Train Themed Word Problem Math App for Kids

Best Word Problem Math App for Kids

I am a huge fan of word problems.  I love how it combines literacy with math.  I love how it’s a puzzle in words that you must solve with a number sentence.  I love how it trains the brain to decode words into numbers and vice versa.  I love that it’s difficult. — this is not a rote operation, one must think to solve a problem.  That being said, word problems are challenging! (and fun!)

My two older kids complete a word problem workbook  as their math practice during the summers.  I like Daily Word Problems by Evan Moor (Grade 1, Grade 2Grade 3Grade 4Grade 5) .  My oldest who says she hates math says that she loves word problems because they are not math but puzzles.  Go figure?  I don’t care though.  If she can do complex, multi-step math word problems then I know the other stuff at school will be fine.  At the end of the day, there will be calculators for math facts when she’s an adult, but to figure out which buttons to push, she’ll have to know how to convert words to number sentences which will require logical thinking.

So it’s not surprising that I LOVE the  iLiveMath Trains app for iPhone, iPad, or iPod.  The theme for this app is trains.  It’s a very effective theme for boys and maybe less so for girls but still the photos and images are colorful and fun and there are a train noises as you move from screen to screen.

I also like how that the user answers the questions using a roll-y thingy with numbers in numerical order.  You can’t guess the answer; you must find the correct number.  And when you do, the app says that y0u are correct AND shows you the number sentence you have solved (perhaps in your head) but it reinforces the logic by which you solved the question.  You do not get the number sentence until the problem is solved correctly.

ILiveMath Trains has three levels of difficulty:

Level 1:  Addition and Subtraction (using numbers 1-20)

Sample problem:   A steam train with 13 travelers voyaged to the next station and 7 were dropped off. How many travelers are on the train?

Level 2:  Addition, Subtraction, and Multiplication (weight, currency and speed)

Sample problem:  The freight train has 25 railcars of fuel.  If each loaded railcar is an average of 131 tons, what is the total weight hauled?

Level 3:  Advanced Addition, Subtraction and Multiplication (weight, currency and speed)

Sample problem:  The freight train unloads 18 railcars of automobiles.  Afterwards each empty railcar is still 30 tons, what is the total weight pulled?

This is a nicely done app that combines math word problems within a fun theme.  At $3.99, it’s less expensive than the math workbooks that I buy.  A kid who loves trains and math will love this.  For kids who are less interested in math but love trains, this is a natural fit.  My five-year-old loves to do word problems around the theme of Pokemon at bedtime.  Any chance that iLiveMath can come up with that?  I’d love that because I am the one who has to make up the problems and I always get scolded for my lack of Pokemon knowledge — “MOM, Brock doesn’t own that Pokemon!  MOM, Snorlax is not a normal type!”

You can buy this at iTunes by clicking on the image up top.

Follow PragmaticMom’s board Math Fun on Pinterest.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Thank you so much for an incredible review…. you’ve hit on so many small details of why we developed iLiveMath. Our 11 year old was having struggles with word problems which inspired us to develop it. Also we decided to use the roll-y thing exactly for that purpose… “so the student cannot guess!” 🙂

    Trains was a theme we selected for our 4 year old… he just loves to look at the pictures and watch the videos. When he starts to read he can move on up the levels.

    Well for Pokemon that may be a little difficult… We just finished Ford Cars if you would like a promo code to try it out! We collaborated with Ford on that one. We tried to cover 100 years of car history from the Model T to today.

    We’re working on more new fresh and fun themes with additional math problems, photos, and videos… stay tuned and we will be releasing updates on our FB page . Each app takes a while to develop due to all the problems, pictures, and videos but we are getting there.

    Thank you very much – we are humbled and very encouraged to continue building apps for parents and teachers alike… from our kids to yours.

  2. Caroline Mukisa

    This app looks great! My kids love maths but aren’t too keen on word problems so this app could come in handy when I’ve got them trapped in the car for a quick journey!

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