At the Y nurturing the potential of children and teens and building strength in our families is at the core of what we do.  During these uncertain times where we are encouraged to stay home the Y is here for you.  We encourage you and your families to explore, create, learn and laugh.  Embrace this opportunity to develop and grow together.

Weekly Resources: Monday June 1 – Sunday June 7

Each week the Y team will be providing new resources, activities and ideas for you to fill your week with! Click the day of the week for the resources.

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

Mental Wellness Monday

New This Week

Everyone has heroic potential – SuperBetter builds resilience, the ability to stay strong, motivated and optimistic even in the face of change and difficult challenges. Playing SuperBetter unlocks heroic potential to overcome tough situations and achieve goals that matter most. 

SuperBETTER APP

Past Resources

May 25

Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. Here are some ideas you and your kids can try out together!

Gratitude Games & Activities for Kids

May 18

Mindfulness The 5-4-3-2-1 method is a short, yet impactful mindfulness technique that benefits both children and adults. Kristen, a therapist with the Counseling and Social Services Branch at the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County in New Jersey teaches this one-minute exercise for coming back to the present and resting our minds.

5-4-3-2-1 Method

May 11

Your living room has become your kids’ classroom. You’re navigating the challenges of remote working, or juggling lesson planning with home life. Life has changed overnight, and we know it’s not easy. WE.org provides free support and resources—from plug and play lesson plans and activities for parents, to well-being tools for families and workplaces, and more. Explore the resources below. 

WE Resources

May 4

From Cosmic Kids, Peace Out is a new series of guided relaxations and visualizations for kids, give it try to start your week in the best way.

Peace Out Videos

April 27

While no one if straying far from home these days, we can place messages oh hope and reassurance around our neighbourhoods for others to enjoy. This simple rock painting activity will surely bring a smile to someone’s face.

April 20

Resilient kids are more likely to take healthy risks because they don’t fear falling short of expectations. They are curious, brave, and trusting of their instincts. They know their limits and they push themselves to step outside of their comfort zones. This helps them reach for their long-term goals and it helps them solve problems independently. This article from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital and one of the world’s leading research centres in its field, provides a great primer in setting a successful framework for resilient kids.

Resilience in Children Article

April 13

If we’re physically unwell, we let people know, we ask for help, it should be no different for mental health. This animation from the National Centre for Children and Families is designed to give young people aged 11-14 a common language and understanding of what we mean by mental health and how we can look after it.

Watch the Animation

April 6

It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. Acknowledging some level of concern, without panicking, is appropriate and can result in taking the necessary actions that reduce the risk of illness. This article from the National Association of School Psychologist provides strategies for helping children cope during this challenging time.

Read the Article


March 30

Teaching Mindfulness to kids in an appealing way can be tricky, here are 25 fun activities for kids that they’ll jump right on board with!

25 Mindfulness Practices

Today more than ever, mental health issues plague our youth on a daily basis. Here’s a list of interactive games on topics ranging from anxiety, relationships, self-esteem and social media

Interactive Mental Health Games

Try it Tuesday

New This Week

Try it Tuesday

If you’re looking for an interesting activity that will get you outside, consider taking up geocaching! This real-world, outdoor treasure-hunting activity has captured the attention of people around the world! 

Past Resources

May 26

Try these 7 kid friendly games to play on trail walks and nature hikes.

Nature Hike Games for Kids

May 19

Access a variety of games and puzzles, in addition to other resources, from Greg Tang Math to help make learning math fun. Puzzles are separated by grade level so you can easily find the appropriate one for your child.

Math Games

May 12

Scratch is a programming language and an online community where children can program and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animation with people from all over the world. As children create with Scratch, they learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. Scratch is designed and maintained by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab. 

Scratch Lab

May 5

Stop motion animation is a film making technique that makes inanimate objects appear to move on their own. To make it work, you place an object in front of a camera and snap a photo. You then move the object a tiny bit and snap another photo. Repeat this process twenty to ten thousand times, play back the sequence in rapid progression, and the object appears to move fluidly across the screen. Try it out with theses Tinkerlab instructions.

