Committee for Children Blog

Week 3: Thursday’s Summer Camp Activities

Happy girl and boy, free DYI SEL activities, Thursday Week 3, literacy, science

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

Having Fun with Friends

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

  • A book

Recommended Reading
My Friend and I by Lisa Jahn-Clough
Mine! Mine! Mine! by Shelly Becker

Directions
Select a book that shows a character choosing to have fun rather than getting their own way. As you read the book to your child, stop after each page or set of pages and ask them some of the following questions:

  • Are these characters having fun? How can you tell?
  • What can they do so everyone has fun?
  • Are they playing fair?

After finishing the book, ask:

  • Did the character choose to get his or her own way, or did the character choose to play fairly?

Kindergarten–Grade 1

Problem-Solving Between Friends

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

Recommended Reading
David’s Drawings by Cathryn Falwell
Best Friends for Frances by Russell Hoban
George and Martha by James Marshall

Directions
Have your child’s Do-It-Yourself Problem-Solving Steps Poster worksheet handy while you read them a book about making friends. As you read, ask your child: How do you know these characters are friends?

When there’s problem between two characters, ask: What is the problem between these two characters? What can they do to mend their friendship?

Refer to the Problem-Solving Steps Poster and give your child time to walk through the steps and come up with solutions before continuing with the book. At the end of the story ask them: What do the characters do to keep their friendship going?


Grades 2–3

Famous Problem Solvers

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

Directions
Effective problem-solving can change the world. Using the Famous Problem Solvers worksheet, have your child read the brief descriptions of the prominent problem solvers and answer the questions.

When your child is done reading, discuss what they learned. Ask them to think about a current problem in today’s society and how they might solve it.


Grades 4–5

Peer Pressure in Literature

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

  • A book
  • Paper and pencil

Directions
Have your child read a book that deals with peer pressure and write their answers to the following prompts:

  • How does peer pressure affect the character or characters in the story?
  • How do the different characters in this story respond to peer pressure?
  • Did the character or characters refuse peer pressure? If so, how?
  • If you could give some advice to one of the characters in this story, what would it be?

Middle School

Can You Solve This Problem?

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

Directions
Have your child complete the activity on the Problem-Solving with Science worksheet. Then, have them come up with a problem of their own to solve using the same steps.