Committee for Children Blog

Week 2: Monday’s Summer Camp Activities

Happy girl and boy, free DYI SEL activities, Monday Week 2, art, 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

Deep-Breath Painting

SEL Skill: Emotion management

What You’ll Need

  • Paint (multiple colors)
  • Paper
  • Straws

Directions
Before starting, practice taking deep breaths together. Taking deep breaths can help your child calm down. Remind your child to breathe in slowly through their nose and then out slowly through their mouth.

  1. Put a medium-sized drop of paint on a piece of paper.
  2. Have your child hold a straw to their mouth and point it toward the drop of paint without touching it.
  3. Then, have them breathe in slowly through their nose and then out slowly through their mouth into the straw. They can move the straw around in different directions as they breathe.
  4. Repeat using different colors of paint.

Kindergarten–Grade 1

Calming-Down Art

SEL Skill: Emotion management

What You’ll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil or crayons

Directions
Have your child draw a picture of a strong feeling (such as frustration, anger, jealousy, or disappointment) on one side of the paper and then name the feeling.

Flip the paper over. On the other side, have them draw a picture that reflects what they feel like after they’ve calmed down from that feeling.


Grades 2–3

Feelings in the Media

SEL Skill: Emotion management

What You’ll Need

Directions
The media often sells products by appealing to people’s emotions with vivid imagery.

Using the Feelings in the Media worksheet, talk with your child about the emotional states shown in the ads, and how or why the images would make someone more likely to buy the products shown.

You can also have your child use magazines or go online to find other media images and create a collage that highlights a specific emotion used to sell products or services.


Grades 4–5

Representations of Calmness

SEL Skill: Emotion management

What You’ll Need

  • Paper and colored pencils, other art supplies, or household objects

Directions
Have your child close their eyes and imagine what a calm mind and body both feels and looks like.

Then, have them create visual representations of what they imagined. Encourage your child to be creative when it comes to the materials they use. It could be anything from pen and paper to sculpting clay to arranging items around the house.


Middle School

What Makes You Happy?

SEL Skill: Emotion management

What You’ll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil

Directions
Have your child think of a time when they felt both calm and happy. Then, have them write their experience as a story, using detailed descriptions.