The fourth Thursday in April each year is reserved for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. If you want your child to participate in these fun activities, check with their school first since it is an unofficial holiday not recognized as an excused absence by all districts.
Activities for Younger Children
While the holiday guidelines suggest you only bring in kids ages eight and older, you can certainly bring kids as young as five if they won't be at risk of harm. Keep the time at work to a couple hours rather than a whole day since kids under age eight have smaller attention spans.
My Profession Story Time
Choose a picture book related to your career and host a story time where you read the book then do a craft. If you're in law enforcement, read Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann then have kids color and cut out stars and write "thank you" notes to the officers just like the kids in the story did. Those working in manufacturing could read Splat the Cat I Scream for Ice Cream based on the character by Rob Scotton then give kids blocks and craft supplies to build their own mini factory.
Before and After List
At the start of the day, ask kids to brainstorm all the things they think you do at work every day. Kids can write their ideas on a giant dry-erase board or notepad. After learning about your job, ask kids to make a new list of what they actually saw or heard you do. This is a great group activity all the kids at work can do together, or it can be an individual task.
Show your child items that include your company logo. Explain what all the elements mean and why that image was chosen. Give kids coloring supplies and ask them to create a new company logo. Have these logos made into magnets, key chains, or t-shirts then send them to each child as a memento after their visit.
Many modern workplaces are incorporating a more fun, active, and inviting work environment. Give kids some decorations like posters and pendant banners and free reign to makeover a common area like the lunchroom, cubicle, or mailroom. Parents can supervise and help with logistics.
Activities for Older Children
Engage kids ages eight to twelve in your actual daily tasks like meetings, documentation, or presentations to give them a good sense of what you do.
Selfie Scavenger Hunt
Let your kid travel the workplace with their cell phone, or yours, as they hunt for specific people you've listed. When they find each person, they have to take a selfie then use the editing options to write on the picture what that person's job is. Ask employees before you put them on the list so they can be prepared for lots of fun interruptions.
Entrance and Exit Interviews
When kids arrive have them meet one-on-one with a supervisor in a mock interview where they get to describe all their skills and why they want to work there. Before kids leave for the day, have them gather as a group to share what they liked most, what they didn't like about the job, and what changes they suggest.
Arm kids with cameras and ask them to interview various employees about their jobs and the company. Have them write questions ahead of time and get them approved by a member of management. They can then help compile the videos into a short commercial for your company. Post the ad on your social media channels to make the activity more meaningful and fun.
The day before bringing your child to work, leave notes like you would for someone who's filling in while you take a day off. Kids will need to complete the duties, without much help from you, before heading home for the day. Try to only offer information such as where to find certain materials or people.
Sales Team Superstar
If your job involves any type of selling, empower and challenge your kid to meet a sales goal for the day. Write down the goal using a goal thermometer or similar image to show their progress throughout the day. Let them introduce themselves to the customers and do their best to sell with only a brief training beforehand. Offer prizes for reaching different levels of their goal.
Show Off Your Job Skills
Taking your child to work gives you the opportunity to spend more time together and teaches them about your job and job skills they might need for their future. Use this opportunity to engage kids of all ages in the workforce and help your company take on a family-friendly vibe.