Committee for Children Blog

Week 1: Monday’s Summer Camp Activities

Fun social-emotional learning activities to help kids stay engaged during summer 2020.

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.


PreK

Let’s Create an Attent-o-scope!

SEL Skill: Focusing, listening

What You’ll Need

  • 2 empty toilet paper rolls per child
  • Single-hole punch
  • Yarn for neck strap
  • Glue or tape
  • Colored markers or crayons

Directions
Have your child make an attent-o-scope to help them focus on tasks.

  1. Punch one hole in each cardboard roll, about a half-inch from one end. Give your child the two rolls.
  2. Have your child use markers or crayons to decorate their rolls.
  3. Glue or tape the two rolls together so they look like a set of binoculars. Make sure the rolls are aligned so the holes you punched are on the outside edges of the binoculars and at the same end, for tying on the neck strap.
  4. Tie the ends of a length of yarn to each of the holes.

Kindergarten–Grade 1

Let’s Create an Attent-o-scope!

SEL Skill: Focusing, listening

What You’ll Need

  • 2 empty toilet paper rolls per child
  • Single-hole punch
  • Yarn for neck strap
  • Glue or tape
  • Colored markers or crayons

Directions
Have your child make an attent-o-scope to help them focus on tasks.

  1. Punch one hole in each cardboard roll, about a half-inch from one end. Give your child the two rolls.
  2. Have your child use markers or crayons to decorate their rolls.
  3. Glue or tape the two rolls together so they look like a set of binoculars. Make sure the rolls are aligned so the holes you punched are on the outside edges of the binoculars and at the same end, for tying on the neck strap.
  4. Tie the ends of a length of yarn to each of the holes.

Grades 2–3

Make Your Own SEL Cards

SEL Skill: Focusing, listening, self-talk

What You’ll Need

  • 3×5 cards
  • Crayons, pen, or pencil

Directions
Have your child create personalized cards that depict them using focusing, listening, and self-talk skills.

  1. Before getting started, help your child form a mental picture of the first skill they want to draw by having them think about a specific scenario where they’ve used it.
  2. Ask your child questions about the details of this scenario. For example, ask them to visualize what they were wearing, where they were, what and who was around them, and so on.
  3. Once your child has their image clearly in their mind, have them draw it on a card. Repeat this exercise for the other skills listed above.

Grades 4–5

Art from Different Perspectives

SEL Skill: Perspective-taking

What You’ll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil, pen, or crayons
  • Scissors
  • Magazines or newspaper

Directions
Have your child choose a typical situation or activity in their daily lives: getting ready for school, playing at lunchtime, completing a chore, playing at a friend’s house, or taking care of a sibling.

Next, have your child create a collage of their feelings about the situation on paper. They can cut images from magazines and newspapers, draw pictures, or simply write decorative words. Encourage your child to be creative.

Then, have them create a collage of feelings from the perspective of someone else about this same situation.

Middle School

What’s Another Perspective?

SEL Skill: Perspective-taking

What You’ll Need

  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil

Directions
Have your child choose a controversial issue at school, such as cell phone use, school safety, cafeteria rules, or dress code.

Now, have your child imagine different points of view on the issue from the perspectives of the following people: the principal; a new student; an eighth-grade boy; a parent; the custodian; a seventh-grade girl; and a teacher. Have your child write down what each of the individual’s perspectives might be. How are they similar or different?

See other summer camp activities