68 Examples of Idioms for Kids

Updated July 19, 2022
Cake Icon With Examples of Idioms for Kids
    Cake Icon With Examples of Idioms for Kids
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    Used under Getty Images license

Idioms are word combinations that have a different figurative meaning than the literal meanings of each word or phrase. They can be confusing for kids or people learning a language as they don't mean what they say.

He's as cool as a cucumber is an everyday idiom, but if you've never heard it before you might wonder what cold fruit (or vegetable?) has to do with the situation! Isn't it a fun way to say "he's very calm," though?

We have compiled a huge list of common examples of idioms for kids to learn and become more familiar with these these crazy, creative phrases. Use them to express yourself in an interesting way.

Everyday Idioms

  • A grey area – Something unclear
  • A rip-off – Too expensive
  • Add fuel to the fire – To add more to an existing problem
  • As easy as ABC – Something is very easy
  • Call it a day – Time to quit
  • Cool as a cucumber – To be very calm under stress
  • Crack a book – Open up a book and study
  • Down to the wire – At the last minute
  • Draw a blank – Can’t remember
  • Fill in the blanks – Provide more information
  • Get a kick out of it – Really enjoy/like something
  • Get your act together – Behave properly
  • Give it a shot – To try to do something
  • Have mixed feelings – Be unsure of how you feel
  • Have second thoughts – Have doubts
  • In hot water – Be in trouble
  • In the same boat – Be in the same situation
  • It’s in the bag – It’s a certainty
  • I've got your number – To say you can't be fooled by someone since you have them figured out
  • Miss the boat – You missed your chance
  • Mumbo jumbo – To call something total nonsense
  • Out of the blue – With no warning
  • Pass with flying colors – To succeed at something easily
  • Piece of cake – Something very easy
  • Read between the lines – Find the hidden meaning
  • Second to none – The best
  • The icing on the cake – Something additional that turns good into great

Body Part Idioms

  • Cross your fingers – For good luck
  • Fell on deaf ears – People wouldn't listen to something
  • Get cold feet – Be nervous
  • Giving the cold shoulder – Ignore someone
  • Have a change of heart – Changed your mind
  • I’m all ears – You have my full attention
  • It cost an arm and a leg – It was expensive
  • Play it by ear – Improvise
  • See eye to eye – Agree
  • Slipped my mind – I forgot
  • Speak your mind – Say what you really feel

Animal Idioms

  • A bull in a china shop - Someone who is very clumsy
  • A little birdie told me - Someone told me a secret
  • Bee in her bonnet - She is upset
  • Birdbrain - Someone who is not very smart
  • Busy as a bee – To be very active and working hard at something
  • Cat got your tongue? - Why aren’t you talking?
  • Cry crocodile tears - To pretend to be upset
  • Curiosity killed the cat - Asking too many questions may get you in trouble
  • Different kettle of fish - Something completely different
  • Doggy bag - A bag to take home leftovers from a restaurant
  • Fish out of water - Being somewhere you don’t belong
  • For the birds - Something that is not worth anything
  • Get off your high horse - Quit thinking you are better than others
  • Goose is cooked - Now you’re in trouble
  • Hold your horses - Wait a minute
  • Horse of a different color - Something that is quite different, a separate issue
  • Hot dog - A person doing athletic stunts that are dangerous
  • Let the cat out of the bag - Tell a secret
  • Make a mountain out of a molehill - Make something unimportant into a big deal
  • Night owl - Someone who stays up late
  • Pig out - To eat a lot
  • Put a bug in his ear - Make a suggestion
  • Raining cats and dogs - It is raining very hard
  • Snail's pace – To move extremely slow
  • Stir a hornet's nest – To cause a lot of trouble
  • Teacher's pet – The teacher's favorite student
  • The world is your oyster – You can achieve whatever/go wherever you want
  • When pigs fly - To say something is impossible
  • Wolf in sheep’s clothing - A person who pretends to be nice but is not
  • You can't teach an old dog new tricks - It’s harder for older people to learn new things

Unique Expressions

Idioms are a unique way to get your point across, and show just how fun language can be. Now that you've seen some suitable examples of idioms for kids you can see that it's a piece of cake to show your witty side by using an idiom in writing or conversation.

YourDictionary has lots of examples of different types of idioms. Check out some of our fun food idioms or interesting idioms that begin with prepositions too. You're sure to get a kick out of them!