River Forest Public Library River Forest Public Library

April Family Literacy Tip

Word Jars

This tip and activity is inspired by an activity published by the New York Public Library in May 2020

By now, we have established the importance of making reading fun for your family. 

Expanding the experience of a book to explore the stories, themes, and characters more is a great way to keep reading fun and 

What is a Word Jar? 

It’s a place to keep exciting and interesting words! 

As you read a book with your family, write down words you or your children find interesting. Save your next large pickle jar, get some fun colored strips of paper, and go to town! As you read the story, write the words that excite your child – or that they might not know – onto the strips of paper and slip them into the story as a bookmark to remember the page. When you’re through with the book, flip back through and look at the words again. Talk about what they mean, jot down the definition on the strip of paper, then put the word into your jar. 

Want to take this activity a step further? Use the Word Jar to create a word of the day! Pick a word out of the jar at a meal time and encourage family members to use that word in a sentence during the meal. Or pick one in the morning to put on the fridge and use the word throughout the day! This will help build vocabulary and strengthen working memory of stories.