Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is April 26 this year, and that means now is the time to check whether your company has some cool activities planned. Whether you work at a law firm, an advertising agency, or a healthcare company, there are lots of fun ways to get children of all ages involved in this nationwide event. Here are 7 Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day activities that are as memorable as they are educational.
Also commonly referred to Take Your Kids To Work Day, Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is a national educational program that's been helping children explore career opportunities for 25 years. It takes place the fourth Thursday of every April, and some 3.5 million workplaces across the country participate each year, according to Forbes.
By taking you son or daughter to work with you, they get to learn more about what you do for a living, where you spend your 9-5, and perhaps best of all, they get to see an entirely different side of you than they see at home. If your kid is used to seeing you command the kitchen during dinner prep time, now they can see you in command of the conference room.
As I mentioned earlier, your company may have a day's worth of fun activities planned for the visiting kiddos. But if they don't have anything formally in place, here are 7 activities that you can pull off yourself! All of these ideas are guaranteed to stave off boredom and have your kid declaring "Best Day Ever" on your commute home in the evening.
1Have a Marshmallow Challenge
One of the most important aspects of any job is learning to work as a team. Planning a hands-on team-building activity, like a Marshmallow Challenge, is a great way to engage the older kids at your office.
So what exactly is a Marshmallow Challenge? "Each team must build a freestanding structure using the materials provided," explained Teachers Pay Teachers. In their example, they use spaghetti noodles, tape, string, and a marshmallow, but really you can supply whatever group of supplies are in the office.
2Make an Art Station
For kids preschool age and up, an art station in the office is guaranteed to see a lot of action. Raid your office closet for markers, highlighters, paper, scissors, post-it notes, and tape.
The art station can be "choose your own adventure" or you can provide some ideas on what they should do.
"You could ask them to imagine a new logo for the company or draw a picture of their parent as they’re doing their job," suggested Creator.
If you're looking for a great way to kick off your Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day event, look no further than a good old-fashioned game of bingo.
"This activity is an excellent icebreaker to help girls and boys become more comfortable with one another when they first come together as a group, and to aid them in becoming relaxed in their new environment for the day," explained the Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day official Bright Ideas Guide.
Consider pairing the bingo with a bagel breakfast and you'll have a lot of happy kiddos on your hands.
Having your child sit down with different people around the office is a fun way to introduce them to your friends at work, while helping them learn about the different roles and responsibilities in a workplace.
"Let the kids interview someone in each department. Beforehand, encourage them to prepare questions that dig into the meat of what is involved in a particular career. You can also have your employees interview the kids, asking them about their career goals," advised Creator.
While older kids will get the most out of this activity, don't exclude the toddlers! Their answers to the hard-hitting questions are sure to get the most laughs.
5Host a Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt can be another great icebreaker for the kids, as it gives them a chance to work together as a team. You can customize the items on the scavenger hunt for your office but here's a standard list to use as a jumping off point.
6Document the Day
Kids of all ages love cameras, and having a bunch of cheap, disposable ones around the office will encourage the kids to snap pics of all the fun.
If your office has a larger budget, spring for a photo booth, complete with hilarious props that'll keep them entertained for hours. Or if don't have big bucks to spend on an outside company, your team can all help put one together. Find someone with a digital camera and a tripod, tack up a piece of fabric or a large sheet of paper as the "backdrop" and order an assortment of props from Etsy. A few bucks will go a long way.
7Make a 'Who We Are' Wall
This is a visual way for all participants — the kids and the grown-ups — to get to know each other. Tape up big pieces of paper, and use a Sharpie to write different category questions. This can be a structured activity or something that people write on as they come and go throughout the day.
The Bright Ideas Guide, put out by the Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day organization, suggests including topics like: Something I Do For Fun!, My Favorite Part of School/Work, Things I Do to Relax, Ways I Help Out in My Family, and Someone Who is Really Important to Me at School/Work.
Responses can take the form of one-word answers, poems, paragraphs, drawings, cartoons, and more, added the Bright Ideas Guide.
No matter what activities you end up doing with the kids in your office, it's sure to be a special day. And since this year's Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day's theme is 'Service Force: Agents of Positive Change', don't forget to use the #ServiceForce hashtag on all your social media posts capturing the day.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.