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Activities with the letter Y

Thu, Sep 10, 2020

Activities with the Letter Y 

Hi, everyone! Here are some fun low-tech activities for your family to try together at home. Perhaps you can include this list of activities in your morning routine, or in your afternoon routine following nap time. Please note that we are compiling family literacy ideas for each letter of the alphabet -meaning that you'll have 26 days worth of songs, yoga postures, tongue twisters and more to have fun with! Enjoy :)

Fact of the day 

Yaya (yah-yah) means “Grandma” in Greek. Here's how children call their “Grandma” in several other countries : Nonna (non-na) in Italy ; Lola (low-lah) in the Philippines ; Tutu, Kuku (too-too, coo-coo) in Hawaii ; Jiddah (shid-dah) in Morocco ; Oba-Chan, Sobo (oh-bah-chan, soh-boh) in Japan ; Bibi (bee-bee) in Kenya ;  Savta (soft-tah) in Israel ; Abuela (ah-bway-la) in Peru. What about you –how do you call your grandmother?


Looking for a fun picture book to read?  

The Yawns are coming is the story of two best friends who are having a sleepover and intend to stay awake all night, but they are besieged by the Yawns... This book exists as an e-book too.  

I dare you not to yawn is a really funny story warning the young readers to absolutely avoid yawning, or... what happens next? Borrow the book to find out!  


Yawning Yoga 

Yoga routine by Laurie Jordan, social worker and yoga instructor. 

This can be done before bedtime. It is a good way to calm down. Move through the poses at your own pace. 


“Yawning Yoga helps me unwind, thank my body, my spirit, my mind. 

So after pj’s, brush and comb, I settle down with a gentle Om. 

Connecting with the soothing sound, connecting with the world around. 


Catch and release (Dharana) :

"Like fireflies caught up in a jar, my worries spark like little stars.  

I open the lid, and worries release. With one deep sigh, I am now at peace.” 


Origami Yatch 

Here’s how to make a simple origami yatch in less than five minutes! For this, you’ll need a square of origami paper, preferably one that’s blue on one side and white on the other side. 


Yes or No Game 

This game requires two players. It requires to think fast!  

One family member asks the questions, the other one replies –but without every using the words “yes” or “no”. The player is not allowed to nod or shake their head either. 

If more than two people are playing, you can keep track of the number of questions each player answered before saying a “yes” or a “no”.  

Example of questions that can be asked : 

  • Do you like horses? 
  • Have you ever heard a dog snore?
  • Do you have many cousins?
  • Have you ever run into a glass door you thought was closed?
  • Would you like to spend a vacation in an ice hotel? 

Or- to make it more difficult, a double question :  

  • What do you usually eat for breakfast? … Is that your favourite breakfast food? 



Yodeling is a form of singing which involves repeated and rapid changes of pitch between the low-pitch chest register and the high-pitch head register. Learn how to yodel with Pinkalicious and Peterrific! And here is a yodeling version of the Turnip folktale, called : Giant Peach Yodel 



Did you know that the Ottawa Public Library has its own Kids’ Youtube Channel? Check it out for some additional fun ideas of games, STEM and crafts that you can do from home and in your own backyard! 


Tongue Twister 

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread. Spread it thick, say it quick! 

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread. Spread it thicker, say it quicker!  

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread. Don’t eat with your mouth full!  

Yellow leather, yellow feather, yellow lemon...” 


Blog post contributed by Sarah from the Main Branch, Kristina from the Alta Vista Branch and Sherri from the Rosemount Branch. 


Interested in the other blog posts in this series? Click hereto see activities for the rest of the alphabet!