36 Rebus Puzzles With Answers (Free Printable)

Decode the fun and boost kids’ brainpower!

Four printable pages of rebus puzzles on green background.
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Adding rebus puzzles to your lesson plans is just as effective as using other language games that make learning fun. These puzzles provide unique opportunities for creative engagement and facilitate learning in disguise

Find out how to use these rebus puzzles for learning and fun in the classroom below, but first fill out the form on this page to download our free printable worksheets featuring 36 entertaining printable rebus puzzles with answers.

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What Are Rebus Puzzles?

Two printable sheets of rebus puzzles on green background.
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A rebus puzzle is a visual riddle that cleverly uses pictures and words to convey a word, phrase, or saying. It’s a fun challenge that prompts students to flex their problem-solving muscles by deciphering the hidden meaning behind image and word combinations.

Here’s an example: picture the word ‘head’ surrounded by several clouds. The clever placement of the word ‘head’ and the clear imagery tell a lot. 

Rebus puzzle with the word head and clouds illustration.
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Can you decipher this rebus puzzle? It’s a tricky one! Download the free rebus puzzle printable to reveal the answer!

Helpful Rebus Puzzle-Solving Strategies

One printable sheet of rebus puzzles on green background.
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Mastering rebus puzzles becomes a breeze when you follow a few solving guidelines. Share these with your students:

Start with the Visual

Closely examine the images or symbols within the puzzle. These visual cues often hold the key to unraveling the riddle. The fundamental question to ask is, “What do these images represent?” This approach cultivates a critical-thinking mindset right from the beginning.

Break It Down

Suggest taking on each element of the riddle individually before putting the pieces together to form a coherent answer.

Context Matters

Consider the context of the rebus puzzle. Encourage students to think about where the words and images might fit within a sentence or story. Emphasize the importance of looking beyond individual elements to grasp the overall context.

Locate the Prepositions

Discover the subtle hints embedded in rebus puzzles by focusing on prepositions. These little words, guiding us in spatial relationships, play a vital role in deciphering the puzzle’s meaning. Keep a keen eye on how words, numbers, or images are positioned within the rebus.

How to Use Rebus Puzzles in the Classroom

Two varied printable rebus puzzles on green background.
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Rebus puzzles aren’t just brain teasers – they’re powerful teaching tools that can transform the classroom experience.  After guiding students through strategies to solve rebus puzzles, check out these ways you can use rebus puzzles in the classroom.

Build vocabulary

Introduce a new rebus puzzle daily for one month and have students document it in their notebooks. Alongside solving the daily picture puzzle, encourage them to write a short explanation of the word or phrase. Take it a step further and have students write a story using the answer to their rebus puzzle or have them do some research on the phrase to learn what it means, where it comes from, and how it can be used. This process reinforces the vocabulary in multiple ways, from visual recognition to contextual understanding.

Explore the parts of speech

These versatile riddles range from full sentences to phrases and single-word rebuses, providing a dynamic way for kids to explore the parts of speech. As students decode each riddle, encourage them to simultaneously identify the parts of speech involved in the answer.

Warm up

Rebus puzzles aren’t just fun; they’re a gentle nudge to the brain that wakes students up and prepares them for the day.  These puzzles spark creativity, encourage smart thinking, and set the stage for a lesson filled with enjoyment and open-minded exploration.

Explore math with a playful twist

Rebus puzzles sometimes feature common and not-so-common math symbols, equations, number patterns, and word problems. Whether it’s symbols for greater than or less than, pi, measurement, or even square root, rebus puzzles aren’t just about problem-solving; they’re about transforming the often stressful nature of math into an opportunity for curious exploration and fun.

Study cultural subjects

In the classroom, rebus puzzles serve as exciting tools that seamlessly blend visual elements and words to depict historical events, famous landmarks, or natural wonders. Deciphering a rebus representing the Eiffel Tower, Mount Rushmore, or Taiwan adds an interactive twist to cultural studies.

Engage in healthy classroom competition

Transform those extra minutes before recess into challenges by organizing rebus puzzle competitions. Split the class into teams and present them with a mix of easy and challenging puzzles. The team that successfully solves the most puzzles within a set time frame earns recognition. 

Write positive secret messages

You can brighten a child’s day by creating positive secret messages through rebus puzzles. These puzzles offer a playful and creative platform to convey uplifting compliments or positive affirmations to kids. Imagine the joy on their faces when they uncover a hidden message designed for them – it not only brings a smile but also instills a sense of pride and happiness. 

Give a rebus puzzle card as a reward

Make task completion even more rewarding by offering rebus puzzle cards as classroom rewards. This approach not only motivates kids to accomplish their goals or assignments but also infuses an element of fun into the process.

Learn about idioms

Rebus puzzles cleverly show common idioms, turning language lessons into exciting challenges. Students learn idioms and gain a deeper appreciation for figurative language in a way that sparks their curiosity.

Learn about compound words.

Rebus puzzles often put words together, making it a fun way for kids to learn about compound words. Picture puzzles teach students how words blend and make learning about language easier to grasp by making it exciting as words come alive through pictures.

Share the fun with families

Take the excitement of rebus puzzles out of the classroom and send that fun home so students can take their family game nights up a notch. This educational activity not only sparks joy but also fosters collaboration and critical thinking.

Get a free set of worksheets with 36 puzzles and answers

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Rebus puzzles are a great way to build skills and engage young minds. With our free printable rebus puzzles with answers, your students will flex their brains and gain confidence in no time. Just fill out the form on this page to get instant access to your printables. Happy puzzling!