Russian national riddles for children, with answers

Russian national riddles for children and adults

Russian folk mysteries for children, with answers

The mystery is a special kind of witty talk that has always been the focus of attention in society. This part of folklore was actively used for training, creation of certain mood and representations at people of different age and position. Corresponding mysteries of Russian folklore appeared in textbooks, books, magazines and newspapers, as well as distributed orally.

The concept and peculiarities of the Russian folk mystery

A rule of thumb is an allegation in the form of a description of things or phenomena, given in the question form. The addition of “Russian folk” implies that it has appeared and is used on the territories of Slavic countries or among the Russian-speaking population.

Many people, understanding the essence of this part of folklore, are not able to give it a clear definition, but will certainly cite as examples one of the riddles they know. Among the peculiarities of this phenomenon are:

  • Sphere of distribution – all Slavic peoples and territories. Russian folk mysteries, proverbs, proverbs and parables include folklore from all over the territory of the former Russian Empire (USSR). And there are Belarusian, Mari, Volga, Siberian and other riddles
  • Lack of copyright. It is not possible to set a specific mystery creator. They simply appear in a certain period, become obsolete, disappear or are processed into more modern variants. So collections of various riddles do not write, but make up.
  • Concrete subject. Folklore, especially for children, rarely operates with abstract notions such as life, death, soul and morals, but focuses on specific notions. For example, Russian folk riddles about the air tell not about this phenomenon, but about quite tangible clouds or smoke, that is, things that everyone has seen and can recognize.

Russian folk riddles – this is one of the most significant and living poetic genres, which can be the worldview in society. As early as 60-70 years ago, they constituted a significant part of youth leisure time and the official power used them for propaganda.

The peak of puzzles' study as a part of folklore and compilation of collections was in the XIX-XX centuries. In particular, in 1837 the “Tales of the Russian people” and “Proverbs” were published, compiled by a talented archaeologist and traveler I.P. Sakharov. And in 1976, his “Mysteries of the Russian people” released D. N. Sadovnikov. The collection of 2504 points was subsequently reissued several times.

Limited attention was paid to riddles in the USSR as well. In 1932, under the editorship of M. A. Rybnikova, the most complete collection was published, including folklore from different regions, the work of schoolchildren and new “Soviet” ideas.

  • 2 plow. Two turnips. In the middle of the factory. RSFSR.
  • Not beets and not carrots, but red head. Pioneer.
  • Who has a voice but no voice. Leshenetz, i.e., a person affected by the rights.

In the future, M.A. Rybnikova's serious work became a source for the creation of developing children's books. Mysteries from it can be found in many modern publications.

In the XXI century, the number of new puzzles have decreased significantly, but they have become much more complex and sometimes give cynical humor. The legacy of Soviet times is also widely used in primary school textbooks and development literature for the youngest (3-6 years old).

The old riddles. Forms

As with all parts of the Russian language, folklore is a common feature of updating. First of all, the Russian people's riddles are forgotten about the obsolete things. For example:

  • You have a clean field. I'll catch up with the black sheep. Bread in the stove.
  • Crown on one leg, crumbs fire crumbs. A candle is a ray stand.
  • Black ride on the stove. The furnace grip.

Technical progress has crossed out a lot of folklore, and there was nothing to fill the void. Today, 80% of all known mysteries, one way or another, use outdated words and expressions – caftan, horde, millstones, king, etc. They are still understood by people (and especially children) and remain a part of the cultural tradition.

Widespreadly used puzzles have several verbal forms:

  • Newspoken narrative. For instance: “Four brothers standing under the same roof.” Table.
  • Various lengths of poetry – from 6 to 30-40 words. For instance: “The house grew up in the field. The house is full of grain. The walls are gilded. The shutters are nailed down. He's walking around the house. On the pole in gold.” Rye.
  • Continuing. This kind of thing is characterized by a smooth description of the thing, where each subsequent phrase is a continuation of the previous one. For instance: “There are pitchforks, and there's a barrel on the forks. There's a mahalo on the barrel. The mahalla rocked. It was yawning on the rocking chair. There was a sniffle on the yawn. It blinked on the sourpuss. In the blink of an eye. Above the field there is a forest, and in the forest there are pigs, golden bristles. Man.

