Kitten and I have been slogging through the decimals chapter in AoPS Pre-Algebra. She hates arithmetic, so I tried skipping ahead to the algebra puzzle in the exercises, but she refused to be taken in: a decimal problem with an *x* in it is still a decimal problem.

So I let her off early and pointed her toward these logical “algebra” puzzles instead:

## Imbalanced Variables

The balance sets up inequalities, like a visual algebra. There are no numbers, so you cannot solve for the exact values of the unknown weights, but you should be able to figure out which shapes are heaviest and lightest.

See more puzzles here:

After solving these, the natural next step is to make up puzzles of your own — but we got distracted because my husband called us outside to help push him out of the snow drift.

And it’s supposed to be spring!

The decimal exercises are still waiting for us, which means that Kitten will keep looking for an excuse to avoid them. Perhaps we’ll try making up imbalance algebra puzzles tomorrow…

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I’ve never seen these before – what fun! This is the first maths problem in as long as I can remember that’s made me want to grab a pencil and paper and try this myself! Reminds me of when I first learnt algebra and used to solve for x for fun :-D

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That’s great, Lula!

I printed out two copies of the puzzles, for myself and my still-homeschooled daughter. But then I lost my copy to my older daughter, who set it down on the table, so my dh took off with it … :D

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