According to the Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day Foundation, this annual event is more than a career day and more than an opportunity to job shadow.  This event strives to show children the importance of work and the opportunity to learn the balance of work and family life.  Most importantly, this annual event has the ultimate goal of empowering both girls and boys to reach their full potential in life and confront and combat societal restraints that restrict them in reaching this goal.

2019 is the 26th year for the Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day.  Nearly every year has had a theme and an agenda for the event.  The Foundation publishes a Bright Ideas Guide that details how to plan and prepare for an event at your workplace.  This guide includes everything from a detailed time table to specific activities for the children.  The many tips, suggestions and sample forms are certainly worth checking out if you want to organize something for your company.

Many individuals and companies have held events over the past twenty-six years and have written their own suggestions and tips.  If you are involved in the planning of a “Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day” event at your workplace, here are some of their best advice on the subject.  We have also included some additional resources to access further information. 

PLANNING THE EVENT

  • At least three to six months before the event, establish a committee to plan the event.  Try to include employees from every department either directly on the committee or through their solicited suggestions and ideas.
  • Determine how any satellite offices will participate, if appropriate.
  • Determine a date for the event.  While the national organization insists that you use the fourth Thursday in April, you might need to select a date that works best for your company.
  • Determine the time frame for the event.  Should it be an all-day event, half day or just a couple of hours?  Take into consideration the ages of the children.  A half day might be best for younger children.
  • Set a theme for the event.  The national organization has a yearly theme that they strongly encourage you to use.  You may, however, choose a different theme, maybe something that pertains directly to your place of business.
  • Determine an age group that you want to focus on for the event.  The national organization suggests children between the ages of 8 and 18.  Children under the age of 8 may not have the developmental skills to comprehend the activities of the day.  They may also not have the attention span or temperament to participate in the event.
  • Determine the number of children your workplace can handle.  You may be able to accommodate every employee’s child.  You may also have to limit the number by a “first come first served” policy or divide the day into a morning and afternoon session.
  • Review what has been done in the past and assess the effectiveness and adjust accordingly.
  • Ask children for their ideas and suggestions for activities for the event.  Invite some older children to participate in the actual planning of the event at your place of business.
  • Create an agenda and timetable for the day.  Establish a start time, end time, breaks, lunch, etc.
  • Determine what you would like the children to learn about your workplace, business, and employees.
  • Give a tour of your workplace and introduce them to your colleagues.
  • Set specific activities for the children to do during the event.
  • Try to involve as many departments as possible in the activities for the day.
  • Try to have an activity that expresses your business’s charitable endeavors.  If your company supports children’s charities, then find an activity that the children can participate in that will benefit your charity (packing backpacks with school supplies, collecting teddy bears, etc.).
  • Provide healthy snacks and meals (if you are providing lunch).  Maybe consider a walk around the parking lot or block as a break for the kids.
  • Be sure to make the experiences realistic so they can see what a typical day would look like.
  • Always keep safety in mind for when the kids are at your workplace. 
  • Involve the schools.  Be sure to create an event agenda that children can take to let their school know that they are participating in this event. 
  • Ask the school about make-up work or if they need to complete a special assignment about their experience.
  • For children who are not able to physically go to an event at a workplace, you might want to consider bringing a similar event to them at the school.  For this, you will need to work closely with the school and the community in planning this.
  • Make the dress code for the kids flexible for your business and for the age of the children and for the activities they will be doing that day.
  • If possible, provide some “parting gifts”, maybe some swag from your company.

ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS

  • Marshmallow Challenge: This is a team building activity where each team builds a freestanding structure with specific group supplies.
  • Make an Art Station:  Provide art supplies and ask the kids to create a new logo or marketing advertisement for your company.
  • Bingo:  This can be a great icebreaker activity centered around breakfast that will engage the kids and get them comfortable with the workplace and people.
  • Interviews:  Ask the kids to interview a few different people in your company.
  • Scavenger Hunt:  Another great ice breaker activity that can also be a team building activity.
  • Document the Day:  Kids love cameras, so encourage them to take pictures or make a video of the day.
  • Who Are We Wall:  Write different categories of topics on a big piece of paper or whiteboard.  People write their responses to these topics throughout the day.
  • Problem-solving: Provide real-life issues about your business and ask the children to brainstorm solutions.
  • Teach them how to give feedback in a constructive manner.
  • Provide a budget activity.
  • Have a working lunch where kids share what they think are the most important career skills to have.
  • Create a teamwork activity.
  • Give a tour of your facility.
  • Ask the children to help plan next year’s event.
  • Introductions:  Share two things about yourself, one true, one false. The group guesses which is true.
  • Creative Activities:  Help create a bulletin board display about a specific topic about your business or the day’s events.
  • Job Titles and Duties:  Write job titles on name tags and ask children to guess which person has which job.
  • Directed Discussions:  Over lunch or snacks, have small group discussions about careers or another topic specific to your business.
  • Do games like a scavenger hunt or trivia game related to businesses.
  • Have the children participate in computer activities, video conferencing or other tech experiences from your company.
  • Work on some eco-friendly activities that your business participates in.

For Younger Children:

  • Arrange for art stations around your workplace.  Ask them to create a new logo for your company, draw a picture of them and their parent at work.
  • Arrange for a building project where the kids could make a house, or something related to your business.
  • Ask the kids to write a story about the nature of your work.
  • Make jewelry (friendship bracelet, etc.) to share with each other or other workers at your place of business.
  • Ask young children to “help” by watering plants, arranging papers, etc.
  • Try doing a few demonstrations or lessons about the technology you use at your work.

For Older Children:

  • Give them mathematical problems that relate to your business and help them solve them.
  • Arrange for them to interview different people in your company.
  • Try some hands-on experiences that could involve science or art as it relates to your business.
  • Make assignments in advance so they can job shadow certain employees for the day.
  • Include them in some actual scientific experiments, if appropriate for your business.
  • Involve them in some marketing activities that could showcase their artistic skills.
  • Give different scenarios for issues that may arise at your work and ask your children to problem solve resolutions.
  • Teach Interview Skills.
  • Show them how to create a resume and cover letter.
  • Help them prepare for a background check.

How to Prepare Your Kids for the Event:

  • Review the agenda for the day, if you were provided one. 
  • Go over the expectations you have for them as they participate in this event.
  • Find out what their expectations might be for participating in this event.
  • Be certain the teacher knows of their absence and get any assignments that they might be missing. 
  • Be sure they understand the nature of the event and the venue. 
  • Ask them to select their clothes the night before so there are no issues in the morning. 
  • You will want to assure that they arrive on time.
  • Ask them to keep a journal of the day’s events or even take pictures or a video. 
  • You can also try visiting a free online survey site to determine what careers might be of interest to your child based on their specific interests and personality.
  • Talk with your child after the event to find out about their experience.  Use open-ended questions to elicit a more thorough response.
  • Encourage your child to send a thank you note after the event.  If he/she is young, then a picture will work.

RESOURCES