Written by 11:43 pm Alphabet and Letter Sounds

Letter Y, /y/

Letter Y

Teaching The Letter Y

Start by teaching your child to pronounce the letter Y properly. Tell your child to raise the middle part of their tongue, but not touch the roof of their mouth. The tongue should be in a rainbow shape. Move the tongue away from the roof of their mouth to make the letter Y sound.

It is possible that your child will know some of these words that start with Y:







If you are serious about teaching the letter Y to your child then you need to be consistent. Reading to your child daily is a must. There are special letter Y books available to buy online and in stores. It is possible that you could borrow these from your library too. Choose books that have nursery rhymes and funny drawings in them, as this will be entertaining for your toddler. You will also need a lot of patience when you are teaching young children.

It is possible that your child could have the letter Y in their name, and if this is the case, start by spelling out the letters of their name to show them where Y appears. If a Y is not present in your child’s name, then try to find other names starting with Y. You may have a family member or a TV character that your child knows with this kind of name. Once you find a name, spell out the letters using toy letters to confirm to your child that the name starts with Y.

Here are some names that start with Y that could help:









Your Child Will Be Much More Willing To Learn If It Is Fun For Them

When children are young they get bored very easily, and you want to avoid this when teaching them. You need to have fun teaching the letter Y with your child. Creating a link between fun and learning will help them for many years to come. There are some ideas for letter Y activities that are fun later in this article. Letter Y worksheets are a fun place to start. These are available online, and you should choose worksheets that have fun illustrations to keep your child entertained.

How much do you think your child would enjoy learning and singing letter Y songs with you? They are likely to enjoy this immensely, and it is something that you should do. There are lots of Y songs around, so choose the good ones. The same goes for letter Y videos. They will be fun for your child. A good example of a letter Y song that is in video format can be found below.

Children Learning Reading Program

It is essential that you put the time in to sing the letter Y song together with your toddler. This will be an amazing experience for them, and they won’t forget it. They will probably enjoy this so much that they will want to repeat this activity many times. Always try to accommodate them with this. The same goes for watching letter Y videos together.


Letter Y Activities For Preschool Kids That Can Be Great Fun

What can you do after the learning and singing of songs, playing with worksheets and watching videos? Well you can:

Search Around Your Home For Things That Start With Y

You and your child can have a lot of fun looking for things that start with the letter Y at home. You are not likely to find many things, and if you are stuck with this look for yarn, a yoyo, a yard outside and yogurt. Whatever you come up with, show your child the object, and then spell out the words so that they can see each one begins with a Y.

Move on to think about words that start with Y that your child may have heard members of the family say, or even heard on the TV. There will be many more of these and some examples are yacht, yawn, yes, year, yesterday, young, yearn, yellow, you, your, yardstick and yoga. If you need to explain what these words mean, then use real life examples (you can nod your head to indicate “yes”) or pictures to do this. Spell out the words for your child by writing them or using magnetic letters.

Now you can think about words with Y in them, but exclude those words starting with Y. There will be quite a lot of these and some good examples would be say, day, May. January, February, July, cry, sly, fry, baby, gym, happy, lucky, try, my, why, pray, ray and gray. Again you can use images or real life examples if the words have to be explained. Spelling out the letters is really important here, as you will want your child to know where the letter Y occurs in each word.

You will find that your child really enjoys these “Y words” games and you want to take this outdoors too. When you are out travelling with your child in the car or on the train, look for signs that contain the letter Y somewhere in them. If you are in a restaurant or a store then look for letter Y words there too. Write down all the sign names and other words that you find, so that you can spell these out later with your child.

What About Animals That Start With Y?

It is very likely that your toddler will think that animals are fun. So you can look for animals that begin with Y. There are not many of these and you can search for them online. To get you started there is the yak, yellow baboon and yellow billed hornbill. Once you have found some animals, spell out their names so you can show your child that they all start with a Y.

Something that will be a bit easier is to find animals with the letter Y in their name but not at the beginning. There are a few of these and you can start with fly, butterfly, dragonfly, wallaby, ladybug, lynx, monkey, oryx, python and hyena. Whatever animals you find, spell out the names so that your child will know where the letter Y is situated.

What Is The Difference Between Capital Letter Y And Lower Case Y?

Even when your child is just starting to learn about the letter Y, you can tell them about capital letters. A good way to do this is to find pictures of the letter Y in both formats. You are looking for big letter Y (capital letter Y) and small letter Y (lower case Y). Give an example to your child of where a capital letter Y would be used, such as the name of a town or city.

Search online for the pictures of letter Y in both formats. Once you find some good ones you can print them out. You could use your word processor instead and just type capital Y and lower case Y. This is fine, but use a large font here as you will want to print this. Ask your child to trace around the two letter formats so that they become familiar with them.

Phonics Instruction Will Make Your Child A Better Reader

Tell your child about the phonics of the letter Y. Explain to them that each letter of the alphabet, including Y, has their own unique sounds known as phonemes. When some letters are combined they produce phonemes too. It is essential that your child develops good phonemic awareness, as this will play a big part in their future reading success. There is more information about the letter Y sounds below.Jim's children learning reading program

English Alphabet LETTER Y SOUNDS:


Y  /y/:

The 25th letter in the alphabet is Y and it is both a consonant AND a vowel! The 5 main vowels in the English alphabet are A, E, I, O, U and then sometimes Y making it number 6. And to top that off, the letter Y has several Phonemes or sounds.

BABY or HAPPY: Y sounds like “yee” /ee/

GYM or GYPSY: Y sounds like a short /i/ /ih/

CRY or FLY: Y sounds like “eye” /igh/

With Letters that have so many different sounds we want you to only teach your child the basic code describing the Y sound as /ee/ and NOT any other sound.


BOX: /b/ /o/ /ks/

FIX: /f/ /i/ /ks/


Exercises for /y/

  1. Before you begin, print a piece of paper for the Letter Y /ee/
  2. Also print a piece of paper with the following words for Y:
  1. Show your child the Letter on the index card or paper and repeat the letter sound several times: Y /ee/
  2. Take time with your child to be sure the /y/ sound is pronounced correctly as /ee/
  3. Listen carefully as your child repeats the sound after you
  4. Ask your child if different words have the /y/ sound and wait to see the response. Always repeat the word using the letter sound to be sure your child knows the sound
  5. Continue to repeat other short sound I words such as YOU, SMELLY, WAY, YOUR
  6. Have fun asking your child to replace a letter in one of the words to make a different word:
    1. If you delete the /y/ from SMELLY what would the sound be? [SMELL]
    2. What if you replace the /a/ in FAX with an /i/ instead? [FIX]
    3. How will YET sound if you replace the /y/ with a /j/? [JET]
    4. What sound will you make if you take away the /s/ in YES and use /l/? [YELL]
  7. Finalize the lesson by asking your child what sound the Y /ee/ makes


It Is Not Difficult To Teach Your Child To Read At Home With The Right Instructions

You are the best person to teach your child how to read, because they trust you and love you. Teaching them to read before they attend school will give them a real head start, and you don’t need to be a teacher to do this successfully. What you need is a set of instructions and the right materials so that you can deliver short but effective reading lessons each day.

A high quality reading program will provide this to you. There are all sorts of reading programs out there, and you want to choose one that uses synthetic phonics and develops your child’s phonemic awareness. Also you want to go for a proven program. Jim Yang’s Children Learning Reading program ticks all of these boxes and many more. This is an inexpensive program that is very effective, and has thousands of parents raving about it. Find out more about Children Learning Reading here.

Please proceed to the final letter in this alphabet teaching series which is the letter Z

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