Stop Motion Animation Instructions

April 28

Wuzzles are word puzzles consisting of combinations of words, letters, figures or symbols positioned to create disguised words, phrases, names, places, sayings etc. This type of puzzle is called a rebus — a word and symbol puzzle that dates back more than 2,000 years to the Persian Empire. Here are some wuzzles to work your way through.

April 21

Magic tricks for kids can be a ton of fun and are a great way for parents to keep the family entertained. After all, who doesn’t love a bit of magic and delight? Learning magic tricks at a young age builds confidence and helps with social building skills, especially if the child tends to be a little shy.

Magic Tricks for Kids

April 14

Ever have afternoon snack with a Shetland Pony? Or maybe a bath with a brown bear? With Google Search you can get hands on with 3D augmented reality filters and bring the animals indoors with you. Read these instructions to see how it works.

Read the Article

April 7

Research has demonstrated that adding the visual and kinesthetic elements (American Sign Language) to verbal communication helped to enhance the vocabulary, spelling, and reading skills in the participating preschool children. Try-out these sign language activities to get started.

Sign Language Activities


March 31

Science Fun For Everyone is a team of passionate professionals with degrees in science and/or education, who have experience working with children in many different settings. Check out their science experiment ideas for kids at home.  Or grab the biggest sheet you have, some tape and a fan and make a DIY Air Fort!

Workout Wednesday

New This Week

Something a little different, give this Y360 DANCE FITNESS – HIP HOP a try! A high-intensity dance fitness class that starts with simple moves and builds into multiple combinations. Fun and challenging! 

YMCA 360 Dance Fitness

Past Resources

May 27

Are your kids missing the parks? An at-home obstacle course is great way to burn energy for them and for them to strengthen their moving skills! Plus, a good way to practice your creativity!

Indoor Obstacle Course

May 20

Keep yourself and your children active while practicing social distancing:

  • Have a skipping competition
  • Challenge your child to teach you a new skill or activity they learned in gym.
  • Play Twister

Try an Active Game

May 13

Y Thrive GROW is a ser 15-minute total body workouts that are perfect for children 10 to 15 years of age. The workouts open up with a few easy to follow strength-based exercises and then finish up with a cardio circuit to get the heart and lungs working. Easy options are shown so kids of all levels can enjoy! 

YThrive GROW

May 6

Low impact physical activity for children ages 5-9, YGym is instructed by YMCA certified fitness instructors and features content based on YMCA Canada’s Health & Fitness Programs and Canada’s Physical Activity Guidelines. Give it a try!

YGym

April 29

Do you usually have a weekly swim lesson at the Y? If you’re like us, you’re missing your swim time! Here are some swim activities to work on your front swim, without dipping your toe in a pool. We’ll post activities for front crawl, back swim and back crawl in future weeks.

Dryland Swim Activities

April 22

What could be more fun than gathering your kids and getting in tune with your inner animals? Your kids will LOVE acting out like the animal kingdom, and will burn off some of their energy.

Animal Movement Workout

April 15

Disney has created an exciting series Get Moving With Disney Family featuring creative Disney workouts and is the perfect way to break a sweat without leaving the comfort of your own home! Featuring Disney classics like Peter Pan and The Incredibles, these family-friendly workouts are so much fun you won’t even realize you’re exercising! So, what are you waiting for? Grab a water bottle and your favorite sneakers and let the magic begin.

Disney Family Workouts

April 8

May the force be with you, this Star Wars themed workout will have you well on your way to becoming a Jedi.

Star Wars Workout


April 1

Whether your kid is into sports or just being a kid, these full-body conditioning exercises will have them ready for the game or the playground. All of these exercises can be done anywhere, anytime with zero equipment. Try the Active Kids Full Body Workout or give these free interval workouts for kids! Short, fun workouts to burn energy and increase strength. If there is a movement your child cannot complete, swap it for something simpler like jumping jacks.

