all of the meeting corners on both sides match either with dots or without. There are two solutions to this brain boggler! Submitted by: Vi...

Heart Mobius Strip

Turn two regular Mobius strips into linked hearts. It's the perfect activity for Valentine's Day or to share with friends. All you need is paper, scissors, tape and someone you love! Sponsored by: Elwyn & Jennifer Berlekamp Foundation Time Required: 15 minutes You’ll...

Dots & Boxes Game

Download & Print the Template: Download our Dots & Boxes template! Then print as many game sheets as you want. This is a classic pen-and-paper game that everyone should learn how to play. Watch the "How to Play" Video: Directions for game play narrated by Jon...