It is worth noting that this kind of Russian folk mysteries are complex and often saturated with legends. They should be given either to adults or to children over 10 years of age.

Peasant riddles

Note that folklore in its poetic form seems more vivid and easier to remember by ear. Most of the known puzzles and tricks, including very short ones, are rhymed. Most often a three-stop or four-stop chorus is used:

  • Before the nameplate. Behind the fork. There's a towel on the chest. Swallow.
  • White mansions. Red stakes. Goose.
  • What's that in front of us? Two deaf ears behind the ears, in front of the wheel and a nurse on the nose. Glasses.

Russian folk riddles in verse can have 2 kinds:

1. Rhymed question.

2. An incomplete poem where the answer is the last word in rhyme. Most often they are used to teach children to count, alphabet, natural history.

Nature and weather mysteries

Diverse natural phenomena have always been the subject of close attention in folklore. Water, earth, moon, rivers, stars, and many other things were the subject of conjecture.

And it was at the end of the XIX – beginning of the XX century when people began to pay much more attention to the world around them.

At that time, Russian folk riddles about the air, fog, smoke and clouds appear – the phenomena are very ephemeral.

  • Kind, good. He's looking at everybody, but he's not looking at himself. Sun.
  • White bird in the sky. Resting on a block of snow. The moon in the clouds. Running, noisy. Dead, shiny. Frozen river.
  • Outside with a pole. There's a tablecloth in the hut. Smoke
  • Eagle flies through the blue sky. Wings melted, sunshine caught. Cloud.
  • I answer every call, but the body and soul don't. Echo.

Not less popular subject – seasons and weather events. Particularly interesting are Russian folk riddles about autumn, winter and related events such as snow, foliage, frost, blizzards and wind.

People's and animals' riddles

Children's thinking requires pointing out specific things and that's why Russian folk riddles about animals (wild and domestic) have always been a significant part of this kind of folklore. And they are doubly useful, because in the form of a game they inform the child about the leashes, behavior or danger of a particular animal. For example:

  • Small, but light. You can't get your tail up. The lizard.
  • Behind the field and the forest there is a mountain of sand. Anthill.
  • Bog jumps, swims like a human. Frog.
  • With horns, but not bull. Running like a dragonfly. Jumps like a flea. Deer.
  • Has a sieve. Not with the hands of a scroll. Cobweb.
  • Flies – beeps, sits – silent. Whoever kills him will shed his blood. Comar.
  • All I wake up in time, even if I don't start the hours. Cock.
  • Fielding. Lambs and calves looking for. Wolf.

Kids' riddles Russian folk, dedicated to man, allow to teach a child the basics of anatomy in an entertaining form. They will teach you how to identify body parts by description alone.

  • 2 brothers live across the street. One doesn't see the other. Eyes.
  • Live five brothers. Everybody's name is the same. Fingers.
  • Mezh two luminaries I was alone. Nos.
  • One says. Two look, two listen. Mouth, eyes and ears.
  • Which part of a man is always wet? Language.

Puzzles about numbers, the alphabet and the learning process

After the revolution of 1917 and the formation of the new state in society, the public began to pay great attention to the literacy of the population.

To send elderly people who already have grandchildren to reading courses was a common thing.

But among the younger generation the prestige of education helped to spread the riddles of the Russian folk, poems and ditties about the failures. All folklore on this subject can be divided into the following groups:

1. About educational accessories – notebooks, books, textbooks and so on

  • White field, black seed. Whoever sows it will know. The book.
  • When a sighted man can be blind? Illiterate.
  • Don't say, don't say, don't say, but show an example. Poster.
  • On one paper the whole world is placed. Geographic map.

2. About the alphabet, numbers and other sciences.

Children's riddles Russian folk, composed in verse form (with the answer, ending), are very effective as a means of teaching first graders the basics of writing and arithmetic.

Puzzles about food and things

The most updated part of folklore, in which puzzles die after the cessation of use of certain things. But new ones also appear regularly instead. So you can easily find riddles about the Russian oven, poker or rocker, as well as about the computer, cell phone, car or plane.

Thematics of this group is very extensive and in any collection there is easily found a riddle about the Russian folk instrument, clothes, heating, handicrafts, equipment, etc.

