Math Movies for Kids That will Spark Children’s Interest in Studying Math
12 minutes read
Created: December 17, 2023
Last updated: February 5, 2024
Math movies for kids are entertaining tools parents and teachers can use to make learning more enjoyable for students. Such movies make learning something to look forward to and spark interaction among kids. However, finding suitable math related movies could be a problem because not all the movies are simple enough for children to understand.
10 of the Best Math Movies for Kids
Your child can learn a lot by watching math movies for kids. But the quality and results of learning will depend on the movies’ plots, clarity, and suitability for young minds. Therefore, this article will suggest many math movies on Netflix and beyond to glue your child to the TV screen and teach them valuable lessons.
Donald in MathMagic Land
Donald in MathMagic Land is one of the most suitable math movies for elementary school kids. In this movie, Donald, the duck, goes on an adventure in MathMagic land and explains that math is more than mere calculations. The character does an excellent job of not limiting math to music or nature as it details the application of the discipline in games like football or chess.
The movie shows us that Donald found a doorway to MathMagic land. The land has trees and square roots. At first, Donald is not interested in MathMagic but soon finds it intriguing. He then meets Pythagoras and other math tools. At the movie’s end, Donald appreciates the knowledge he has acquired from MathMagic and the significance of mathematics in our lives.
Maybe because of the futuristic bikes and great CGI (at the time), many people didn’t realize that Tron: Legacy was a pretty good math movie. It tells the story of Sam Flynn, a twenty-seven-year-old man, the son of a virtual world designer who disappeared twenty years ago.
Sam’s father’s disappearance haunted him, and he tried to do some research to find his parent. He received a signal from inside his father’s video game, which only his father could send. Sam gets trapped alongside his father but strives to leave the game amidst the obstacles hindering their escape. This movie teaches kids how math can come in handy in entrepreneurship and inventiveness.
The Story of Math
If you are looking for a math documentary to teach your children the history of mathematics, look no further than The Story of Math. This British series has four parts and looks into the development of math. Its four programs are The Language of the Universe, The Genius of the East, The Frontiers of Space, and To Infinity and Beyond (a nod to Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear).
Those who want to be regaled by the wonders of the descendants of the Olympians, Egyptian elegance, Chinese craftsmanship, and Babylonian brilliance will enjoy the math movies that make up this series. It shows how men devised the concept of ‘zero’ and different civilizations’ approaches to calculative thought processes. Because this movie’s ideas can become a bit winding and complex, the target audience is slightly older, preferably mid-teens.
Queen of Katwe
Even before reading the movie’s synopsis, people of African descent and young girls would have found this title as intriguing as we did. And you bet they won’t be disappointed! Queen of Katwe is among the top recommended math movies for high school students, and for good reason.
This film sucks us into the world of Phiona, a ten-year-old girl from Uganda. Living in the poor parts of Kampala, Phiona had to eke out a life for herself painstakingly. But along came the chance of a lifetime in the form of chess, which a teacher introduced her to. This movie will excite chess lovers, making them think on their feet as they watch Phiona lift each piece off the board.
The strategic thinking it will subconsciously instill in children will only be matched by the motivation they will feel when they see Phiona finally win the competition and rise above her life of strife. This movie really raises the bar for kids math movies.
A Beautiful Mind
It takes a beautiful mind to appreciate this masterpiece starring acting legends like Russell Crowe (from Gladiator) and Jennifer Connelly (from Blood Diamond). A Beautiful Mind is one of the best movies about math because of its insight into the everyday applications of math.
John Nash, played by Russell, is a math whiz who graduated from Princeton University with a Carnegie award in math. But he also was diagnosed with schizophrenia. As you can expect, this put a clog in his wheel, leading him to lose his job.
A certified tear-jerker, A Beautiful Mind teaches viewers to empathize with people with mental challenges. It also shows the beauty in game theory, a mathematical concept that John mastered. Between the urge to fight back tears and the feeling of triumph when John finally rises above his challenges, math movies for middle schoolers like this will teach your kids resilience and tenacity — traits that will serve them well later in life.
1:1 Online Math Tutoring Let’s start learning Math!
The Man Who Knew Infinity
From the Western-based recommendation in the last selection, we move to the East to find an absolute jewel of a movie. Of all the math movies on Netflix for elementary students, The Man Who Knew Infinity is the most absorbing. What’s more? It is based on true events!
