Questions to Ask Yourself if You are the Company/Person Hosting the Event:
- Will you host it as an “official event?” As a business, this shows your dedication to your employees and recognizes that they have lives outside the office. This is an opportunity to increase engagement and motivation (and see some adorable kids in the process).
- What ages will be invited to attend? Some companies have a minimum age of 6 or 7 but others include all children. The activities planned will be dependent on the ages of the kids attending.
- Will the day be all day or ½ day?
- Are there any hazards or sensitive areas the kids need to stay away from? (For instance, if you work on a construction site, laboratory or area with toxic chemicals.)
- Are there specific activities you will do (see ideas below) or a certain schedule you want everyone to follow?
- Will you provide lunch or should the parents go out with their child for lunch on their own?
- Have you gotten approval from your manager?
- Does it make sense for your child to stay for the entire workday?
- Where should your child sit?
- Are there any hazards or sensitive areas you need to be mindful of and keep your kid(s) away from?
- Is it okay to take a longer-than-usual lunch break with your child?
- What is the plan for the day? Does your office have activities planned or do you need to come up with your own schedule?
- Did you call your child’s school to check them out and ask about any make-up work they may have?
- Workplace Tour - Lead the kids on a tour of the office. Have them stop at each different department and ask them what they think it is responsible for. Try to connect each department with something the kids have learned in school. The finance department, for example, can be connected to math. The R&D department can be connected to science.
- Chocolate Challenge – make sure you have TONS of chocolate candy bars on hand (Hershey bars work great since you can break them into different sizes). Break the kids into groups, and have them build a structure with the candy bars. Once everyone is done (set a time limit), walk around and discuss them—which is the safest? Tallest? Most unique? Then, let the kids eat the candy!! This let’s the kids think creatively and learn how to work in a team setting.
Kids LOVE arts and crafts. Arrange art stations around the office (or in your area if it isn’t the whole company participating). Fun ideas to get them started:
- Imagine and draw a new logo for the company.
- Draw a picture of their parents doing their job (great for preschoolers too!)
- Write and illustrate a story about what they envision for the future of office supplies, computers, food, construction or whatever the main focus of your business is.
- Building projects such as making a house out of cereal boxes or even friendship bracelets—it doesn’t HAVE to be related to your job/company.
This age is starting to grasp more of what is going on and are beginning to think about what type of career they want to pursue. You can get a bit more technical with them. Fun ideas to get started:
- Mathematics – give them a story problem related to your company. Twist’s favorite is:
- Budgeting – About 50% of Americans would be unable to write a $500 check to cover an emergency. That being the case, it’s never too early to get your kids to start thinking about managing a budget. Use this budget worksheet as an activity to teach them a little bit about finances.
- Interviews – let the kids interview a few people from various departments. Before they do, have them prepare questions for the interview based one what they think is important for that job. Alternatively, you can have employees interview the kids. Be sure to film it as I’m sure it could turn in to an episode of “Kids Say The Darnest Things!”
- Marketing – have them look at your company’s current website and see what ideas they have for an advertisement. You never know what they may come back with for you!
You might not have as many at this age, as they may be TOO COOL to come. However, tell them they are TOO COOL…FOR SCHOOL that day and bring them anyways! Here are some ideas for this age:
- Job Shadowing – have your kid shadow someone at your office that does a job they find interesting. It will give them a realistic view of the actual job and if it is something they really want to pursue.
- Interviews – similar to above, but step it up a notch and help the high school kids prepare for their future. Who knows, maybe this will help them prepare to land that summer job they really want!
- Marketing – again, have them look at your company’s current website, email blasts, ads, etc and offer their ideas for it. You could also arrange a case study to show them how to analyze marketing analytics or build the website.
- Mathematics – if your job is heavy on excel, maybe introduce them to EXCEL 101 to get them started. This will give them a leg up as they look for a job!
Just remember, HAVE FUN on Take your Kid to Work Day. Spending time with your children and having fun is what really matters!