  • Makes everything that concerns, and you touch – bites. Iron.
  • The horse is steel and the tail is silk (linen). A needle with a thread.
  • One hand meets. The other one's seeing you off. Door.

The riddles about food are mostly concentrated around a few important products available to everyone – bread (slices, loaf), salt, sugar, pancakes, dough, milk.

Mysteries for adults. Erotic folklore

Erotic folklore

Russian folklore mysteries about nature, things and food are intended for children. But that's not exactly true. A huge layer of folklore is directly related to adults. And these are not only particularly complex forms, but also erotic riddles – the category “18 +”. Despite strict religious and then party censorship, they have flourished at all times.

Adult riddles are always ambiguous and deeply ironic, as they are based on false expectations. When pronouncing the text, the performer pretends that he or she does not understand the sexual meaning of key words such as “hole”, “pound”, “pound”, etc. And the main lie is that the answer to the puzzle does not contain immodest meaning. For example:

  • Two apples in moss. Carrot's upstairs. Eyes and nose.
  • Interfeet hangs – the letter “x” is called. When he sees the letter “p” rising right up. Elephant trunk and food.
  • From ass to mouth. The egg. Hangin', hangin', hangin'. He's got everything he needs. Towels.

Puzzles as part of folklore exist in all countries. But Russians stand out against the global background for their multiplicity, variety of forms and significance for society.


People's riddles for children. Russian folk riddles

Russian folk riddles for children, with answers

Behind the windows of the 21st century, but you can still hear how people teach each other with the help of folk wisdom, which has a long history. “If you hurry, you'll make people laugh,” they say to the hurry. “And there is a hole in the old woman's face”, so comfort the people who have failed.

People's proverbs, sayings, riddles are the heritage that is transmitted orally today in communication and in writing in books and school textbooks. And so it will be as long as the language and its speakers live.

Uniqueness of the riddle

Puzzle is a kind of speech phenomenon, the main direction of which is to make the human brain think and work more figuratively through comparisons and metaphors. It develops the observation needed to familiarize children with the world around them and keeps the mind clear in adults.

It is not known exactly when the riddles appeared. This folklore genre is still used to teach and educate children in kindergartens and in literature classes at school, so its properties of influence on young minds are the same as in the times when its trick questions were asked to travellers Sphinx.

Modern psychologists claim that the composition or guessing of riddles develops children's imaginative speech and fantasy. The property of this small folklore form to point out some of the qualities of an object, listing their similarities or differences that are unique to it, makes children think about the connections between the phenomena in the real world.

Finding the answer to the puzzle develops the ability:

  • to draw independent conclusions and analyze;
  • to expand knowledge about the surrounding reality;
  • to improve memory;
  • to develop speech and imagination.

People's riddles give children all the depth of their ancestors' wisdom and teach them to appreciate their creativity.

History from ancient times

How it turned out that riddles were an effective tool to test the mind for maturity in ancient times. They were used by priests in Ancient Egypt, they were used to recognize the true heroes in Ancient Greece, they did not pass over the Slavic traditions either.

Regardless of the level of development of human civilization, people living on different continents and in different epochs, created riddles that are very similar in content. This shows that people have always been watching the world around them closely and comparing what is happening in it.

People's riddles are a whole stratum of the history of development of culture and beliefs of mankind. For example, one of the Sphinx's questions about who walks on four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon, and three in the sunset has come to our attention. Legend has it a lot of people died trying to guess it.


In antiquity, people often used allegorical language to protect themselves, their homes and livestock from evil eye. Hunters, going to the forest for game, used the secret language of riddles, so that the alleged “trophies” in advance did not overhear their plans and did not go to other areas.

Traders, jesters and skomorokhi also actively used riddles to protect themselves from unclean forces. Russian folk riddles, for example, have been a way of testing warriors in the early days of the war, and in peacetime – the grooms and boys.

In the history of the ancient Germans and Scandinavians there is evidence that there was a custom: a traveller could only get a bed for the night after guessing a riddle.

The ancient Slavs had special evenings spent in the autumn and winter, when there was no work in the field.

All the village gathered in the biggest hut, women were spinning and needleworking, men were fixing tools, and old people were testing children and young people for intelligence.

