Can Your Tween Girl KenKen?



Tween girls LOVE Sudoku. Will they love KenKen?

A 14-year-old tween girl showed me the way to KenKen – is a little bit like Sudoku, except KenKen is a numerical logic puzzle and requires the BIG M – Math. KenKen means “cleverness squared.”

“They” say the rules are simple: Fill the grid with digits so as not to repeat a digit within any row or column, and so the digits within each heavily outlined box (called a cage) go together using the arithmetic operation shown to make the target number indicated.

So far, I’m totally confused, but that makes it very similar to my first reaction to Sudoku. (That was before my tween daughter showed me the way.)
KenKen was invented by the Japanese educator Tetsuya Miyamoto, who founded and teaches at the Miyamoto Math Classroom in Tokyo. Students attend his class on weekends to improve their math and thinking skills. Mr. Miyamoto said he believes in “the art of teaching without teaching.”
I think I could get hooked on KenKen.


About the author
As the founder of, the safe social networking site for tween girls, Denise Restauri is directly tapped into the tween girl world every day.

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2 Responses to “Can Your Tween Girl KenKen?”

  1. BlapherMJ Feb 22 at 4:31 pm Reply

    My 10-year-old loves Sudoku. I’ll have to see if she likes KenKen. Thanks!

  2. Brian May 19 at 9:17 pm Reply

    Yes, Kenken is awesome for teens and others. It is definitely addictive.
    I’ve made some free videos about how to start solving a basic 4×4 Kenken, as well as an advanced 9×9 KenKen in which the operation signs are not given.
    You can check them out at:

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