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Word Teasers Game, Idioms Edition Review by Donna Campos

ELM Education Marketing, LLC
PO Box 1141
Manhattan Beach, CA 90267

WordTeasers are a conveniently sized game of 3" square sturdy cardstock cards that include questions to improve language skills, this particular version is the Idioms Edition. Packaged in a sturdy double box design of bright yellow color with a gloss finish, the included 150 cards include an Idiom Challenge on one side in a yellow accented design with the Meaning and Origin on the opposite side in black and white. Designed to challenge kids, their friends, and families by providing amusing and thought provoking questions involving everyday idioms, the game will get everyone talking, laughing, and thinking as they improve their language skills. Appropriate for ages 10+, the game may be enjoyed by any number of players. One instructional card is included that includes two options for game play; the Idioms Challenge and the Idioms Charade. Both game options will improve language skills in an enjoyable manner while improving basic understanding of 150 idioms used in the English language.

The Idioms Challenge game has the first player draw a WordTeaser card to read to the second player, who must give the meaning of the idiom and then answer the challenge. If answered correctly, the player keeps the card, play continues with the second player drawing a card to read to the third player, and so on. Cards are collected for correct answers and the player with the most cards wins. The Idioms Charade game begins when the first player draws a WordTeaser card and silently reads the meaning and origin of the idiom, he then must attempt to "act out" the idiom, using both words and actions. The player who correctly guesses the idiom gets to keep the idiom card, the same goal of being the player with the most cards at the end of game play yields the winner. The WordTeasers cards may be used as created, for game purposes, or separately for students struggling with the understanding of idioms, or both. Children who enjoy games with a dramatic flair will enjoy the game more than those who shy away from the spotlight. Homeschools that prefer fewer games and more textbook focus will find good information in the cards and may choose to never play games with WordTeasers as they are designed.

Our family loves games, and when a game includes educational value and an opportunity for character improvement through family discussion, we are thrilled. WordTeasers provides these aspects in a combination we found unbeatable. Parent Teachers can remove any cards beforehand if they are found to be less than desirable, but with 150 cards, there are still plenty of cards to improve language skills and understanding even with some removed. And even if the question or use of the idiom is not to your standard, the idiom is provided and allows you the opportunity to design your own, more acceptable, version. Some cards will throw you into deep family discussions when someone has to answer "Who in your family thinks he or she is the head honcho?" And an opportunity for talking about the worldly desire of money is quickly supplied with the question "Would you rather take a job that you loved that paid chicken feed or a job that you hated that paid the big bucks?" And if you are feeling at all awkward in approaching dating, the idiom "play the field" provides the perfect opportunity for some open talk of the topic. Quite a few of the cards include references to school, principals, and teachers, as well as the expectations parents place on students. Honesty will work its way into many of the discussions as idioms often reference character value, while your entire family will gain a greater understanding of the idioms that tease many of us. Some of the cards reference historical information, for example: "pay through the nose" claims origination from the Danes who invaded Ireland and imposed high taxes, while "climb the walls" is an expression going back to military men climbing castle and fortress walls. Each of these idioms provides an excellent opportunity for further research. Another educational use of the cards would be for students to flip through the cards for writing projects to choose a few good idioms to include in their written assignments. Parents may even choose to assign specific writing assignments around a particular idiom involving decisions of character, the "wet blanket," "give someone the cold shoulder," and "fix their wagon" cards would be ideal for this sort of use. Even gender questions could be addressed with the question, "Who's more likely to fly off the handle--boys or girls?" Throughout our reading of the cards, and I did my best to read each and every one, I found no evolutionary content, one claim to a Bible story as the origination of "the writing on the wall," and at least ten cards with comments regarding a school environment.

WordTeasers is a hit for our family. With a child on the autism spectrum, idioms have been an incredibly difficult concept to understand and the WordTeasers Idioms edition is an excellent source of idioms in a game playing design. The older age level was welcomed by our family, but we did not find anything too objectionable for younger students able to understand the general concept of idioms in language. The flexibility of using the cards for writing assignments, character improvement, and as a game, make WordTeasers much more than a card game or an educational tool. Our family enjoyed the game and actually appreciated the availability of the cards for schoolwork, as our older children chose to use the cards to improve their writing. Learning and fun are an unbeatable combination regularly enjoyed in home schools, and WordTeasers have other editions available, including the College Prep Edition and World Culture and Geography Edition. We love the WordTeasers Idioms Edition and look forward to years of educational game play! provides a wonderful way to learn and understand idioms more fully while enjoying family game time simultaneously. The fun and convenient size will make these little cards a consistently used part of your game library.

Product Review by Donna Campos, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2008