Here is our list of the best Take Your Child to Work Day ideas.
Take Your Child to Work Day ideas are events and activities planned to entertain and teach children when their parents bring them to the office. For example, doing a service project, planning a scavenger hunt, or having kids a sales pitch. These activities let kids know what their parents do daily and encourage them to learn more about a professional environment.
These events are in-person versions of virtual Take Your Child to Work Day and are similar to corporate Family Fun Days. These events can encourage a healthy work-life balance and a positive working environment.
This list includes:
- Take Your Child to Work Day activities
- Take Your Child to Work Day games
- Take Your Child to Work Day themes
Let’s get started!
List of Take Your Child to Work Day Ideas
Take Your Child to Work Day is a chance to show your kids what you do all day. Gone are the days of vague and often incorrect descriptions of mom and dad’s work. Beyond seeing what you do at work, your kids will learn more about you on a personal level. Kids will get the chance to see you as a professional, friend, or coworker rather than just a parent.
These events and activities are Take Your Child to Work Day ideas to keep kids entertained.
1. Have an Opening Meeting
To start the day, schedule an opening meeting. This huddle will not be a regular meeting, as there will be several extra guests. However, this meeting is a chance to welcome all the kids. An opening meeting also makes children feel like they are part of the team for the day.
To make the day more involved for all youth, give each participant an action plan or tasks for the day. These activities can be as simple as learning one new thing or asking three questions. Or, you can create a more elaborate plan and give each attending child a paper with multiple tasks to complete throughout the day.
Check out more team meeting ideas.
2. Take a Tour
One of the most obvious Take Your Child to Work Day activities is an office tour. This tour is especially important if this year is the first time hosting this event. Many of the children attending may have never seen the office.
If the group is small enough, then all parents and kids can take a tour together. However, larger groups might require a schedule to avoid congestion and unnecessary distractions.
3. Create Handouts
If you have ever been around kids, then you know they can get bored quickly. Therefore, providing attending children with a packet of activities is a great idea to keep them engaged and entertained throughout the day.
In this handout, you can include:
- Scavenger hunt
- Future goals worksheet
- Company-related coloring pages
- Resume-building sheet
- Blank sheets
By providing these activities, kids will feel more involved.
Here are team building worksheets usable for this activity.
4. Plan a Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is one of the best Take Your Child to Work Day games as it inspires creative thinking and is fun. Before the event, plan a hunt involving items in the office.
For example, you can ask kids to find:
- Four different colored pens
- A coffee mug
- Information about the company (colors in the logo, the year began, etc.)
- An employee with a blue shirt
- The oldest kid attending
- The youngest kid attending
Before organizing the scavenger hunt, get all team members on board. Then, consider setting aside a specific time for the search, so children are not randomly running around the office throughout the day.
5. Plan A Day in the Life
A Day in the Life is one of the best Take Your Child to Work Day themes as it helps both parents and kids learn more about each other. This event also encourages all participants to practice beneficial skills. For example, collecting information, collaborating, and giving presentations.
To plan this activity, schedule a session for all parents and kids to attend. A Day in the Life works best with either a mix of older and younger children or mostly older kids. At the beginning of the meeting, separate kids and adults on different sides of the room.
Then, tell both sides they need to create a group presentation about a day in the life of their generation. For example, both sides can list popular music, movies, and trends. Then, both sides can talk about how a day at work or school goes. Finally, after time to prepare, each side can give their presentation.
Hopefully, both sides will learn more about what the other one experiences and how they think.
For inspiration, check out this list of get to know you questions.
6. Do a Service Project
One of the best ways to host a Take Your Child to Work Day is to plan a service project. This activity can either be onsite or offsite.
For example, an onsite activity could be to build bags to hand out or donate to a charity. For example, parents and kids could create literacy bags to send to underprivileged schools with books, crayons, and notebooks. Or, you can put packs together to hand out to homeless people with snacks, water, and personal hygiene products.
If resources and the schedule permit, then you can plan an offsite volunteer project. Many organizations work with corporate and family groups to arrange a service day. You can look into homeless shelters, animal shelters, or libraries to get ideas.
A service project is a fantastic way to encourage altruism among all generations.
Here is a list of group volunteering ideas.
7. Plan a Focus Group
A large part of organizations that offers products or ideas is figuring out what sells best, and a focus group is one of the best ways to learn this information. For this activity, your child visitors can be the focus group members.
Before the day begins, come up with a few products or ideas to present to the kids. These items can be products the company sells or just-for-fun items. For example, have the kids do a blind taste test of candy or soda and talk about which is best.
If your company makes products, then offer children attending a few to review. This gesture allows the kids to learn more about the company while practicing essential skills like communication.
8. Host a Job Fair
If your company is large enough, hosting a job fair is one of the best Take Your Child to Work Day ideas for older kids. Many teenagers struggle when thinking about their future. With so many options, making a decision can be overwhelming.
Hosting a job fair where different employees and departments give brief presentations about what a day in that job entails is incredibly beneficial for older youths considering their future. Then, if time allows, take kids on a tour of the departments and give demonstrations.
Check out this list of virtual career fair ideas.
9. Create an Ad
One of the most open-ended Take Your Child to Work Day activities is asking kids to create an ad. This activity encourages creativity and teamwork.
