Committee for Children Blog

Week 3: Friday’s Summer Camp Activities

Happy girl and boy, free DYI SEL activities, Friday Week 3, social studies, language arts

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.


Community Helpers

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

  • Your imagination

Talk to your child about community helpers. They usually wear uniforms and help keep us safe.

For example, firefighters are community helpers. Explain to your child some of the ways firefighters help the community:

  • They rescue people who’ve been in an accident
  • They put out and contain fires
  • They help kittens stuck in a tree

Now, have your child play a game with you. Pretend that your kitty is stuck in a tree, and that your child is the firefighter. Model for them how to ask for help. Use a strong, respectful voice and say: My kitty’s stuck. Can you please help me?

Have your child practice asking for help. You can also help them practice memorizing and reciting important information like their name, the names of their caregivers, their phone number, and their address.

Kindergarten–Grade 1

Inclusive Communities

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

It’s important to not leave people out, especially when in a community. Talk to your child about what makes a community and the importance of cooperation and inclusiveness within it.

For example, your family is a community. Pull out your child’s Do-It-Yourself Problem-Solving Steps Poster worksheet and ask them: What are some problems we face as a family and how can you help?

  • Ask if you need help.
  • Listen when others are talking.
  • Pick up after myself.

Then ask: How does it help our family when everyone works together?

  • It helps us all get along.
  • It helps us cooperate.
  • It makes everyone feel valued.

Grades 2–3

Step Up to Solve Community Problems

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

Have your child brainstorm problems in their school community: students running in the halls, people not recycling, lights being left on, or the school not having enough playground equipment. Next, have them follow the problem-solving steps on the poster to identify a solution and create a plan to carry it out.

Grades 4–5

Making Mistakes

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

  • Paper and pencil

It’s okay to make mistakes. Individuals, communities, and even nations make mistakes. What’s most important is that we each take responsibility for our actions: admitting what we’ve done is wrong, apologizing, and offering to make amends.

Have your child write answers to the following questions. Then, discuss how actions affect others and why it’s important to take responsibility for our own actions.

  • If a country dumped their garbage into the ocean, how would that affect the other countries that border that ocean?
  • How would it affect life in the ocean?
  • What should the country that dumped the garbage in the ocean do?

Middle School

How Would That Character Respond?

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

  • Paper and pencil

Have your child imagine they’re a character from one of their favorite books. Then, have them write a description of how that character might react to a conflict or problem your child has experienced in their own life. It could be about school, friends, family, chores, homework, or anything else.

Have them include the following:

  • The name and description of their character
  • A brief statement of the problem
  • What the character might think or feel at the time
  • What they’d say or do in response
  • Why the character would react in that way