In Canada, November 5 is "Take Our Kids to Work" Day. (In the US, "Take Our Kids to Work" day is in April.) For those of you suddenly tasked with coordinating the event at the last minute, here's some help.
It's important to keep the day well-structured. Tours, product demonstrations, lunch with parents and hands-on activities are always a good idea.
To help you decide activities for the day, consider:
- The type of company you are;
- The age group you're dealing with;
- Your message. Will it be the value of education? The value of teamwork? The value of working safely?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Break the ice by having the children introduce their parents and explaining what their parents do. If age-appropriate, have the kids draw pictures of what they think their parents do at work all day.
- Have children participate in hands-on activities related to the development, marketing and distribution of a typical product. Have them work in teams, take orders for your product, create a prototype and then adapt it to meet specific orders. It's a creative, hands-on activity that demonstrates that teamwork is a vital part of any future career choice.
- Teach kids not only what their parents do to earn money, but how to manage that money. Give them a "salary" to spend as their parents would and have them pay taxes, buy a house, a car, clothes, food, etc.
- If job shadowing is a possibility, have the kids sign up to spend time in departments that interest them.
- Young children can cut out magazine pictures to make a "collage" of what they hope their future will be (nice house, cars, pets, kids, spouse, etc.).
- Bring in the HR department. Discuss the importance of education and preparation for a career in various fields related to your industry. Then have the children conduct mock job interviews.
- Let the children interview some workers, with questions such as: What do you do? What is your favorite part of your job? What is your least favorite?
- Have your young visitors put together your health and safety bulletin boards for the next month. You give them a theme, a stack of magazines and explain what you're looking for. Then let them find it. They can work individually or in groups. You can even make it a contest. (If you need ideas on how to put together a safety bulletin board, this video might help.)
Be sure to take a lot of photos, schedule several breaks and include some time for the kids to spend with their parents.
Above all, remember that this is a learning experience. To be successful, you must commit yourself to what the day is really all about: teaching the next generation how to be good - and safe - workers.
Editor's Note: Do you have any suggestions to add to this list of activities? If so, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know if we can use your name/company name.