Committee for Children Blog

Week 3: Wednesday’s Summer Camp Activities

Happy girl and boy, free activities, Wednesday Week 3, science, 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.


PreK

What Floats Your Boat?

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

  • Items that float
  • Items that sink
  • Water

Directions
Show your child a few items—some that will float in water and some that will sink. Have your child predict which items they think will float and which they think will sink.

Test each item to see if it floats or sinks. Choose one item that sinks and ask your child: How can we help this object float in the water? Give your child a chance to think of many ideas. Test out a few ideas until you find one that works.


Kindergarten–Grade 1

How Do We Feed Ourselves?

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

Directions
Have your child pretend that they’re washed up on a deserted island with only a handful of bean, radish, lettuce, and other seeds. They need to figure out how they can feed themselves for eight months with only seeds.

First, help your child identify and state the problem: I need to feed myself for eight months, but I only have seeds.

Next, help them think of solutions. Accept all solutions that are safe and respectful and write them down. Have your child think about possible consequences for at least two of their solutions. Then, help them pick the solution they think will work best.


Grades 2–3

Imagine Life Without Science

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

Directions
Scientific inventions have solved many problems and made our lives easier. For example, email and social media make it easier to communicate with each other, and cars and airplanes help us travel to faraway places.

Using the Imagine Life Without Science worksheet, have your child describe how the inventions shown have helped make life easier for our society as a whole. Then, ask them how life would be different today if these inventions didn’t exist.


Grades 4–5

Identifying Energy Vampires

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

Directions
Energy vampires are electronics that continue to draw energy when plugged in but not in use, such as televisions or computers.

Using the Problem-Solving Steps Poster, have your child identify energy vampires at home and come up with solutions for eliminating some of the excess energy use.

Help them say the problem: Energy vampires need to use less energy.

Then, have them think of possible solutions, explore the consequences, pick what they think is their best solution, and try it out. Did it work? Why or why not?


Middle School

Can You Find a United Solution?

SEL Skill: Problem-solving

What You’ll Need

  • Online access
  • Paper and pencil

Directions
The United Nations was founded in 1945 after World War II. Composed of more than 190 countries globally, its job is to maintain peace and stability through international cooperation.

Have your child pick a country they’d like to represent, conduct research on how global warming is affecting that country, and create a position statement giving their country’s perspective on the issue. Then, have them write a globally united plan for solving the problem.