When the subjects were asked riddles (Russian folk), they took turns with answers. He won the most intelligent and observant. In this way, wise old men encouraged young minds to develop, to be inquisitive and to know the world.

Till the end of the 19th century there was a custom, when bridesmaids would not let the bride and her boyfriend to her until they would solve all the riddles prepared for them. Nowadays, this folklore genre is actively used to develop imagination, memory and observation in children of preschool and primary school age.


Today, only linguists and cultural scholars are interested in the history of proverbs, although they are used in their speeches by almost everyone, without even bothering to find out what caused them. And it turns out that the majority of them are based on specific historical facts or deep observation of the people, in this way passing on their wisdom from generation to generation.

The proverb is the same brief allegorical literary form as a mystery, but with an instructive meaning. Often it rhymes, but its main burden is to educate the younger generation and pass on to them the experience of life. For example, “chickens in the autumn count” is when a person, starting a business, prematurely calculates what profit or benefit he will get from it.

People's proverbs and riddles were the educational material on which many generations of children grew up and developed.


This is another type of small literary form, the main purpose of which is to reflect a fact or phenomenon of life. The saying does not have a final meaning, but it takes on a meaning when inserted into the speech. For example, when a sentence talks about keeping a promise, the phrase “when the cancer hangs on the grief” is often used, implying that the person does not keep his word.

Saying a saying never teaches. Its function is to convey the meaning of what has been said by means of a more figurative and precise expression. One could say, for example, “he's drunk”, but the phrase “he doesn't knit” better conveys the degree of intoxication.

How did he define the notion of a proverb by V. I. Dahl, it's “an allegorical expression, a roundabout speech that conveys a judgment about a phenomenon or subject”.

The rise of proverbs and sayings

As well as riddles, folk proverbs and sayings are the result of centuries of human experience. Their formation began with the birth of the language. For example, the first Russian proverbs are mentioned in the “Tale of Bygone Years” by chronicler Nestor. It speaks about the formation of Kievan Rus since the creation of the world and up to 1117 A.D.

Naprimer, there are such lines: “And there's a saying in Russia today that they're dead as bluffs.” It is a question of how the tribe of dulebs destroyed their enslavers of the vultures: “There is no tribe or offspring of them. This proverb was used when it came to the death of the whole family. In the 9th century in Kievan Rus used expressions that originated in the pagan Slavic period or transmit information about historical events and their individual participants, which are well known today. For example, the proverb “mother of cheese earth” (pagans animated nature), the proverb “the wolf has lured to the flock of sheep, it will carry all the sheep” (as the Drevlyans said about Prince Igor, who visited them several times in the war).

Many proverbs were put together in the times of serfdom, which today have already lost their original meaning, but have received a new meaning.

For example, “Here you go, Grandma, and Yuriev day! The original significance was connected with the fact that one day of the year (Yuryev) serfdom was allowed to go to another barin.

This right was abolished by the decree of Boris Godunov, and all serfdoms were assigned to their masters.

In this genre, as well as riddles, there are many topics that concern almost all phenomena of nature and spheres of human life.

Themes and types of folk mysteries

Russian folk mysteries can now be classified into several species. They include:

  • Inoscopes – “Behind dark forests two swans danced” (earrings).
  • description – “You from the top, and the head from the pot” (samovar).
  • questions – “What is the sweetest thing in the world? (dream).
  • jokes – “Which island speaks of its own size” (Yamal).
  • with numbers – “6 legs, 2 heads and 1 tail” (rider on horseback).

People's riddles can be divided into the following topics:

  • “man”;
  • “natural phenomena”;
  • “home, hut”;
  • li>”wild and pets”;

  • “yard”;
  • “insects”;
  • “garden, garden”;
  • “rivers, water”;
  • “forest”;
  • “field, meadow”;
  • “professions, work”;
  • “birds”;
  • “fairytale heroes”;
  • “sky”.

Well, there can be a lot more to it. In all countries of the world there are riddles, for example, in Europe there are known manuscripts, numbering 1000 years. It's really one of the oldest literary genres.

Puzzles for children about nature

The most popular Russian folk riddles for children are dedicated to nature and man. This is understandable, because people have long observed what is around them and who is around them, and were able to analyze both what is happening around them and the behavior of others.

