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If you’re looking to teach your kids the tenth letter of the English alphabet and words that start with J, you are in the right place. While the letter J is an important part of the English alphabet, it can be hard for little readers to learn and remember.

In case you have already tried to teach your kid about the letter, you may have noticed that children tend to forget it sooner. This is because J is among the letters of the English alphabet that are used the least.

Not being able to find enough words that start with J or contain the letter in it makes it harder for children to remember. For little learners to learn something and retain it for longer, they should actively practice building their vocabulary.

In this post, we will discuss all that a child needs to know about the letter, from pronunciation to learning words that start with J.


Interesting fact: The letter J reminds us of the roots of English, standing for the old English rune ‘ger.’ In Latin, it does the same for initial ‘I’.

What Makes J Hard to Learn?

Uncommon Letter

While words like juice or jam do exist, there are very few words that start with the letter J that children can use in their daily life. This means it’s difficult for children to point out words that start with J or even words that contain the letter.

On the other hand, if you give them a much more common letter, like A or U, they find it easier to spot things that begin with or include the letter. What makes J an uncommon letter is the fact that it a consonant.

Moreover, it’s a consonant that you can’t spot in commonly used words. You can easily understand this by comparing it to another consonant such as L or S.

Difficult Pronunciation

When kids first begin to learn their ABCs, J is taught to make the ‘juh’ sound as it does in words like jar and jam. For adults, it’s an easy thing to learn and recognize words starting with J.

However, it may not be the same for young readers. What usually happens is that kids start to associate the ‘juh’ sound with the letter J only.

Oftentimes, you will notice that other letters such as G may be carrying the same ‘juh’ sound. As opposed to the sound of the letter J, G is taught to make the ‘guh’ and doesn’t have a sound of its own.

As a result, children tend to get confused between the sounds of different letters. Sometimes, the letters dg together make the j sound, such as in words like hedge or ledge.

Not only this, but the letter also makes the ‘y’ sound in a few words.

Vocabulary Words Starting With J

Learning vocabulary words is important to develop better communication skills. It would have been impossible to describe things and convey ideas, feelings, and thoughts.

Teaching as many words as possible to a child is important because the more words they know, the better they can communicate.

The best age to enrich a child’s vocabulary is during preschool or taking elementary classes. This is because it teaches them better ways of communication, making them more confident.

Not only this, but a vast vocabulary is also important so that they can understand the thoughts and views of other people as well. Let’s have a look at words that start with J for students in their pre-K, Kindergarten, and elementary classes.

Preschool and Kindergarten Words that Start with J

Little learners in the kindergarten or preschool phase are mostly only learning the ABCs and trying to learn and identify the letters of the English alphabet.

This is when teachers start introducing them to words that start with all 26 letters. While it seems helpful for kids to remember and differentiate between the letters, it can also be difficult.

A lot of preschoolers and kindergarteners are too young to learn long lists of words, especially if they are hard to pronounce and learn the meaning of.

When trying to introduce a child to words that start with J, make sure you start with shorter and easier words. Below is a short list of easy to understand and short J words:

  • Join: To connect two or more than two things together
  • Joy: A strong feeling of happiness
  • Jar: A container made of glass
  • Jacket: An outer garment that is shorter than a coat
  • Joke: A funny statement or act
  • Jump: To push yourself up in the air so that your feet do not touch the ground
  • Jab: To roughly poke through with something sharp or pointed
  • Jog: To run at a slower pace


Exercise #1:

Say the following words out loud and identify whether the ‘juh’ sound is being made by J or not.

  • Giraffe
  • Judge
  • Jewelry
  • Edge
  • Jellyfish
  • Hallelujah


  • No
  • Here, the j makes the first ‘juh’ sound while dg make the second
  • Yes
  • No
  • Yes
  • No (Here, J is making the y sound)

Elementary School Words that Start With J

Elementary school kids are older and can move on to learning words that are a little longer and more meaningful. Let’s have a look at J words that are suitable to be taught to lower and upper elementary students.

Lower Elementary

  • Jolt: A sudden movement or shock
  • Joint: A point where things are joined together
  • Jostle: To run or push into something
  • Just: Right and Fair, or a synonym for the word ‘only.’
  • Journey: A long trip

Upper Elementary

  • Jell: To come together to make overall sense
  • Jumbo: Something that is excessively large
  • Jut: To stick something out of an object
  • Jiffy: A very short period of time
  • Justify: To provide an explanation for something

Fun Activities to Help Kids Learn Words that Start with J

We understand that most children find elementary school studies to be hard. This is because new concepts like adjectives or prime numbers are introduced. For this reason, we provide children with printable worksheets to help them understand better.

Little children can be forgetful when they’re learning a lot of new words and meanings. To reinforce new meanings and concepts, it is important that they practice and are actively involved in the learning process.

  • You can ask your kids to act out the J words if that is possible. For instance, you can ask your child to ‘jilter’ or ‘jolt.’ Doing so will form a long-lasting association in their mind, meaning they will remember it for longer. Besides this, children do not easily get bored of such activities and will continue wanting to learn newer words this way.
  • You can try an activity on a word that is hard for a child to learn. This will form a connection in their mind that will help them memorize and retain it for longer. For instance, you can easily create a worksheet based on the word ‘jungle.’ This way, you can introduce them to other elements of a jungle, such as animals and trees, to spark interest. Or if you are trying to teach the concept of ‘joints,’ you can use visual aids or let them experiment with different body movements to remember how joints help in movement.

Exercise #2

Draw or act out the meanings of words that start with J. To make learning J words more fun, let us try to draw and act out the following words:

  • Jersey
  • Juggle
  • Jump
  • Jug
  • Jelly
  • Jolt

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some 5-letter J words: Juice, Jolly, Jewel, Japan, Joker, Jelly, Jumbo, Joint, Jaded, Jumpy

Some words that start with J to describe a person are: Jolly, Jovial, Jobless, Joyful, Junior

These are some positive words starting with the letter J: Joyful, Jubilant, Jovial, Jocular, Justified, Jaunty

Kids can easily learn the following J words: Joke, Jelly, June, July, Jar, Judge, Jolt, Just

Here are J words that are most commonly used: Jacket, Jam, Jail, Joy, Just, Jewelry, Juggle

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