Committee for Children Blog

Week 3: Tuesday’s Summer Camp Activities

Summer Camp Week 3: Tuesday - math, 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

Counting Solutions

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

Directions
Make a solutions jar or basket. Use marbles, coins, or other small items as counters.

When your child experiences a problem that day, use the How to Calm Down poster, walking them through the steps to quiet their strong feelings before trying to solve the problem.

Encourage your child to think of several safe solutions to their problem. Put a counter in the jar for each idea they come up with.

At the end of the day, have your child help you count what’s in the jar to see how many ideas they had.


Kindergarten–Grade 1

Problem-Solving with Math

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

  • 1 dime
  • 2 nickels
  • 10 pennies

Directions
Give your child 1 dime, 2 nickels, and 10 pennies. Explain to them that you need to buy one pencil that costs 10 cents. Have your child identify the problem, saying it out loud: I need to make 10 cents with a combination of these coins.

Then, help them come up with different solutions, using the coins you have.

Possible solutions:

  • 1 dime
  • 2 nickels
  • 10 pennies
  • 1 nickel and 5 pennies

Create a counting problem of your own and help your child solve it, too.


Grades 2–3

Making Art with Math

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

Directions
Maurits Cornelis Escher was a graphic artist who used math to make repeating patterns, called tessellations, in his art. He used problem-solving and planning to help him determine how to move shapes to create the designs and visual effects he wanted. Using the Making Art with Math worksheet, have your child create their own work of art.


Grades 4–5

A Simpler Way to Write

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

  • Paper and pencil

Directions
Long writing assignments can sometimes feel overwhelming. Help your child manage the writing process by having them create a step-by-step plan for writing a three-paragraph response to this prompt: Imagine dinosaurs were still alive today. How do you think our lives would be different?

A possible plan might include:

  1. Brainstorm and list all the ways our lives would be different
  2. Write a rough draft
  3. Give it to an adult to edit
  4. Rewrite based on any edits

Middle School

Problem-Solving with Science

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

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