Each year on the fourth Thursday in April, National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is celebrated by corporations and businesses across the United States. Some parents may remember the event billed as Take Your Child to Work Day or Take Our Daughters to Work Day. And while its name has evolved – to account for inclusivity – The Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Foundation’s commitment to investing in our nation’s children remains.

For homeschooling parents working both in and outside of the home, the flexibility of your learner’s schedule – one of the many benefits of a Time4Learning membership – allows for educational rabbit trails beyond their daily coursework. So, if you’re charged with facilitating an event in the workplace, or your company is participating, here are some Bring Your Child to Work Day activity ideas for children of all ages.

Considerations for Bringing Your Kid to Work

If you’re fortunate to work at a company that recognizes Take Your Child to Work Day, you may not have to worry about how to keep your kids engaged. Your business will likely already have a plan in place for the day; perhaps fun activities, talks, and a special lunch. But, if Take Your Child To Work Day isn’t on your company’s radar, and you’re all about it, it may be up to you to get the HR department on board.

Note:Should you lack the bandwidth to facilitate a company-wide feat such as this on your own – which could likely be the case if your company asks you to take the reins – you may want to enlist the help of other parents at your organization. If that’s the case, here’s what you’ll need to consider if you and your colleagues want to plan a top-notch, successful event in the workplace.

Points to consider when planning Take Your Child to Work Activities:

  • Ensure in-house safety and security: In terms of building and cyber security, often both the IT and building security divisions will need to be aware of what’s going on to ensure the appropriate safety measures are in place.
  • If meals and snacks are provided, take safety precautions regarding food allergies and sensitivities. It may be wise to provide allergen-free snacks and waiver forms or additional resources to keep the event safe for all.
  • Consider your company’s remote workers – If your organization is working on a hybrid schedule and most employees are in the office on the same day, schedule your Take Your Child to Work Day event for that day; when the maximum number of coworkers can participate.

Hands-on Bring Your Child to Work Day Activities

“We can best help children learn, not by deciding what we think they should learn and thinking of ingenious ways to teach it to them, but by making the world, as far as we can, accessible to them, paying serious attention to what they do, answering their questions – if they have any – and helping them explore the things they are most interested in.” – John Holt

What better way, through hands-on experience in your workplace, to make real-life accessible to your children? Plus, it’s a great opportunity to answer that age-old question, “When will I ever use this?” Your accounting and marketing colleagues can help your kids see the value in understanding fractions, Algebra, subject/verb agreement, etc…

Provide activities for all age ranges

If preschoolers will be joining you in the office, consider setting up a conference room in a central location stocked with hands-on, age-appropriate activities:

  • Book and craft or food activity (ex: The Very Hungry Caterpillar)
  • Scavenger hunt for office items
  • Coloring books; color the company logo – mini-lesson; what is a logo/branding?

Elementary-aged children will have slightly longer attention spans, here are a few easy ways to engage them:

  • Journal or document the day; create a scrapbook, have supplies on hand
  • Interview coworkers and their roles
  • Have department heads provide brief tours
  • Create a mock resume activity; have them incorporate their skills, experience

Bring your child to work day provides a unique opportunity to incorporate a “career day” component for tweens and teens:

  • Complete a mock job application; many young adults find filling out forms overwhelming
  • Have kids take over a business social media account; they can take turns posting to IG stories
  • Provide in-depth departmental tours and info sessions
  • Create a selfie-scavenger hunt; kids can pose near predetermined props, signs, departments

Additional ‘close-of-business’ activities to engage kids

  • Ask them what they would do differently in the workplace or how they would handle certain situations
  • Tie in an academic challenge they may have; remind them how it’s used in “the real world”
  • Have your child write thank-you letters to your co-workers
  • Foster financial literacy; discuss your 401K, employer match, stocks, etc…

Flexibility is Key

It’s important to remember that not every child will want to participate. Honor their comfort levels. It’s a good idea to set up a break area or conference room where they can go to relax. Children can get overstimulated, and some kids are simply introverted.

Make appropriate accommodations by providing an area with books, games, and snacks, away from the main events. The break room can also serve as an area for homeschoolers to check in and work through a few online lessons; this will be especially helpful for learners who thrive on routine and structure.

For colleagues with schedule constraints or those working remotely, incorporate virtual activities. We’re all fully aware of how creative we can be when necessary. (Looking at you, virtual, socially distanced birthday parties of 2020!) Here are a few bring your kid to work day activities and ideas for remote employees:

  • Virtual career day via video conference
  • Online scavenger hunt like a WebQuest across the company site
  • Have older kids calculate your expense reports
  • Elementary-aged students can assist with filing; alphabetical order practice

It’s common for well-meaning, non-homeschooling families to question what we do as homeschoolers. In fact, you may have encountered colleagues who have said as much; that they could never homeschool, or feel they don’t have the skillset necessary to teach their children.

Bring Your Child to Work Day, is an excellent opportunity to “show off” your amazing learners. Interacting with your learners in a social setting – because “What about socialization?” – might just be the push a parent needs to consider homeschooling as an option for their family.

It’s also a great way to reiterate that as a busy working caregiver, Time4Learning allows you to outsource the teaching aspect of homeschooling, allowing you to be a learning partner alongside your students as they learn to work independently with structure, support, and flexibility.

Bring Your Child to Work End-of-Day Reflections

Take Your Child to Work Day is an excellent opportunity to provide your children with a sense of what it is you do all day. It’s also a great way to bond now and in the future; plus, it makes for excellent dinner table conversation.

Having your kids in the office with you, or nearby as you work remotely, brings them into your work world. They’ll get to know the movers and shakers in the office and gain a small sense of the work dynamic. When your child asks about that hilarious co-worker they met, you have a fun starting point for robust around-the-dinner-table conversations.

To summarize, caregivers who take their kids to work can foster that connection, exponentially when the kids in their lives have the inside scoop on what’s happening in their grown-up’s day-to-day work life.

Through engaging, hands-on activities, Bring Your Child to Work Day provides a chance for children to get a glimpse of what the adults in their lives do every day, thus inspiring their ambition and fostering curiosity about their world and their role in it.