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Learning Jar Activities

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Our bookshelves and bins are full of learning manipulatives that have a tendency to get lost in the shuffle. Thanks to an idea from Ami at Walking by the Way, we’ve found a fun way to add them into our school time and also fill those time gaps that inevitably happen in our homeschool day.

  Learning Jar Activities

Meet our  Learning Jar. Stuffed inside this jar there are bunches of colorful pieces of paper. Each of the colored slips has the name of a learning manipulative or activity written on it. Pssst…I’ll share a list below of some of our favorites!


On each of our kids Workbox Weekly Grid schedule, there is a small card for a ‘jar activity’. When there is a lull in their schoolwork or they need to wait for my help during the day, they open up the jar and pull our a slip of paper that is their color and work on that activity. Each color is for a different child – purple: Laurianna, yellow: McKenna, blue: Zachary, and green: Kaleb.


Once the activity is completed, the slip of paper is dropped into the finished jar. Certain children have been know to otherwise ‘stack’ the jar in their favor to get the same activity each day {ahem}.


The basket is stuffed to overflowing!

A few of the activities are stored in a bin on our school shelves and there are others located around the school room. Before writing activities and names of games on the paper slips, I went through the room shelf by shelf, drawer by drawer, and wrote down the names of everything in a notebook.

At one point I even got all crazy organized and had the activities divided out by categories, but that eventually was put aside. Then the paper slip writing began and the jar was filled to overflowing.

Ideas for Your Learning Jar


Here is a list of the learning games, puzzles, and other activities that we have listed in our Learning Jar for the kids to grab and do. Keep in mind, some of these may involve another child, so if someone isn’t available, the kids will grab another slip and save that one out to use as soon as they can!

Don’t forget to take a peek at Ami’s list of learning ideas – she has many that we don’t use! :)

Puzzles and Learning Manipulatives

Educational and Other Fun Games

Learning Printables and Ideas

    Have a few of these learning printables ready to go and add them to your list!


What are some activities and games that you would add to your Learning Jar? I’m always on the lookout for new things to add! Would you leave a comment with your suggestion?


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  1. What fun! I need to do this really bad! I would add sum swamp, magnetic pattern blocks, education cubes, chalk pastel lesson, craft projects, and math links.

  2. Very fun! Great idea – I think my daughter would enjoy something like that!

  3. beccaboo435 says

    Great idea!

  4. Claire @ angelicscalliwags says

    This is so helpful! When I put my littles down for a nap there is always an inevitable lapse in things to do and this would be perfect to fill this time with. And likewise we have lots of bits that are not being used. Thank you, thank you!!

  5. Great idea! I will need to get this ready for this fall. Thanks for the idea. Our shelves are full of fun stuff, but don’t get used often enough. :)

  6. A really good idea! We have tons of things that could go into each category of the jar. We also have a ‘new words’ jar’ that’s fun to do. Each time we learn a new word from a book, we put it in there and then draw a word out and try to make a sentence with it. It’s fun!

  7. Woo Hoo!!! The guilt is gone! I’m a curriculum junkie and I have so many “fun” things I’ve accumulated because “someday, we’ll use that,” or I always think I can squeeze it in, but never do. Now, I know we’ll put it all to good use. Now, to find a jar big enough to hold all those little slips of paper!!

  8. markntiff777 says

    Great idea!! Thanks! I will definitely be using this! ;)

  9. Kaysha Ballentine says

    What a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing! I might have to adapt something similar for our school time!

  10. I love this idea! I’ve been collecting homeschool “stuff” for years to get ready to teach our now 5 year old, and I hadn’t figured out how to move that stuff from the shelf to being actively used.

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