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Thu, 14 Oct, 2021

How to Teach Idioms to Kids

How to teach idioms to kids


English idioms are fun and indeed a big part of the language. Idioms help in improving your child’s language skills and make them express themselves more efficiently and creatively.

What are Idioms and Importance of Idioms for Kids?

Idioms are common expressions that are not used for expressing the literal meaning of their words.

It is essential to teach idioms and their importance to your child since they are used in everyday conversation. Kids will be able to grasp a conversation and be a part of their peer group. Apart from this, they will understand the working of language and learn the imaginative expression of the language and human thinking.

Examples of Idioms

A blessing in disguise

Meaning: A good thing that appeared to be bad at first.

Example: Their fight was a blessing in disguise. They got to know a lot about each other.

A storm in a teacup

Meaning: Make a big fuss about a minor problem.

Example: They will not cancel the wedding because of their fight last night. It was just a storm in a teacup.

A dime a dozen

Meaning: Something that is very common but of no value.

Example: Some jobs are now outdated, like a dime and a dozen.

Bolt from the blue

Meaning: Something that happens without warning.

Example: My friend got selected at Harvard, and this struck like a bolt from the blue for our group.

Fit as a fiddle

Meaning: In perfect health.

Example: I am fit as a fiddle because I work out every day.

Go down in flames

Meaning: To fail suddenly or spectacularly.

Example: She wanted to become the manager of her department, but things went down in flames for her.

Head in the clouds

Meaning: To be out of touch with reality or always daydream.

Example: He never listens to what others have to say. He always has his head in the clouds.

Like two peas in a pod

Meaning: Two people or things very similar to each other.

Example: He and his sister were like two peas in a pod.

On cloud nine

Meaning: Being extremely happy.

Example: I was on cloud nine today because I got a promotion.

Through thick and thin

Meaning: Through good times and bad times.

Example: They have been friends for seven years and survived together through thick and thin.

9 Fun Idiom Activities to Teach Your Kids at Home

  1. Idiom Challenge

  2. Idiom Hunt

  3. Picturing Idioms

  4. Idiom Mini-book

  5. Idiom banner

  6. Idiom Rewards

  7. Using Idioms for Advice

  8. Read Books

  9. Idiom Anchor Charts

Teaching English idioms enhances your child’s speaking and learning skills. For native speakers, it adds the benefit of improving their writing skills and vocabulary, and for second language speakers, this acts as a great way to add fun to their learning.

Kids are taught idioms in their school, but different types of learners have different speeds. If your child cannot understand them in school, these nine activities will enhance their learning ability.

1. Idiom Challenge

This activity is a great way to introduce your child to idioms. Here your child has to identify the meaning of different familiar idioms.

Let your kids have fun by attempting to guess the meaning of idioms they have heard for the first time and also the ones they are familiar with. You can even set a time limit for your kids to match as many idioms as they can. Tell them to use these idioms during the day in their speaking or writing.

2. Idiom Hunt

Once your child is introduced to the concept of idioms, you can give them the task of recognising it in their daily interactions.

This activity involves them keeping a journal of a list of idioms they learnt. They have to look for different idioms in storybooks they read or in their everyday life. The benefit of this activity is that your child will recognise how to use idioms in real-life situations.

3. Picturing Idioms

What makes idioms fun to learn is that we say them differently, while their literal meaning is something else.

With this activity, you will get your kid’s imagination racing. This is an incredible way to let your child visualise idioms in a Pictionary way. As your child will learn to imagine the literal meaning of the idioms, they will get better at symbolising them with their actual meaning.

4. Idiom Mini-book

The more your child will understand the meaning of idioms, the more they will learn how to use them in everyday conversations.

In this activity, tell your child to make a mini-book and keep their own collection of idioms. The mini-book will consist of idioms, their meanings and examples in which they are used.

5. Idiom banner

As the name suggests, here, kids need to make a banner of idioms. They are encouraged to choose idioms, list down their meaning and draw a picture of them. You can even have them write an example of ways they can use idioms in a sentence.

6. Idiom Rewards

Rewarding is a great way to motivate your child to learn better.

In this activity, reward your child with an idiom every time they do something good. You can print the idiom out on a card. This activity helps them retain the understanding of each expression in a better manner.

7. Using Idioms for Advice

Make a list of idioms that give out advice and share them with your kids. With each idiom, you can give them an assignment where they will have to read scenarios and guess which idiom would be suitable for what situation.

8. Read Books

Reading books is a great way to learn. Illustrations and attractive pictures engross kids in reading. Read your child attractive picture books that are filled with engaging idiom phrases.

9. Idiom Anchor Charts

As you read books to your child, stop and point out the idiom phrases in the sentences. Teach them the meaning of idioms by making an idiom anchor chart. Continue reading and jot down the idioms used.

You can also play idiom scavenger hunt by using books your kids are reading. Tell them to jot down idioms on sticky notes they found in the book and stick them on their wall or study table.

Final Thoughts

English speaking for kids can be a considerable challenge, especially when English is their second language. To learn a new language, you need to understand the words and when and how to use them.

Idioms are a great way to introduce your child to the endless capabilities in which they can use words. Get your kid started by making them understand what idioms are with lots of examples.

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