Miss B.'s Classroom » Teaching critical thinking skills

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Category Archives: puzzles and jokes

Engaging a child’s thinking skills with humor and problem solving

Turkey-Time Thinking Fun (part 2)

Did you know that listening to and telling jokes and riddles with your children will promote and strengthen their thinking abilities? Problem solving, predicting, visual imagining, analyzing and evaluating are just a few of the thinking skills that you will be encouraging.  In his book, Kids Who Laugh, Dr. Louis R. Franzini wrote, ”A child who enjoys and remembers a joke or riddle and passes it on to others feel an enormous personal accomplishment. Making others laugh is extremely rewarding to children.”

Who knew that a thinking activity that was so enjoyable, was actually a valuable tool that would help you stimulate the intellectual growth of your children? PLUS, sharing them is just plain family fun!:)

Here are a few jokes and riddles to enjoy together as you ‘meet and eat’ with friends and family this season. Your children will love sharing them. (I’ve included some for our younger thinkers to tell also.)

1. You throw away the outside and cook the inside. Then you eat the outside and throw away the inside. What is it? (an ear of corn)

2. How are a turkey, a donkey, and a monkey the same? (They all have keys.)

3. If the Pilgrims were still alive today, what would they be famous for? (Their age!)

4. What sound does a turkey’s phone make? (Wing! Wing!)

5. What do you call a bunch of turkey’s playing football? (Fowl play)

6. The selfish pilgrims came to America on what ship? (The Me-Me-Me Flower)

7. What’s the difference between a turkey and an owl? (The turkey doesn’t give a hoot.)

8. What do arithmetic teachers do on Thanksgiving? (Count their blessings.)

9. If twenty Thanksgiving turkeys told terrible tales, how many “t’s” would there be in all. (The answer is “O”. There are no “t’s” in all.)

Enjoy your time together with your children, extended family and friends as you thinkimagine… and create treasured memories.

Miss B.


A Pumpkin Patch of Thinking Activities for Fall

Welcome leaves, pumpkins and fresh apple cider!

I think that you’ll enjoy using each of these fall creative thinking activities. They will turn those ’down and boring times’ into highly productive and creative ones. It’s amazing that such a small, fun-filled investment of your time pays such big dividends in your child’s thinking abilities!

Ever heard of a Pumpkin Tree?   (A fall Making a Mind Movie scenario)

You are looking out of your window one fall morning and are so surprised to see that a new, very strange tree has just appeared in your backyard. It definitely doesn’t look like any tree that you’ve ever seen before. You also notice that it has a very weird shape to it and that it’s leaves are not green. But the most amazing thing is: there are tiny pumpkins growing on all of it’s branches and each pumpkin has two eyes and a mouth! What are you going to do? Should you be afraid? Is it a plant or an animal? Have you just discovered a new species?

Think about it – - – - then share your ’mind movie’ with your family. ( It would also be fun to create a movie poster.)

What a Pumpkin!?!?

How many different ways can you think of to decorate a pumpkin? Together with your child, brainstorm various ways that they could transform a plain pumpkin into an  “original-for-sure-no-one-else-thought of this” work of art. Then have your child make one or more of these creative pumpkins to help decorate your home for fall. You can use paints, ribbons, yarn, leaves, feathers, or any other art supplies that you can think of.  Beautiful or wacky, silly or stylish, who cares because it’s an original!

Have fun reading: Jeb Scarecrow's Pumpkin Patch
Your children will love this story about a very clever scarecrow who uses his creative thinking skills to outwit a flock of crows that are trying to destroy his family’s pumpkin patch.  After reading the story, have your children think about other ways that Jeb could have saved the pumpkin patch from the pesky crows.

Pumpkin Jokes  :)

What is huge and orange and good at math? (The Great Pumpkin with a calculator)

How does a pumpkin get down from a tree? (He sits on a leaf and waits for the fall)

Why did the pumpkin paint her toenails red? (So she could hide in an apple tree)

How do you mend a broken pumpkin? (With a pumpkin patch)

What is as big as the Great Pumpkin but doesn’t weigh anything? (His shadow)

What vegetable does a pumpkin turn into when an elephant steps on it? (Squash)

What if…

What if pumpkins were an animal instead of a fruit? What would yours look like? Would it be a pet?

What if pumpkins were no larger than grapes, would they still be useful?  Why or why not?

That Many?

How many words can you and your children come up with using only the letters found in ‘a tasty pumpkin pie’. What are the shortest and longest words that you thought of? Can you make a sentence from the letters?

Would You Rather Be….

This activity is great to use anytime or anywhere. You simply ask, “Would you rather be a _____ or a _____? Why?

Here are some fall choices to begin the fun, but your children will soon be coming up with their own:

  • pumpkin or apple
  • leaf in a tree or leaf on the ground
  • decorated pumpkin or jack-o-lantern
  • carmel apple or pumpkin pie

Creative thinking activities like the ones above help and encourage your children to become CREATIVE THINKERS, which leads to all kinds of success, but I’ll leave THAT for another blog post!;)

I hope you enjoy this colorful season of autumn with your children as you inspire them to think…imagine…create! 

Miss B.


It’s “Knock-Knock” Time | Creative Activity

“Knock-knock” jokes have been around forever!  I can remember telling them to my family and friends as a child, then enjoying them with my children, and now, my sweet grandchildren love to share them with me.:) But these jokes aren’t just for giggles and laughs.  Did you know you are actually getting three benefits for the price of one in this fun-filled activity?  (You can’t beat 3 for 1!)

With a “Knock-knock” joke, you’re getting:

  • a guaranteed way of grabbing your children’s attention.
  • lots of great moments filled with laughter and fun and occasional groans!
  • a stimulating way of exercising your children’s brains by helping them use their creative thinking skills.
Here are a few of my favorite knock-knock jokes with two answers for each one.  Yes, they are simple, but are meant to be easily understood and changed by your child. If he or she comes up with a new silly variation that brings on the giggles, be sure and share it with me!


Who’s there?


Bear who?

(Bear you been?  I couldn’t find you.) or (Bear are you going?)


Who’s there?


Hoppin who?

(Hoppin you’ll have a great day!)  or  (Hoppin we don’t have homework today!)


Who’s there?


Annie who?

(Annie body want some pizza?)  or  (Annie one know where my shoes are?)


Who’s there?


Ima who?

(Boo! Ima afraid of that spooky skeleton!) or  (Ima going outside to play.)


Who’s there?


Dishes who?

(Dishes your friend, open the door!) or  (Dishes your Mother speaking.)


Who’s there?


Lettuce who?

(Lettuce go shopping for a toy.) or (Lettuce stop telling these Knock-knock jokes!):)

In a later post, I’ll share some easy and effective ways to ramp-up the creative thinking by giving some tips on how to help your children to think . . . imagine . . . and then create their own Knock-knock jokes.

Have fun with these!

Miss B.