Apple of the eye, the cherry on the cake, and actions speak louder than words, are some ways humans express themselves. But what if some other species were to listen to us? Would they get what we are trying to say? Of course not!! Idioms contain metaphorical data and interesting analogies which are a reflection of the metalinguistic skills possessed by humans.
Hearing a person talk in metaphors is fun to some and stupid to others. Nonetheless, a universal opinion of using idioms in conversations is that a person is a good conversationalist or high on verbal intelligence. And great communication can leave a lasting impression. Hence, it’s important to start at the right age.
So, while many couldn’t learn idioms properly during school, there are several online games that give a helping hand to learners of all ages.
Amp up language skills with online idiom games
Idioms can make a conversation great and it’s very important for an individual to have a basic understanding of them. Hence, through the below-mentioned idiom games, one can easily practice and enrich their understanding of idioms.
1. Hold the Phone
Hold the Phone is a very simple idiom game. Providing visual cues to the player, the game provides random pictures of objects along with an idiom. The player has several attempts at choosing the correct pictures. The game gives multiple chances to the player and uses very direct images for the idiom asked. Once the correct pictures have been selected and submitted, the player has to answer the meaning of the idiom, choosing amongst the 3 options provided.
Holding the phone can be a very interactive and visually stimulating game for young players. And it can definitely help keep them engaged through an educational exercise.
2. Idioms and Proverbs
Idioms and proverbs provide hands-on training to little one about the proper phrasing and meaning of idioms and proverbs. Coming in jumbled sentences format, idioms and proverbs want the player to put the words in the correct format.
The correct format may not be the right grammatical format, rather, it must the phrased the way the idiom is used. Below the jumbled idiom is the meaning, which can further help in the identification of the idiom.
3. Feelings slang game
Feelings slang game is an idiom learning game in a match the following format. Unlike easy picture idiom games, feelings slang games use incomplete sentences that need to be filled with the correct idiom. The game can be slightly difficult for children under the age of 10.
As the name suggests feelings slang game is all about feeling idioms in general, such as bare your heart, bored to tears, etc. Through the game, one can learn their meanings and how to use such idioms in conversations. Another good thing about the feelings slang game is that it doesn’t use very difficult or niche idioms, instead, keeps them mainstream and practical.
4. Food slang game
The food slang game is a tweaked version of the feelings slang game. While the former was based on feelings, the food slang game uses food expressions as questions. The format of the game remains the same, asking the player to fill the incomplete sentences with the appropriate idiom.
Food idioms can be like a bad apple, a smart cookie, etc. The player has to match the sentence with the idiom and then submit the whole activity together. The game enriches the player’s vocabulary of idioms and involves them in practicing the idioms in a regular conversation.
5. Idiomatic Expressions Common Race Game
The idiomatic expressions common race game is a two-player game. The game opens with a race between two players, which are cats. Each player gets a turn to answer the meaning of the idiom. When a player gives the right answer, he/she gets a sprint and goes ahead. While if they give a wrong answer, the other player moves forward.
The idiomatic expressions add an interesting angle of car winning to help the child relate to the thought of being ahead or going ahead. The idioms are very simple and perfectly match the cognitive capacity of a young learner.
“Idioms” is a simple quiz for children learning the meaning of idioms. The game uses pictures, meanings, and sentences to help the player understand the meaning and usage of the idiom.
Idioms don’t use very difficult idioms, hence, it can be a perfect way to expose young children to the idioms and even teach them their meaning. The pictures are neutral so that the game only tests the understanding of the player.
7. Idioms Game
The Idioms game might sound too plain and boring, however, it’s a very well-formed game for older children. The idioms used can be a bit challenging, however, the player can be assured of immense learning through this game.
The idioms game also uses quality visuals to provide the child with clarity about the analogy and in-depth meaning of the idiom. The idiom is given and alongside 3 options are provided, from which the player needs to select the right meaning of the idiom. The game can be worth playing with a young one, as most of their idioms would be additions to their vocabulary.
8. Idiom Connection
Idiom connection hosts an extensive collection of idioms. Idioms are divided on the basis of alphabets, colors, animals, bodies, clothes, and almost everything. The game’s collection is its biggest USP and one can find almost any type of idiom here. Hence, idiom connection can be the go-to-idiom game for a large set of population, looking for a good idiom bank.
The format of the game is like a quiz. The player can approach the game based on any category, be it alphabetical order, color, animal, etc. Based on the selection, the player is presented with the idiom and 4 options about the meaning. The player has to find the correct meaning of all the questions in the quiz. After completing the quiz, the player can find the correct answers and get a score.
9. Eye on Idioms
Eye on idioms uses the same technique of images and idioms. It presents a picture to the player and provides an incomplete line. The incomplete line needs to be filled with the correct idiom based on the meaning inferred from the picture.
Once the correct idiom is selected, the player has to write the metaphorical meaning of the idiom as well as create a sentence of their own with the idiom. The game has just seven levels, but the difficulty increases with each. It offers a great way to learn metaphorical meanings and idiom usage in conversations.
10. Idiom Game#2
The Idiom game is essentially, to match idioms with their meaning. The game presents a box of idioms on the screen. Under which meanings are given and beside them is a small box. The game is timed and after each attempt, i.e. moving out of idioms from the box, the time limit increases. The game uses two and three-word idioms that are often used in everyday conversations, thus, enriching vocabulary.
In the end, the player gets a score and a tick on the right answers. The leaderboard consists of people that have had a great ranking in the game. Hence, it’s both challenging and informative for individuals to play.
Idioms: A powerful expression of speech?
Idioms present metaphorical meanings and don’t usually have a literal meaning. Hence, calling upon the analogous and metaphorical understanding of the reader. A communicator who uses analogies and metaphors is considered to be practicing superior communication skills. Similarly, idioms also enrich a conversation and create a respectful aura for the communicator. In the early years, the acquisition of idioms can lead to enhanced figurative language development. The study1 by Marilyn A. Nippold found that metalinguistic activity becomes refined during childhood and adolescence, and idioms can be a powerful tool in assessing that.
Idioms can make conversations flow and last longer. They provide us with a greater depth than a literal sentence can provide. Since technology has touched us all, there is no way one cannot use online sources to learn idioms. Through online games, the pursuit is, even more, easier, more convenient, and more engaging. At the same time, not just idioms, and online games can be used to inculcate other concepts of English like punctuation, articles, and even vocabulary. No matter what the age, these games do not discriminate among their players. So, make sure to give them a try!
- Nippold, M. A., & Taylor, C. L. (1995). Idiom Understanding in Youth: Further Examination of Familiarity and Transparency. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 38(2), 426–433. https://doi.org/10.1044/jshr.3802.426