Tips for Making the Most out of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

While it’s formally known as Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, you might have heard it referred to as Take Our Daughters to Work Day – or Take Your Kid to Work Day. No matter what you call it, the goal is still the same: You’re taking your kids to work to give them a taste of the real world. Not sure why you should participate in this event? Take a peek at our article on why you should take your kids to work on April 28. Here, Carolyn McKecuen, the executive director of the Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Foundation, and local mom Katie Murphy, an engineer at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, provide tips on how to make the most of your child’s day at the office.

Have a plan

“Set up a curriculum based on what’s going to work with your particular organization,” McKecuen suggests. Free activities for bring your child to work day, which are divided by age group are available at www.daughtersandsonstowork.org.

Make time to focus on your kids

Try to work a little harder for a few days in advance so you can slow down on the day of the event, McKecuen advises. “Most jobs, we can slow down, let the kids watch and answer questions about what we’re doing or we can do specific things for the kids,” she says. Consider preparing activities in advance like a scavenger hunt around the office.

Let your child conduct interviews

“If they go into the boss’s office then they should have to interview the boss,” McKecuen suggests. “How long did you have to go to school? What did you study to do this? What’s the best and worst thing about this job? That can take them all day interviewing people. And look at the knowledge they’d learn just by interviewing.”

Get others involved

Seeing what happens in departments beyond your own exposes kids to additional career paths and lets them see the big picture of how your company works. Ask a few coworkers if they’d be willing to give your child a brief tutorial on what they do.

Consider a half-day

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Not all kids are ready for a full day at the office and some might prefer to head back to school after a few hours at your workplace, Murphy says. A morning at work plus a fun lunch out with mom or dad is plenty.

It doesn’t have to be expensive

Children can have a great experience without their parents or companies spending a dime. “A lot of what we’re doing are things with the materials that we have on hand, or test that we would normally do,” Murphy says. “It doesn’t need to be something real extravagant for them. It needs to be more real. This is what we do at work all the time. We just make it a little more fun that day.”

Keep it real

McKecuen also emphasizes the need to keep the day focused on real work experiences – no crayons or crafts needed. “This is where they learn about work – the real life work,” she says. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, though – and it could be as simple as filling a jar with jelly beans and letting the kids guess how many (winner brings it home). “It doesn’t take up a lot of time but it makes it fun without just doing nonsense stuff that they can do anywhere,” she says.

This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for 2016.

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