# How to Improve Your Numeracy Skills With Puzzles

Numeracy skills are very important in life for everybody even for just simply going about everyday activities and a basic level is often required for most jobs that you could possibly apply for so it is a good idea to improve these skills and this doesn't have to be a chore especially if you do it with numeracy puzzles. Setting aside time every day for these types of brain teasers could have enormous benefits for you and as little as 10 minutes a day, which is achievable for anybody, could significantly improve your math skills if done over a long period of time and give you more confidence to use them. A puzzle can be a good way to do this because they are first and foremost designed to be fun and you have a choice as they come in a variety of forms both physical and written and you could also derive other important skills from them as well like memory or patience.

Books will often be your first port of call when specifically looking for numeracy brain teasers as they will usually contain within a single book hundreds of them with either all levels of difficulty from easy to hard so you can build your level up as you go along and become more confident or will have all the puzzles be of a certain level, for instance, you are looking for only expert-level numeracy brain teasers say as the easier ones are a waste of your time as you are too advanced for them. The types of numeracy brain teasers you can find can vary as well so you can find one that you specifically enjoy or want to improve upon and the questions will be set in a fun way so it doesn't seem like a maths test. Books will also help to improve your reading skills as well because they will have worded questions so you can boost your literacy level whilst you improve your numeracy skills.

The internet is also a very good source for numeracy brain teasers as everybody pretty much has access to them nowadays from pretty much anywhere via laptops and mobile phones with entire websites devoted to them and you will find every type of numeracy brain teaser imaginable being just a google search away with most providing help if you are struggling with them. These websites are very interactive and can be more immersive experiences than a book can be and some may find this way more enjoyable with there being instant feedback if you have got the puzzle right or wrong as well as there being animations and pictures to make the puzzles more appealing.

Codes are a form of math puzzle that you can find in various types of games and puzzles like in a book where you will be set a series of questions or a board game, in which you have to solve a code to unlock the clues to get to the next stage of the game, in which there may actually be a physical lock to crack. A code puzzle can be a set of questions that give you clues as to what the digits of the code are or a series of math questions that each give you a digit of the code or you have to work the questions out in sequence with the answer being carried over from one question to the other that you can do in either your head which is the more difficult way which will help improve your recall or you can work them out on paper if they are particularly complicated.

Newspapers and magazines are good sources for numeracy brain teasers as they often have puzzles like Sudoku so once you have finished keeping yourself up to date with the latest news you can devote 5 or 10 minutes to the puzzle section of the newspaper but they can be quite challenging depending on the newspaper you get but answers are usually provided to check your answer out if you are stuck. Newspapers or magazines can be done on the bus or will be often left lying around during a lunch break or while waiting for a dentist appointment so there will be numerous opportunities during the day to have a go at the puzzles inside them

Physical puzzles that you operate by hand can test and potentially develop your numeracy skills when they pose a math problem and in this physical form a math challenge could be more fun and engaging for some people when they can touch and manoeuvre the challenge and numbers. The MATH TOWER by LOGICA GIOCHI is made of wood and is an example of a physical puzzle that sets a numerical challenge that could help to improve your level of math which is a challenge that is of a high level of difficulty and is potentially helpful in improving memory and practising adding big numbers up. The level of difficulty is high because of the number of number blocks (10 that are stacked on top of each other with a pole running through the centre of all the blocks) that make up the tower, that the blocks have number values on 4 sides of each block (all blocks can be turned and when a block is turned at least 90 degrees all the numbers of that block will be on a new side of the tower) and the same specific total value (555 when all 10 numbers added up) you have to achieve on each side (each side of the tower consists of 10 numbers) of the 4 sides of the tower. Another example of a physical puzzle that is a numerical challenge is the wooden puzzle named EUCLIDE by LOGICA GIOCHI which sets a somewhat similar challenge to the MATH TOWER but not quite as difficult in which you have to in every one of the 16 columns make the numbers (each column has 4 numbers) within each column add up to the same mystery total. Every time you move a number or numbers into another column by turning one of the rotatable discs (the discs are stacked on top of each other with the discs getting progressively smaller the further on top they are) the puzzle compromises of you change numbers in other columns as well at the same time and this is done until the right combination of numbers is achieved and the challenge is solved. These two puzzles just mentioned are physical which for some can be an ideal or more helpful way to learn when you can see and touch the objects and the numbers you are dealing with.

To solve speed cubes you can use algorithms which are step by step moves that will restore the puzzle to its original form and as they are algorithms they have been worked out using math by taking into account the unique characteristics of the speed cube like the number of pieces and the number of sides the puzzle has and then you can test if these algorithms work for yourself as they are widely available on the internet. Speed cubes come in a variety of shapes both regular and irregular so there will be plenty of speedcubes to try and test these algorithms on and it will help to give you an idea or a better understanding of algorithms which are a form of math that will broaden your overall math knowledge so they won't be so foreign to you if you have to approach them as part of your education for example if you are a student. Obviously, the more sides and pieces the cube has the more complicated and complex the algorithms will be but there are websites and youtube videos that explain them to you just have to search for them. Speed cubes can also help you to develop other important puzzle skills like pattern identifying skills as well as memory and hand-eye coordination.

Once you have mastered these puzzles you could set your own challenges or build your own puzzle for example out of wood (ensure that if you don't have the correct expertise to build your puzzle you consult an expert who will show you how to be safe and build it correctly) by using the puzzles you have played with as templates which will show and help to improve your creativity and will also show you have a more complete understanding of numeracy puzzles and this may lead to some exciting opportunities down the line.

In conclusion, there are numerous ways in which you could improve your numeracy skill level with puzzles but most importantly whichever type of math puzzle you choose it should be fun for you as this will sustain your interest and not make it a chore.

These math puzzles will not guarantee improved numeracy levels and the best way to do this would be to consult a math teacher especially if maths is something you struggle with or a Doctor (see disclaimer).

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