Committee for Children Blog

Week 2: Friday’s Summer Camp Activities

Emotion management

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 Letters

SEL Skill: Emotion management

What You’ll Need

Directions
Using the Counting Letters worksheet, read each word to your child. Then, have them count out loud how many letters are in each word. Write the number next to each word.

Next, have your child close their eyes, point to a feeling on the paper, and find the matching feelings word.

For example, if your child points to “calm,” say: “Calm” has four letters. Find a different word with a number four next to it. When your child finds the word, say each letter while they count out loud. Put a check mark or happy face next to the word when they find it.


Kindergarten–Grade 1

Self-Talk to Help the Community

SEL Skill: Emotion management

What You’ll Need

Directions
Using the Helping Communities worksheet, show your child examples of a few different kinds of communities.

Explain that members of a community cooperate with and are respectful of one another. They also share a common space, common needs, and a common goal.

Then ask:

  • What happens when members of a community get angry, frustrated, sad, or have other strong feelings?
  • How do strong feelings affect the entire community?
  • What can you and the members of the community do to calm down when they have these feelings?

Grades 2–3

People and Perseverance

SEL Skill: Emotion management

What You’ll Need

Directions
Setting a goal and making a plan to achieve it are positive ways of managing disappointment.

Have your child choose a prominent historical or contemporary figure who persevered in the wake of disappointment, such as Thomas Edison, Harriet Tubman, or Helen Keller.

Then, have them use the People and Perseverance worksheet to identify their person’s challenge, their goal, and how they achieved it. Discuss how persevering and achieving their goal affected both the person individually and society as a whole.


Grades 4–5

Consequences of Revenge

SEL Skill: Emotion management

What You’ll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil

Directions
Have your child write at least three possible consequences of what could happen on a global level when countries choose to get revenge for another country’s actions.

Discuss the possible consequences they wrote together. Then think of possible alternatives countries could take other than revenge. How would this change the outcome?

If you want to get specific, have your child select two countries that are currently having a dispute and research articles and news reports about it.

Then, have them go through the first two steps using these two countries.


Middle School

How Do Ads Influence How You Feel?

SEL Skill: Emotion management

What You’ll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil

Directions
Explain to your child that images are processed in the part of the brain where strong emotions and instincts are located, but that written and spoken language is processed in the cerebral cortex, or the “thinking” part of the brain.

Knowing this, have your child listen to only the audio portion of an advertisement. How does it make them feel? Do they want to buy the product?

Now, show them the same ad with the sound and the images. Ask your child if hearing and seeing the ad makes them feel any different, and why or why not. In what ways do they think advertisements encourage impulse buying? What can they do to control those impulses? Have them write their responses.