Mind Triathlon


This game consists of three activities that you should complete while you are being timed. All three activities must be completed correctly in order to finish the Mind Triathlon.

This game can be played either individually each time trying to beat your own time record or between your friends or siblings of similar ages to challenge each other. If played by several participants, the winner would be the one who has completed all challenges correctly in the least amount of time.

If played individually, the first time you play, you will be the winner but you will be setting the record time to beat in the next games.

For example, if you did all three challenges in 6 minutes the first time you played, the second time you will only win if you do all three challenges correctly in less than six minutes.

We suggest having all cards set correctly in their starting position before you begin your triathlon. Remember to start the timer at then GO!

The Mind Triathlon is divided into three stages just like the sports Triathlon. The first section, instead of swimming you will have a math challenge, second section instead of running you will have a letter challenge and the last section, instead of biking you will have a spot the difference game.

Each individual challenge is explained below. All the challenges should be prepared prior to the start of the game so that no time is wasted in setting up and positioning the cards correctly. 


Preparation of the Math challenge cards:

1. Get some coloured papers and cut them into small rectangles. Make sure to have at least 34 little rectangles.

2. Write a number on each card making sure you have three sets of cards with numbers 0 to 9. Please use the same colour paper for each number

3. In each of the remaining rectangles, you will need to write one of the calculation symbols: the addition symbol, the multiplication symbol, the subtraction symbol and, finally, the division symbol. Please use a different colour paper than the one used for the number cards.

4. Mix all the numbered cards together facing down in one group and the symbol cards facing down in another group. Please remember to use only the calculation symbol you have learned at school. For example, if you have only learned to add and subtract please only use these symbols.

5. The first challenge consists of four math equations, one for each calculation symbol, if you have learned to add, substrate and multiply then do two set for each symbol, even though you will only use four cards in total.

Preparation of the cards for the letter challenge :

1. Get some coloured papers and cut them into small rectangles. Make sure to have at least 57 little rectangles.

2. On each card, write a different letter on just one of the two sides. Make sure you make two complete sets of the alphabet and one extra set of vowels.

3. Mix all the cards and put them in a pile making sure they are facing down and ready to be picked for when you get to this challenge.

What you will need for the spot the difference game:

• You need the 4 games we are shown below

• Use one for each triathlon game. The first time you play, you will use the spot the difference game number 1, the second time you play you will use number 2 …and so on

• Please do not look at these games now, only when you get to this last phase just after you have completed the letter challenge


• Make sure that all the cards are ready, mixed and facing down

• Before starting the timer make sure you have a piece of paper to write down your answers

• Read below and learn what you must do in each phase, so you don’t lose precious time


Math Challenge

How to play:

• Choose a random card for every unit of the math operation. In the middle pick one of the operation symbols at random. Depending on the level of math that you are currently in, choose how many units to have before and after the calculation symbol. For example:

• The yellow cards are the number cards, and the blue ones are one of the symbol cards

• If you have more advanced mathematical skills, more of the yellow cards can be put either in front, behind (or both) of the symbol cards

• Once the challenge starts, you will have to turn over the cards and complete the calculation on your answer sheet of paper. Once a result is obtained, circle it and make sure answers are correct before you move on to the second part of the triathlon

       • If answers are not correct, you must start the math challenge again at the beginning without stopping the timer, as all four calculations must be correct before moving on to the next challenge

Letter challenge

How to play:

For the littlest ones

• Once the math challenge is completed, move onto your word challenge cards fast, and start by picking 3 cards, from your pile of cards that should be facing down

• Turn over the cards and look at the three letters displayed on each

• You will need to come up with three different words for each letter displayed on the three chosen cards. For example, if you pick the “Q”, “G” and “L” cards you could choose the words “Quick”, “Goat” and “Island”

• Write down the three words on your answer sheet and move fast on to the third phase of this challenge.


For the older ones:


• Randomly pick 6 cards, making sure the pile of cards is facing down, so that you cannot see what letter is on each card

• Put the cards beside each other, in rows of two making three lines of cards. And turn over the cards


• You will need to come up with a word that starts with the letter on the left and ends with the letter on the right for each line, for example if you have the letter “E” and “N” you could choose the word “Even” for “G“ and ”P” you could write “Gap” and so on

• Write down the three words on your answer sheet, then go fast to the last phase of this challenge

Spot the difference game

How to play:

• Once the letter challenge is completed, look at the spot the difference game and try to find the bear that is different from all the others.

In each illustration, all the bears are exactly the same except for one that has a very small difference. Be very attentive as time is clicking, once you find the difference, remember to shout loud “FOUND IT!” so the timer can be stopped to the sound of those words. Write your time down on your piece of paper.

Remember that this game is a WINNERS game, every one of you is a winner, as each of you need to have all the answers correctly to finish the triathlon.

The Top winner will be whoever completed the mind triathlon in less time!

NOTE: Please keep your cards safe, as we will be using them in other mind triathlons and other fun games !!!



©2020 Maria Busquets Blazquez

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published