To plan this event, develop an idea or project to promote. This item can be a product your company sells, or a hypothetical item, like a toy or candy. Then, divide the group into teams of three to four kids. Be sure to divide by age and ability evenly. You can also give each group a different item to market.
You can give the kids space in an empty room with supplies, like paper and markers so that they can create the ad. If you want, then provide the participants with parameters about who they are targeting. Or, just let them loose. Ultimately, you will see their creativity and ideas in their ad.
To take this activity up a notch, ask the kids to create a commercial. You can either provide them with a camera or ask them to use their cell phone cameras. Then, the kids can come up with a script and act out the scenes.
10. Have a Photo Booth
Photo booths are fun ways to mark a memorable day. You do not have to pay for a company to bring in a photo booth if you do not have the budget. Instead, you can create a DIY photo booth inexpensively.
To build a photo booth, take a trip to the local discount or dollar store. There, you will find a variety of inexpensive toys and dress-up items. Be sure to grab a colored plastic table cloth for the backdrop along with various decorations for the wall.
At the office, choose a corner or open area where you can set up the photo booth. Then, hang up the backdrop and lay out the props. Be sure to put up a sign encouraging attendees to take a turn in the photo booth using their cell phone camera, recruit a staff member to play photographer, or rig up a tablet with a remote.
Finally, have a way to share photos from the event. You can ask team members and kids to share the pictures via a particular email address. Or, you can set up a dedicated Slack channel for Take Your Child to Work Day photos. We recommend the second option so teammates can share all their pictures from the day.
11. Take to Social Media
Youth today are better at social media than many adults. To tap into this fact, ask teenagers attending the day to create some social media posts for the company page. These posts can be about the company and its mission or can focus on Take Your Child to Work Day.
At the beginning of the day, give the older attendees some guidelines on what they can post. Then, let the teens gather content and photos throughout the day. At the end of the event, ask the youth to present their post to a supervisor. Be sure the post gives credit to who created it and talks about Take Your Child to Work Day.
Asking participants to be in charge of a social media post will encourage creative thinking and get older teens more involved. These takeovers show your social media followers that your company is family-friendly and cares about its employees.
12. Have Kids do a Coffee Delivery
You can include kids of all ages in this activity in different ways. Older youths can make a coffee run to a nearby coffee shop. You can ask teenagers to go around taking coffee orders and collecting money from team members. Then, these kids can go and grab coffee for the office.
With younger kids, allow them to collect coffee orders. Then, with the help of parents, make and deliver coffee to teammates. Of course, be sure to have enough adult help making and carrying the coffee.
13. Do a Sales Pitch
Having kids do a sales pitch is one of the most entertaining Take Your Child to Work Day games. This activity is excellent if there is a sales department.
To plan this event, divide kids into smaller groups. Be sure to consider age and ability when creating groups. If there is an older kid in each group, they can be the project manager or leader. Then, give each group an item or idea to pitch. You can provide general supplies like posterboard and markers.
After the groups have had enough time to prepare, ask the teams to give their presentations. Parents can be the audience. Or, to make things more interesting, ask supervisors to create a Shark Tank-style setup. Here, leaders will listen to the pitch and give feedback. Of course, be sure you scale this activity to be child-appropriate.
14. Help Kids Build a Resume
Resumes are an essential item required to get a job. This activity is especially great for older kids in attendance. Being able to create a resume is an important skill many kids never learn. You can give them a step up by helping them build a resume during Take Your Child to Work Day.
Kids might not have much actual job experience. But, they do have skills, and they likely have volunteer experience. You can ask your human resources department to work with teenagers to draft a compelling resume. This resume will come in handy as teens look for summer or weekend jobs and go off to college.
15. Play a Game
Kids love games. And games are a great way to encourage participants to have fun while keeping them busy.
There are many ways to play games. To keep the event simple, have parents bring some board games from home. In a conference room, set up several different games that kids and parents can play.
Or, have a communal game like Jeopardy or Are Your Smarter Than a Fifth Grader. Both of these games encourage mass participation and are fun for all ages. However, these games require a little more prep to come up with the questions beforehand.
Whatever activity you choose, attendees will get to know each other better and have fun.
We also have a list of team building games for kids.
Tips for Take Your Child to Work Day
Before the event, create a committee to plan the day. It is not wise to leave the day unorganized, as kids will get bored. Idle kids almost always lead to chaos.
Be sure to consider snacks, lunch, and drinks for the kids in attendance. Before the day, ask about allergies and food preferences. We recommend sticking with kid-friendly food, like sandwiches, hot dogs, or pizza.
On the day of the event, have a sign-in table so all attendees can check in and get a nametag. Having a way to identify kids throughout the day will keep things more organized.
To make the day extra special, consider ordering event t-shirts for all attendees. This idea is a great thing to continue year after year. If everyone has matching shirts and you take a group picture every year, then you will really see how the company and their families grow and change over the years.
Because activities with kids do not always go as planned, it is wise to have a Plan B. On the off-chance activities fall apart or kids are not entertained and get restless, have some movies, snacks, board games, or coloring books at the ready. Hopefully, you will not need these items, but it is better to have them just in case.
Hosting a Take Your Child to Work Day for the office is a fantastic way to include families in the workplace. Including families in the professional sector gives employees a better work-life balance. Activities on this day can be simple, like providing coloring pages, or more complex, like hosting a job fair. The most important thing is to create an environment where kids feel welcome and learn.