Throwback Thursday

New This Week

You might remember some of these moves from the 80s. Now see if your children enjoy them!

Favorite 80's Dances

Past Resources

May 21

Grab a jump rope and learn these old fashioned rhymes. Exercise and have fun doing it!

Jump Rope Rhymes

May 14

The Wright brothers were two American aviation pioneers generally credited with inventing, building, and flying the world’s first successful motor-operated airplane. They made the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft with the Wright Flyer on December 17, 1903, 4 mi (6 km) south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Here’s a video on the Wright Brothers accomplishment as well as a some interactive activities to help learn how modern day airports operate.

May 7

Humans landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, explore the International Space Station US National Laboratory website to become an at home astronaut and get a feel for what the astronauts may have experienced back in 1969!

ISS US National Laboratory Website

April 30

Before COVID-19 becomes part of a history textbook, here’s a time capsule activity book to write down your own thoughts, feelings and memories about what you experienced.

Time Capsule Activity Book

April 23

Ever heard of Shrinky Dinks? They were a popular craft in the 80’s and 90’s, all you need is some recycled plastic containers, permanent markers and scissors and you’re on your way!

Shrinky Dink Instructions

April 16

Summer’s just around the corner, so we need to start preparing ourselves to be safe in and around the water. Check out this vintage Lifesaving Society Watersmart activity book with connect the dots, word searches and colouring activities

Lifesaving Society Activity Book

April 9

Let’s go back in time and take a ride through the Mesozoic Era, or the age of dinosaurs. After your adventure, try out some dinosaur themed sensory play.


April 2

Cat’s cradle is one of the oldest games in recorded human history, and involves creating various string figures, either individually or by passing a loop of string back and forth between two or more players. Or grab some embroidery floss and create all the fun friendship bracelets! You can put them on zippers, jackets, backpacks, bookmarks or even hang them on your keychain! What one is your favorite?

Family Friday

New This Week

Charades! Always a hit with the family. Plan a family night where you can all play, even online with zoom! If you’re stuck for what to think of, here are many ideas for you and your kids!

Charades List for Kids

Past Resources

May 22

A new take on the old paper airplane! Straw Airplanes Make airplanes out of straws with Professor Bug from the YMCA of Greater Nashua in New Hampshire. Grab tape, construction paper, and straws to get started. Wait till you see your creation fly!

Straw Plane Video

May 15

BBC Earth Kids! Combining fun facts, amazing creatures, your favourite faces and a whole load of cool stuff about our planet. Be prepared to squeal and squirm as creepy crawlies frolic over some famous faces, discover all the best tips, tricks and hacks to help you draw incredible animals, and poke your nose into every part of life with a pampered pet pal. Not to mention bringing you the best clips from the BBC’s natural history programmes, chosen specially for our most curious explorers.

BBC Earth Kids

May 8

A Mad Lib is an interactive story that you add words to; when prompted, you insert a specific type of word- verb, noun, adverb, etc. Once all words are added, the story is ready. The end story is usually quite funny. Gather the family around and get ready to laugh AND learn!

Madlibs Templates

May 1

While it’s not easy being stuck at home, having a keepsake of your time together as a family is valuable. Here’s instructions for a Family Handprint art activity.

Family Handprint Keepsake

April 24

Movie nights might be on hold for the foreseeable future, but you can enjoy some theatre from the comfort of your own living room couch. Presenting Keep Calm & Theatre on direct from Electric Moon’s Isolation Station – a bit of virtual theatre fun to get you through difficult times.

Electric Moon Theatre Company Videos

April 17

These Sesame Street family resources aren’t prescriptions you have to follow—just ideas to help your family find ways to breathe, laugh, and play together!
Sesame Street Resources

April 10

We might not be able to be together with our whole family, but we can still play games as if we were! Check out this list of free online board games that can help us stay together while we’re apart.

