How to Take Your Kids to Work (and Have Them Learn Something)

Bring kids to work Taking your kids to work day is a great opportunity to give kids exposure to different careers, show them the importance of work, and let them see you in a different context – not as a Mom or a Dad but as a professional with a boss, colleagues and important responsibilities. Here are some practical, time-tested suggestions for how to get the most out of this day, for your own kids – and maybe even for your colleagues’ kids if you decide to organize it for your work group or department. Activity Ideas
  • Marshmallow challenge: This is a team building activity where each team builds a freestanding structure with specific group supplies.
  • Make an art station:  Provide art supplies and ask the kids to create a new logo or marketing advertisement for your company.
  • Bingo:  This can be a great icebreaker activity centered around breakfast that will engage the kids and get them comfortable with the workplace and people.
  • Interviews:  Ask the kids to interview a few different people in your company.
  • Scavenger hunt:  Another great ice breaker activity that can also be a team building activity.
  • Document the day:  Kids love cameras, so encourage them to take pictures or make a video of the day.
  • Who are we wall:  Write different categories of topics on a big piece of paper or whiteboard.  People write their responses to these topics throughout the day.
  • Problem-solving: Provide real-life issues about your business and ask the children to brainstorm solutions.
  • Teach them how to give feedback in a constructive manner.
  • Provide a budget activity.
  • Have a working lunch where kids share what they think are the most important career skills to have.
  • Create a teamwork activity.
  • Give a tour of your facility.
  • Ask the children to help plan next year’s event.
  • Introductions:  Share two things about yourself, one true, one false. The group guesses which is true.
  • Creative activities:  Help create a bulletin board display about a specific topic about your business or the day’s events.
  • Job titles and duties:  Write job titles on name tags and ask children to guess which person has which job.
  • Directed discussions:  Over lunch or snacks, have small group discussions about careers or another topic specific to your business.
  • Do games like a scavenger hunt or trivia game related to businesses.
  • Have the children participate in computer activities, video conferencing or other tech experiences from your company.
  • Work on some eco-friendly activities that your business participates in.
For Younger Children
  • Arrange for art stations around your workplace.  Ask them to create a new logo for your company, draw a picture of them and their parent at work.
  • Arrange for a building project where the kids could make a house, or something related to your business.
  • Ask the kids to write a story about the nature of your work.
  • Make jewelry (friendship bracelet, etc.) to share with each other or other workers at your place of business.
  • Ask young children to “help” by watering plants, arranging papers, etc.
  • Try doing a few demonstrations or lessons about the technology you use at your work.
For Older Children
  • Give them mathematical problems that relate to your business and help them solve them.
  • Arrange for them to interview different people in your company.
  • Try some hands-on experiences that could involve science or art as it relates to your business.
  • Make assignments in advance so they can job shadow certain employees for the day.
  • Include them in some actual scientific experiments, if appropriate for your business.
  • Involve them in some marketing activities that could showcase their artistic skills.
  • Give different scenarios for issues that may arise at your work and ask your children to problem solve resolutions.
  • Teach Interview Skills.
  • Show them how to create a resume and cover letter.
  • Help them prepare for a background check.
How to Prepare Your Kids for the Event
  • Review the agenda for the day, if you were provided one.
  • Go over the expectations you have for them as they participate in this event.
  • Find out what their expectations might be for participating in this event.
  • Be certain the teacher knows of their absence and get any assignments that they might be missing.
  • Be sure they understand the nature of the event and the venue.
  • Ask them to select their clothes the night before so there are no issues in the morning.
  • You will want to assure that they arrive on time.
  • Ask them to keep a journal of the day’s events or even take pictures or a video.
  • You can also try visiting a free online survey site to determine what careers might be of interest to your child based on their specific interests and personality.
  • Talk with your child after the event to find out about their experience.  Use open-ended questions to elicit a more thorough response.
  • Encourage your child to send a thank you note after the event.  If he/she is young, then a picture will work.
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