A rebus puzzle is a type of logic puzzle that uses pictures, words, symbols, or some combination of these things to spell out a word or phrase. Challenge your students’ reasoning skills by teaching them how to solve rebus puzzles.
What Is a Rebus Puzzle?
Rebuses are words represented by pictures or symbols. You can find rebus rhymes, stories or puzzles. Rebus puzzles require children to decipher a phrase or sentence through strategically placed letters, numbers, images, and symbols.
Check out examples of rebuses to get a good handle on these cool brain teasers for kids. Rebus puzzles are great for classroom use because they help develop critical thinking skills and sometimes spelling or reading skills.
Word and Image Rebus Puzzle Example
Some rebus puzzles use words placed in specific orders or locations along with images. Look at the image below. Can you figure out which movie title the puzzle refers to? The cars give you a hint.
The word “fast” is written twice followed by the word “furious” written twice. When you put it together, you get 2 Fast 2 Furious, the name of a popular action movie.
Spelling Rebus Puzzle Example
Spelling Rebus puzzles use words, letters and images in math-like equations to spell out single words. Look at the image below. Can you figure out what word it’s asking you to spell?
The image is a tire, and you need to subtract the “t.” This gives you “ire.” When you add the letter “f,” the only real word you can make is “fire.”
Printable Rebus Puzzles for Kids
Keep the kids occupied with free printable rebus puzzles. Click on the image of the puzzle page to download and print the rebus puzzle with answers.
Printable Weather Rebus Puzzles
Lower elementary kids can learn how to solve rebus puzzles by practicing with six easy weather-related puzzles on one worksheet.
Printable Funny Rebus Puzzles
Upper elementary students can enjoy the extra challenge of six hard rebus puzzles featuring common idioms and funny phrases.
Funny and tricky kids rebus puzzlesClick to View & Download
Tips for Solving Kids’ Rebus Puzzles
A kids’ rebus puzzle is a great way for children to learn the association between words and images. If you’re having trouble solving a rebus puzzle, ask yourself some of these questions.
- Look at the placement of the words. Is one word over, under or in another word?
- Look at the size of words and images. Is one smaller, bigger or thinner than another?
- If you have figured out the word for one image, could that word represent a letter? For example, a picture of the sea could mean the letter “c.”
- Is there something missing from an image or a word? This could mean “no” or “without” is part of the answer.
- Count the words, letters, symbols, or images. The number of those items might be part of the solution.
History of the Rebus Puzzle
Over time, rebus puzzles have also been called pictograms or picture puzzles. Rebuses have been used throughout history to convey messages and simplify communication. However, it wasn’t until the mid-1800s that rebus puzzles became a popular form of entertainment.
Piece Together Rebus Puzzles
There’s more than meets the eye with rebus puzzles. These fun brain teasers challenge kids of all ages to look at details and use multiple perspectives. If you love rebus puzzles, you might like to try fun memory games too.