Word Collection Jars

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Affiliate Links Our word collection started when JJ’s teacher read aloud Donavan’s Word Jar to her class. JJ wanted to start a word collection jar at home. Of course, I was happy to oblige!

word collection jars for learning new words and saving favorites

Find a Jar

We found jars and labeled them. One of these days, we may get fancier and decorate the jars but we wanted to get right to our collecting so we left that until later.


Find Words for the Word Collection

We began with old magazines. We looked for interesting words to cut out and keep in the word jars.

Picture Books
We found many wonderful, juicy words in the picture books we read. For example, the book King Hugo’s Huge Ego gave us about twenty words for our jar! JJ wrote down these words on slips of paper and added them to her collection.

Chapter Books
We’re reading with sticky notes to jot down favorite words, too. These words can be looked up in the dictionary and added to your word collection, too. Not only that, but it will get kids thinking metacognitively and prepare them for annotating texts later on in school.

vocabulary word collection

Word Play Activities

Here are ways you can play more with words…

Get silly with tongue twisters. They’re a blast!

Or learn palindromes. These are my favorite, way more than my kids. I’m weird like that.

Try playing a word game. These can be as simple as hangman or as tricky as anagrams. We love vocabulary games like Oddly Obvious and Mad Libs: The Game, too.

Finally, make up silly words by combing two words together. My favorite made-up word of my own is snoph (sneeze + cough) but it still hasn’t caught on yet. Which is weird because we NEED that word! Right?

Our Favorite Word-Loving Books

Read books that celebrate words. Books like these…

P is for Pterodactyl

Max's Words
Max’s Words

The Boy who Loved Words
The Boy Who Loved Words

Donovan's Word Jar
Donavan’s Word Jar

13 Words
13 Words (
my review here)

Carmine A Little More Red 

z is for moose
Z is for Moose

Make Your Own Parts of Speech Books

Just for fun, and maybe for when you play Mad Libs, you can use your cut-out words to make your own parts of speech books.

Word Collections

books about words

Use Your Words for Art Journaling


You Might Like

Write Your Own Mad Libs
Writing Gifts for Kids
Found Poetry Using Old Magazines
Word Play Fun for Kids
15 Ways to Learn New Vocabulary 
Picture Books That Teach Grammar, Figurative Language, and Punctuation

45 Responses

  1. Pingback: Blurt Word Game
  2. This goes right along with the magnetic board made from a oil change pan. I think my second graders would love collecting words while we read Donovan’s. Then we could make parts of speech books shaped like jars and also play with phrases with magnetic words on this oil pan mounted on the wall. Many active ideas using words – Such FUN!

  3. My daughters aren’t reading yet, but I’m saving this fab idea so that I’m ready when they are! Thanks for joining the challenge, Melissa. You’re brilliant!

  4. I love this! our daughter JUST started reading at 4 and a half and she has built a small list of words. We can do this! Thanks!

  5. Loving this idea!
    I recently printed out some sheets of letters and numbers for my four year old to cut and paste with. He has just become letter and word crazy and he would love this idea too!

    1. well adding paste to anything is fun – that and tape. My daughter got hold of the duct tape and went crazy in her bedroom with duct tape and scissors. It will stay forever until I repaint. LOL. Maybe a word collage with his words and paste? 🙂

  6. What a fabulous idea, and the text of magazines titles is so colourful and appealing, and a great way of learning about different fonts.

  7. Love this idea. I am pinning it to do when my son can read a little better. Wish I had thought of this idea when I was teaching. This would’ve been so fun to have done with my students!

    I haven’t read Max’s Words yet, so I will have to add it to our “must read” list!

  8. Max’s Words is such a perfect book to read if you do a word collection! What fun! Love it!!!

    I like the idea of journals too. We tried the magnetic words but now our fridge is stainless steel so it doesn’t stick. My kids, though, didn’t really use the magnetic word poetry set. Maybe for older kids??

    1. I think it depends on the kid – we have these magnetic words and phrases that are different colors for subject / predicate and JJ plays and reads them all the time. AJ has never shown the slightest interest in them. Go figure.

  9. Fun! I was going to write about how my teenage daughter made found poetry from her word collection, but I see you already have a link to something similar. Great minds…

    Here it is anyway: http://patriciazaballos.com/how-we-homeschool/ (It’s a post on homeschooling, but you can read about my daughter’s found poetry towards the bottom.)

    When I’ve worked with teen writers, I’ve found that they love collecting words. We always did it in journals, but I bet they’d like the jar idea too.

  10. This will be a fun addition to magnets I have on the fridge that depict emotions. I feel _____ silly, made, happy. Word jars could expand those thoughts in fun ways.

  11. It’s always nice to get one more use out of a magazine before tossing it in the recycling bin. A nice collection of word activities here, Mellissa. -heather

  12. Love this idea! I’m always excited about presenting words and reading/writing ideas in a creative and playful manner!

    We too played around with word cuttings and then collaging in today’s challenge 🙂

  13. I ADORE this idea! Big M has flown through his sight words at school and I have been thinking of other ways to encourage new words. I just put Donavan’s word jar on hold at the library and we will be busy making these word jars as soon as it comes in. Thank you, thank you!!!

  14. Brilliant. Love the idea of word jars! We are slowly beginning to learn our alphabet and my son will adore this when we progress to words!


  15. Love this idea and I know my daughter will love it! She is fascinated with letters and sounds now and is on the verge of reading soon! Cutting out words will be a great activity for her! Thanks!

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