Updated: Jun 16, 2019
Have you ever taken your child to work with you? This Thursday is National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. This event takes place every year on the fourth Thursday in April. This year I just so happen to be coordinating the activities at my husband's office. I've spent the last few weeks trying to come up with a variety of activities that will interest kids age three to 18. Read on to see what I came up with!
When I was an art teacher I took both of my kids to work with me on different occasions. Showing my kids where I was going when I left them was important to me. I wanted them to have a visual of where I was when I said I was going to work and what I was doing. I wanted them to understand what work was for me. I was lucky because my work took place in a huge art classroom, full of supplies and activities to keep little kids busy.
If you work in an office, it's more of a challenge keeping your kids entertained. This is why National Take Your Kids to Work Day is so important! If your office is partaking in this day there will be built in activities to keep your kids entertained!
Check with your company to see what the age requirements are. Some are geared towards older kids, some are geared towards younger kids and some large companies will have separate activities for kids of all ages.
My husband has a small engineering & design company in downtown San Diego. The past few years have had a good turn out of mostly younger kids between preschool and elementary school age, so I decided to focus on this age for our activities. The older kids will be allowed to shadow their parents and join us at any time.
Get to know each other poster. I wanted to start with some structure so I came up with this get to know each other poster. The company designer is going to take this and make it look more fancy, so this is just the rough draft! Answers can be written or drawn in, and little kids will work with an older kid or adult to fill it out.
Marshmallow Structures. I wanted to do some sort of building/design project that little kids would get excited about, so I'm going to have them design a structure made out of marshmallows and toothpicks. We will start by reading Iggy Peck Architect for inspiration. I did a dry run with my 3 year old and he was pretty excited about eating the marshmallows. His structure didn't get too far because he was more interested in eating it. I'm not sure how this project will actually go in a room full of little kids, it might just turn into a giant marshmallow eating party.
Kid Mural. The mural will be done on a large rolled out piece of canvas. Each kid will take a turn laying down and I will trace their body. Then they will be able to create a design inside their figure. I wrote more about this project in my Cute Crime Scene Art blog post. My husband's office is moving into a huge new space in a few weeks with lots of empty walls, so we'll have no problem finding a place to hang this mural!
Everything that the kids make will be set aside and later displayed during an art show where the entire company will be invited to come and see what they did. I'll post images of the finished projects after the event.
I remember going to work with my dad when I was little. In the absence of toys I would draw pictures, use the copy machine to blow things up and then shrink them. Cut and paste and make sculptures out of paper clips and tape. We'd get bored then find ways to entertain ourselves. The typewriter, the whiteout and the highlighters were all tools for making! How about you, do you have fond memories of going to work with your parents? Will you be taking your kids to work with you this Thursday?
Update after Taking Our Kids to Work Event:
We had kids ages 2.5-7 show up for the activities. We started with the poster. This was fun and helped me get to know the kids. It worked best with the 4 and up crowd, because they were able to draw on it as well as write.
The marshmallow building activity was super fun, but all of the kids under the age of 5 ate the marshmallows, the kids 5 and above did a good job of showing restraint!
Story time was key! Whenever the kids starting getting too crazy I pulled them back in with a story. Towards the end when we had about 15 minutes of time to kill before lunch we read I'm Not Just a Scribble and made little scribble people. This is a great, simple filler activity.
The mural was super fun, we cranked up some kid music and they really got into it. Some of the kids finished early. Little kids have a very hard time being confined to a space for any period of time. If I could have taken them outside somewhere to run around it would have been great! All in all the morning went really well. Here is where they left off with the mural.
At the end of the day I took the mural home and completed it by putting in a fun space themed background. Below you can see it hanging in the new office space!