Great educational projects and mind tools—ideal for
homeschooling and Montessori classes






































Kadon has been creating, developing and making mathematically based mind games and puzzles since 1979. Our website contains a wealth of challenging activities you can play here for free or download to print out to work on. We also have the Internet's largest repertoire of combinatorial puzzles and games you can purchase right here at the source. Those illustrated in the left margin are particularly recommended for home educators. Detailed workbooks accompany each set. Click on images for full descriptions. Here is the motherlode of tools for building thinking skills that will prepare young people for a lifetime of creative and problem-solving success.

The links below will open in a new window. Simply close the window when you're done. Enjoy! And please let us know how useful any of these are for your homeschooling programs. Email us with Feedback.

Our featured attractions

  • Mini-Quizzes
    These puzzlers are all still open, with new ones added occasionally. You could win a prize or at least get your name on the solvers' list. Some are extremely tricky.

  • Memory Games
    Match up pairs of images—if you can remember where they are! Try your hand and memory on 18 different styles and improve your score with each attempt. A few have hidden links. Part of the fun is trying to find them.

  • Children's Stories
    Including an interactive adventure visiting other planets. Can you help Carl get back to earth in time for dinner?

  • Coloring Book
    A metagraphic design of art that you paint your way. Save your designs for future reference or to share with others.

Paper and pencil games
You may print out any of these pages for your personal use. Please contact us for permission beforehand if you'd like to republish them elsewhere.

Play online
Those marked with * are by others that you'll find on their sites. We share them here because they're great fun and kin to our own material. Please let us know if any links no longer work.

Some of these games may require your browser to have Java enabled. For Microsoft Internet Explorer, click Tools > Internet Options > Advanced, then scroll down to 'JIT Enabled' and check the check-box. If you still get a blank, download the latest Java plug-in.

Come up with new solutions and you may win a prize.
  • Arc Angles—form one closed matched loop of all 25 tiles, with the minimum enclosed area.
  • Big-Game Hunt—find the mistakes.
  • Chasing Squares— the Maximum-Squares Challenge. Arrange the 16 tiles to form 24 or more "traceable" squares. Get 25 or more and win a prize.
  • Cornucopia—form progressively longer rectangles with a 17-piece subset of Sextillions in 15 steps. New solutions win fame and a small prize.
  • The Mini-Quiz series—we've published 8 so far, all still open. No one has fully solved Quiz No. 6. We are curious and curiouser...
  • Poly-5 Perimeter—fill the border with a maximum of pentominoes. Improve on our results and win a prize.
  • Rhombiominoes—connect all pieces of same color; new solutions win prize.
  • Ten-Yen Enclosure—surround one color with the other two, in the smallest and the longest perimeter. New solutions win fame.
  • Triangule-8 Sprouts—form 25 sprouts or prove that 24 is the maximum possible.
  • Vee-21, the Three-Color Problem—the search for more solutions of maximum color separation.
  • Vee-21, the 25-Holes Challenge— fit thirteen Vee-21 tiles (V-trominoes) rigidly into their 8x8 tray with no slipping or sliding. New solution wins a silver dollar (up to 25 winners). The 37 and 40 holes are also still unsolved and will win a prize.

Other Resources
Annotated links to other good sites for educational games, puzzles, and ideas.
Some Thoughts on Education
Kadon's philosophy of designing and producing games and puzzles, good and true and beautiful things that make learning a source of joy and long-term success, is expressed in these observations, especially appropriate to homeschooling:
  • Sensory Learning
    Playing with sets like these is great for kids (and grown-ups, too) because it gives them a direct and fun-filled hands-on experience of visualizing shapes and forms. "Spatial visualization" is one of the skills educators recognize as valuable to develop in a child, the younger the better.

    "Manipulative" sets are the ideal way to have a child learn through play. The sensory experience of touching, handling, moving pieces about into desired patterns is the natural way for the mind to build its knowledge about the world. The Montessori system is based on these same principles. And kids love them. Kadon gamepuzzles are used in many schools and by many homeschooling families. The "joy of thinking" makes learning more fun. And being creative and feeling one's mind working well is also good for building self-esteem and self-confidence.

  • Systems thinking
    Sets of "combinatorial" puzzle pieces further develop systems thinking, understanding structure and relationships, which are the very important ways in which the mind works naturally. That's why all ages enjoy playing with Kadon gamepuzzles. "They make you feel smart," and "Our family has so much fun with these," is the way many customers put it.

