Committee for Children Blog

Week 1: Friday’s Summer Camp Activities

Happy girl and boy, free DYI SEL activities, Friday Week 1, social studies

This summer, your kids may have a lot of big feelings. Our DIY SEL Summer Camp is here to help! This three-week summer camp includes research-based activities that are modeled on our Second Step social-emotional learning (SEL) program and help your kids learn about science, social studies, math, and more. The activities also teach social-emotional skills that can help all kids ages 1–14 cope with big feelings and other challenges they may face. 

With age-appropriate instructions and easy-to-find household materials, these activities can help you and your family spend quality time together and keep your kids learning over the summer.


Sounds Around Us

SEL Skill: Focusing, listening

What You’ll Need

  • An attent-o-scope

Have your child bring their attent-o-scope on a “listening walk” with you around where you live.

  1. Ask your child what they hear, and then ask: Is that noise made by people? Is it made by a machine? Is it made by an animal?
  2. Talk about how many other things make sounds in the environment.

Kindergarten–Grade 1

Communities: Help Each Other

SEL Skill: Being helpful and kind

What You’ll Need

  • Paper
  • Pen, pencil, or crayons

Communities work when all members help each other. Ask your child the following questions about their communities (their neighborhood, school, and classroom).

  • How do we help each other in our neighborhood? (We are nice to neighbors. Trash collectors take our garbage.)
  • How do we help each other at school? (Teachers help students. Custodians help clean. Cafeteria workers give us lunch.)
  • How do we all help each other in the classroom? (The teacher helps us learn. Parents come in and help. Teacher’s aides help the teacher and students. Students help each other.)
  • Have your child draw a picture or tell you how to help someone else in the community.

Grades 2–3

Compassion Action

SEL Skill: Being inclusive

What You’ll Need

  • An article of clothing that has a tag saying where it was made
  • Pen or pencil, paper


  1. Have your child look at the tag on a T-shirt or other piece of clothing and tell you where it was made.
  2. Look up some interesting facts together about the country and culture, and identify some differences between that place and where you and your child live.
  3. Then, talk about ways your child can appreciate those differences. Have them think of ways to be inclusive and kind things they can say.

Grades 4–5

Respect Across Cultures

SEL Skill: Respecting others

What You’ll Need

  • Your child’s favorite recipe, printed out or on screen
  • The ingredients for that recipe, planned ahead of time


  1. Read through your child’s favorite recipe with them.
  2. Ask them to identify the spices or grains in it.
  3. Look up the country the ingredients originated from and have your child read about that country’s culture. Ask your child: What are ways that people in that country show respect to others?
  4. Have your child write down at least one method of showing respect from the culture researched.
  5. Finally, make your child’s favorite meal together!

Middle School

Can Countries Respectfully Disagree? 

SEL Skill: Perspective-taking, problem-solving

What You’ll Need

  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil

Just as two people can disagree, so can two countries. Have your child choose any two countries, like the United States and Mexico.

Then, have them think of issues these two countries might disagree on, like immigration, sharing resources, civil rights, borders, and so on.

Next, have your child write down a few ways the two countries could respectfully disagree.