Srinivasa Ramanujan was by no means rich. In fact, the kid struggled as much as millions of Indians trying to make a life in a competitive country. But Srinivasa was diligent and tenacious; he was also in love with math. Considering that the man created theorems at 13, you can imagine how much of a boy genius he was.
Like other math-related movies on Netflix, we follow Srinivasa through his high school journey and jubilate with him as he wins math prizes and a scholarship. But what good will a movie be if its protagonist just keeps winning? So, the twist comes in Srinivasa’s inability to replicate his scintillating form in other subjects. Actually, the boy did badly enough in them that his scholarship was revoked!
But this setback didn’t deter the genius, as he pushed through, found mentorship, and put in an acting performance that made this one of the best maths movies for students. So, if you are looking for a film to inspire your kids and teach them to not give up, put this on your watchlist.
Stand and Deliver
Stand and Deliver is a movie about math teacher Jaime Escalante. He teaches at Garfield High School in Los Angeles after giving up his job as an engineer. Before his arrival, the school had a reputation for producing kids with poor results. Jaime saw potential in his students, so he introduced calculus after years of teaching.
This math teacher movie relays a teacher’s refusal to give up on his students. Jaime pushed and motivated his students so hard to ensure they improved that it affected his health adversely. Eventually, some of Jaime’s students took the Advanced Placement Calculus Exam and passed. Many suspected the students cheated during the exam, which led to a crisis. But they retook the exam and succeeded again, freeing themselves from all allegations.
Just like A Beautiful Mind, October Sky sits comfortably among the top math movies for middle school students. It revolves around a young teenage boy named Homer Hickman who lives in a coal town in West Virginia in a mining area. The kid dreamed of launching rockets, so he and his friends built one using intricate calculations. However, Homer’s father wanted the son to follow in his footsteps, but Homer disagreed, which created a conflict.
Homer and his friends persevered and kept using math to showcase their creativity. They received massive support from their teacher as people became fascinated by the boy’s inventions. Soon, Homer entered a science competition where he faced even more challenges. This movie motivates kids to seek creative problem-solving applications while teaching them that things may not always go smoothly on the path to academic success.
Back to the Future
Back to the Future is a math movie for kids, but somehow, adults have hijacked its viewership — a testament to how good this classic was. It focuses on a 17-year-old boy, Marty McFly. Marty is a smart kid who loves science, creativity, and his girlfriend. Dr. Emmitt Brown notices Marty and asks him to help with his new invention, the car that travels through time when it reaches 88 miles per hour.
Unfortunately, Libyan Nationalists gun down Dr. Emmitt while Marty escapes. He then uses the time machine to travel 30 years in the past, where he finds a younger version of Dr. Emmitt, and they find a way to bring Marty back to the future.
This must-watch in any lineup of math movies for elementary students shows children that great mathematicians may one day unlock the door to time travel. The movie’s creators use suspense and light-hearted comedy to encourage viewers to expect exciting outcomes and inventions from math and scientific experiments.
Hidden Figures is one of the free math movies about mathematicians you can find on streaming platforms. This movie projects the lives of three female friends working in NASA’s female African-American computing section. Though brilliant scientists, they faced race and gender-related problems.
A NASA engineer encourages Mary Jackson, one of the main characters, to apply for the senior engineering position. But she doesn’t have the necessary qualifications for the promotion and cannot get the job. Dorothy Vaughan, the acting supervisor, applies for the role, but she only gets the responsibilities, not the title, and thus suspects her Caucasian supervisor, Vivian Mitchell, of foul play.
Eventually, these ladies triumphed and became the brains behind one of the most significant operations in NASA history. This movie will excite kids who are interested in astronomy and space travel. It will also teach kids of all races and genders that as long as they understand math and improve their problem-solving skills, they will excel in their careers.
Finding the right movies for math class can be as entertaining for the students as it is rewarding for you. They present unique perspectives and entertainment that viewers can learn from. Children indeed learn better when teaching methods are fun to them.
Combining math and movies will encourage your child to learn. So, point them in the direction of these best math movies to learn about the world and its intricacies while appreciating good scriptwriting and storytelling. At the end of the day, they will leave with moral lessons and a healthy appreciation of math and their new bestie — you!
After-School Math Program
- Boost Math Skills After School!
- Join our Math Program, Ideal for Students in Grades 1-8!
After-School Math Program
Boost Your Child's Math Abilities! Ideal for 1st-8th Graders, Perfectly Synced with School Curriculum!