  • Friendly competition
    The competitive games you can play with these puzzle sets are of the "friendly" type, and create interesting visual effects as the tiles are joined or maneuvered during play. The aesthetics are amazing, and the strategies draw on your best thinking.

  • The games
    Kadon also makes boardgames with unusual visual designs and intriguing methods of play. Many of the boards have strikingly beautiful artistic symmetries, like kaleidoscopes. They can double as art objects. Such designs evoke an appreciation for the beauty of design and inspire innovation and creativity in young minds. Kadon generally avoids making games whose objective is merely the direct annihilation of the opponent's pieces; rather, the search is for non-predatory themes that let players feel good about playing even if they don't win every time. Kadon’s designers believe that games are microcosms of the world at large, of striving for results. At this point in history, where the greatest human collaboration was needed to achieve triumphs like landing on the moon and creating a World Wide Web, the games that enshrine war-like themes have outlived their usefulness. Conflict resolution through means other than mutual destruction is what games should be about.

  • Non-hostile goals
    The Kadon philosophy is to embody civilized forms of the adversary art, with non-hostile competition that allows each player to strive for the best result without having to harm the other players (these folks don’t even like the word “opponent”). Players get the satisfaction of using their ingenuity and of finding their skills and insights improving with each play.

  • Great for all generations
    Kids, parents, grandparents… all thrive on the mental and tactile pleasure provided by involvement with “thinking games”. Parents can take pride in their kids’ accomplishments, often surprised by the kids’ smarts. Grown-ups at their own level find that such problem-solving play is a worthwhile recreation. Watching kids play with Kadon’s challenging sets is a wonderful moment of appreciating that the future of the world will be in their hands someday.

  • Historical perspective
    For living beings, play is an important ingredient of learning and simulation in a safe environment, especially for humans with their priceless capacity for intellectual development. Humans inherit a continuity, a growth of knowledge and wisdom.

    It is fascinating to realize that humans have created games for thousands of years, to see the world in miniature form at their level of understanding. One of the oldest games from 3,500 years ago and its more recent 600-year-old descendant are based on the element of chance and unpredictable events. Pure deliberate strategy and decision-making arose later. Chance (luck) in a playful setting lets players lose without harm and come back to win another day. No dictated performance, no pressure, just watching how events unfold. Yet games of pure strategy also build determination and circumspection, having a hand in the outcome. The very idea of “winning” by reaching goals is a symbolic training for life. How people think can change the world.

  • Social benefits
    Playing games is great social entertainment for family and friends. Kadon games run the gamut from the most casual game of chance that provides lots of laughs (The Royal Game of the Goose, below) to intense and complex pure strategy (most of the games in the Abstract Strategy Games section). Sharing the fun with people you care about makes it even more enjoyable. Games of chance are kept to a minimum to give you the maximum freedom of choice of action. Where chance is part of the game, it is as an adjunct to your strategy, not the controlling factor. Kadon designs their games to be enjoyed by all ages, from kids to the most avid game lover and strategist. There's something here for all of them, for the whole family.

  • Puzzles on a grid
    Boardgames are usually played with pieces (pawns, markers, stones, etc.) that are placed or move about on a board or grid. Many elegant solitaire puzzles can be constructed that explore relationships and processes on a grid. Most Kadon game books include a variety of process or positional puzzles of ascending levels of difficulty, in addition to several competitive game formats. Test your wits on these puzzle challenges, and you may find your game skills improve as well. Such solitaires develop forward thinking, considering alternatives and consequences, and seeing “the big picture” of goal attainment. Constructive rather than destructive goals are favored.

  • Playable art
    Kadon’s tiling sets based on mathematical and geometric principles allow players to develop their creativity in producing artistic designs of limitless visual beauty. The intricate ways the tiles of any set can be combined to create ever-changing patterns makes playing with them both a learning and a creative experience. Kadon’s designers consider it a key feature that there are “no wrong answers”, yet that there are many correct ones. The exploration of potentials and improvisation with the combinations provide challenge and the pleasure of achievement. Thinking up new goals and taking delight in those discoveries helps build motivation for continuing growth.

    Symmetry is a major component of both artistic design and mathematical purity. It generates insights about balance, stability, and order in a complex world, and builds confidence in the player’s own ability and purpose. “I can do it” is a powerful idea, a lesson for life.

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