Online Board Games

April 3

Get creative with a few household items, you can make kidsafe sidewalk paint that will keep the kids playing outdoors for hours! Or take the family on the Spring Break vacation that didn’t happen… Canada’s Wonderland offers virtual rides on a number of their amusement park rides, you might not be able to make there in person, but you can add a little thrill to your day from your own home.

Story-Time Saturday

New This Week

Listen to a classic Dr Seuss story with a modern twist.

Fox In Sox Rap

Past Resources

May 23

Imagination Library Bedtime Stories. “Goodnight With Dolly” will feature Dolly Parton reading a series of Imagination Library books all carefully chosen for their appropriate content at this moment in time.

Imagination Link

May 16

Harry Potter At Home is a way of bringing the magic into people’s homes, casting a Banishing Charm on boredom. These special video readings are just one of the many things you can do at home, whether alone or with your friends or family. Each chapter of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone will be read aloud by a celebrity, starting out with none other than Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) himself. You can listen along through the link provided below.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

May 9

Canadian children’s authors are stepping up for families staying at home, by bringing their books to life online for young readers. The long “school holiday” has inspired Canadian kids’ lit authors to record themselves reading from their books for virtual story times, which are sorely needed videos, as many bookstores and libraries aren’t viable options for kids during this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are some favourite kids’ lit creators keeping children engaged online.

Canadian Author Storytellers

Sanctuary Sunday

New This Week

Sometimes we need some down time and to get back to nature, but it’s difficult with cars or sirens distributing the natural flow of nature sounds. Close your eyes and listen to these sounds and you might feel like you are there.

Nature Sounds for Relaxing

Past Resources

May 24

Explore the Boston Children’s Museum! Activities include everything from science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities to tinker kit activity sheets for young builders and engineers.

Boston Children's Museum

May 17

Looking up at the night sky on a clear and calm night is very peaceful, ever wonder what you’re looking at? Astronomy is the study of the Universe and everything in it, including planets, stars, galaxies, comets, and black holes. It’s full of huge distances, gigantic sizes, and long periods of time. It’s a BIG subject!

Astronomy Activities

May 10

Origami, from ori meaning “folding”, and kami meaning “paper” is the art of paper folding, which is often associated with Japanese culture. The goal is to transform a flat square sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques. Here are some options for kids to start learning how to fold paper in pieces of art.

Origami Instructions

May 3

Each resource on this list provides supportive games and activities to reinforce music concepts at home; these online music education games are organized into the following categories:  aural training, composers, composition, instruments, notation, symbols/vocabulary and variety.

Music Education Links

April 19

Cosmic Kids Yoga offers yoga, mindfulness and relaxation designed specially for kids aged 3+, used in schools and homes all over the world. Click the link to get started.

Cosmic Kids Yoga

April 12

Slow, calm, deep breathing can help us relax, manage stress, relieve anxiety and depression, and get a good night’s sleep, among many other things. Breathing also helps quiet the mind in preparation for meditation.

Breathing Exercises


April 5

Stories help. They keep young minds alert, active and engaged. While schools are on pause kids listen for free on audible.ca

It is not for nothing that mindful coloring books have been so popular lately. Being mindful is great not only for your mind and soul but also to your body. It is meditation, just like yoga, but without the physical part.


 

WORKOUT WITH THE ABC’S


YMCA AT HOME: FREE PROGRAMS ANYTIME, ANYWHERE!

At the YMCA, we are committed to supporting you and your family’s health and wellness. YMCA at Home is our new virtual platform that provides you with the ability to connect with your favourite YMCA programs anytime, anywhere! New videos will continue to be added!

VISIT YMCA AT HOME

 

                       

YPlay will help you build strong kids and a strong family at home! Activities are designed for a variety of ages and levels of ability and can be done from your family room for FREE.

YThrive Home will help you get your daily dose of YMCA fitness and community with amazing workouts! Workouts are designed for almost any fitness level and can be done from your living room for FREE.

YWell will bring you strength in spirit, mind and body at home! Activities are designed for a variety of levels and can be done from the comfort of your home for FREE.

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