Elderly people in ancient times was the training of the younger generation of worldly wisdom and knowledge of the world. There was no better tool for this than the folk riddles for children at that time. Intuitively, people understood that by giving children's minds difficult tasks, they made them be observant and witty. This developed imaginative thinking, and children got a better understanding of nature's phenomena.

For example:

  • “The gray grandfather at the gates of all the captive eyes” – indicates the color of the fog.
  • “A colourful armature hanging over the river” – draws attention to the shape of the rainbow.
  • “Although it is snow and ice itself, and when it does, tears are pouring” (winter), it is a property of snow and ice to melt.

This way adults have taught children to pay attention to the qualities inherent in each particular phenomenon and characterize it.

Puzzles for children about people

Surveillance of others was also characteristic of the Russian people. Drawing conclusions from everyday situations, our ancestors created folk riddles. The answers were later published in children's collections, spreading the wisdom of generations from different corners of the country beyond its borders.

Puzzles dedicated to people touched on their appearance and condition, as well as lifestyle. For example:

  • “You're given and people use it”.
  • “What's the most important thing about food? (mouth).
  • “Whatever you want, you can't buy, you can't sell.” (There is a lot of desire in youth and no money in old age, but no desire in old age).

This is how the older generation taught children in olden times to know themselves and their essence. Today, the book “Russian Folk Mysteries” (with answers) are no less popular with kids than the oral art of their peers in the old days.

Puzzles about folk tales

Fairy tales – one of the favorite types of folk art in children. Their admiration for fictional characters gave rise to another theme – riddles about folk tales. Today we can find variants dedicated to both Russian and foreign heroes.

They are conditionally separated by age:

  • For the youngest ones, they are the heroes of fairy tales such as “Teremok”, “Kolobok” and others. For instance: “In the field of the house, the forest dwellers have found shelter in it and live together: rabbit, fox, norushka and wolf, only the bear has crushed…” (“Teremok”).
  • For children of the senior preschool and school age are heroes from fairy tales “Goose swans”, “Snow Maiden”, “Frog Princess” and others. For instance: “This girl is afraid of the sun and warmth because she is made of snow” (Snow Maiden).

Today in pre-school institutions a lot of attention is paid to the development of imaginative thinking of children, for which they use folk riddles with answers (for the youngest ones).

People's riddles in today's world

This type of folklore will always be in demand, given that child psychologists note the positive impact of riddles on the development of thinking and imagination.

Today you can find not only folk riddles, but also author's riddles, which are more suitable for today's children and their ideas about the world and book heroes.

For example, “One fat man lives on the roof and flies higher” (Carlson).


Russian folk mysteries about plants, animals, people, natural phenomena, technology and labor, education and recreation

Many mysteries on different topics.

Puzzles about plants

Beat me with sticks, rubbing me with stones, burning me with fire, cutting me with a knife.

And for that I'm so ruined that everyone loves me.


Early in the field of the house, full of grain, the walls are gilded, the staves are nailed down. He walks the house with a move

On the barrel of gold.


>Golden sieve of Black houses is full. How many black houses,

Just white dwellers.


Circle, but not the moon, Green, not oak,

With a tail, not a mouse.


When two people stopped, one asks, “Is it black? – No, it's red. – Why is it white? – Because green.

What were they talking about?

(Red currant)

Kaftan on me is green, and the heart is like a kumacz, tastes like sugar, sweet,

And it looks like a ball.


I sit on a tree, a circle like a ball, tasty as honey,

Red as blood.


Stoit oak, full of cereals,
Piglet covered.


The old man is standing over the water,
Shaking his beard.


No windows, no doors,
Full of people's maidservants.


Blue uniform, Yellow lining,

A in the middle – sweet.


Hidden behind the stump. Who passes close,

Klans low.


Not the sea, not the river, and worries.

(The field with ears)

Golden mountains grow in the summertime.


One throw – a whole handful took.


Animal mysteries

Belly as snow, Will put on as fur,

On shovels walks.


But I'm not a hammer – On the tree knock: In it every corner I want to examine. I'm wearing a red hat and the acrobat's beautiful.

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