Word Problem Wednesday: Neverland

Jun 10, 2020 | Windermere


Our instructors love bringing excitement and fun to the topics they teach! This week we have word problems — all about the fictional island of Neverland — to spark your child’s imagination! We have new math word problems every Wednesday for all grade levels to help strengthen problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and creativity, so be sure to check back for more!

Go to the next page, read this week’s description with your child, choose the word problem that’s the right skill level for them and have them give it a try! After they feel they’ve found the answer, visit page 3 for the solution!

The Magical Island of Stories

Have you ever heard of an island called Neverland? It’s a magical island created by J.M. Barrie that’s filled with fairies like Tinker Bell, mermaids, and other mystical creatures. It’s also home to the famous Peter Pan! Let’s use math to learn a little bit more about this wondrous place and the people and creatures who live there!

Choose the word problem below that’s the right skill level for you. Take your time working it out — and no peeking! We know you can do it! When you feel you’ve found the answer, see the next page to check your solution against ours.


Lower Elementary:
Question: John is older than Michael. Wendy is older than John. If Michael is 3 years old and Wendy is 12 years old, could John be 120 months old?

Upper Elementary:
Question: A fairy can fly 16 miles per hour. If the fairy leaves for Neverland at 8:03 pm and gets there at 7:33 am, then how far away is Neverland?

Middle School:
Question: Wendy and the Lost Boys are taking turns reading each other a bedtime story. Wendy reads 50% of the story. Tootles, Nibs, Slightly, and Curly each read 50% of the number of pages that are left on each of their turns. Finally, the twins each read 50% of the remaining pages. What percentage of the story has been read by the time it’s the twins’ turn to read?

Algebra and Up:
Question: A swimmer is 20 meters from a boat. A crocodile is 30 meters behind the swimmer. If the crocodile swims 4 meters per second and the swimmer swims 2 meters per second, will the crocodile catch the swimmer before he reaches the boat?


Great work on today’s word problem! Are you ready to check your answer? Look below to see if your solution matches ours.

Lower Elementary:
Answer: Yes
Solution: There are 12 months in a year, so John must be 10 years old because 12 months 10 times is 120 months. Since 10 years is older than Michael’s 3 years and younger than Wendy’s 12 years, that means John could be 120 months old.

Upper Elementary:
Answer: 184 miles
Solution: From 8:03 pm to 7:33 am is 11 ½ hours. So, the fairy travels a total distance of 16 × 11½ = 16 × 11 + 16 × ½ = 176 + 8 = 184 miles.

Middle School:
Answer: 96.875%
Solution: After Wendy reads, 50% of the pages are left to read. After Tootles, 50% × 50% = 25% are left. After Nibs, 50% × 25% = 12.5% are left. After Slightly, 50% × 12.5% = 6.25% are left. After Curly, 50% × 6.25% = 3.125% are left. So, by the time it’s the twins’ turn to read, 3.125% of the pages are left, which means 100% – 3.125% = 96.875% of the story has been read.

Algebra and Up:
Answer: No
Solution: The crocodile swims 4 – 2 = 2 meters per second faster than the swimmer. So, the crocodile gets 2 meters closer to the swimmer each second. It takes the swimmer 20 meters ÷ 2 meters per second = 10 seconds to reach the boat. In that time, the crocodile gets 10 seconds × 2 meters per second = 20 meters closer to the swimmer. Since they were 30 meters apart to begin with, the crocodile does not catch the swimmer.