By Steve Peha, Staples® Contributing Writer
Looking for ideas that will make Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day (TODASTW) a meaningful experience for your kids and coworkers? Dont worry, weve got eight of them!
- The Who We Are Wall: Heres a fun take on a TODASTW Foundation activity that helps professionals and kids learn about each other. Participating adults write briefly about their jobs. Kids draw and write about what they want their lives to be like when theyre grown up and the kind of job they want to enable them to live that life. Post everyones work on the wall and connect adults and kids with similar interests. Supplies: Writing and drawing materials, stickie notes, tape or pushpins
- Problem-Solving & Brainstorming. Kids are full of ideas but they may need help investigating and vetting them. Engage them in a discussion of problems in the world theyd like to solve, challenge them to come up with solutions, and ask each participant to provide a 2-minute problem-solution presentation. This activity encourages big ideas, critical thinking and global problem-solving. Supplies: Writing and drawing materials
- Giving Feedback: Feedback is an important part of most jobs, but we dont do much to teach students how to give it. Show kids your website or product and ask questions like: Why did we make this? Whats good about it? What would make it better? This approach encourages evaluative thinking while showing how to give constructive feedback. Supplies: Chart paper and markers for recording responses
- Budgeting Activity: Tell a story about how you budgeted for something important at the office. Have kids write down something they want and how much money they need for it (guesses are OK). Next, tell kids to imagine that they are a business. Ask them to brainstorm ideas for making the money, and help them identify potential customers and one selling point. Supplies: Writing materials and calculators
- Working Lunch: The TODASTW Foundation recommends a Conversation Café, something akin to the lunch-and-learn events popular in workplaces. Ask kids to share what they think are the most important skill sets to be successful in their lives. Or use the Who We Are Wall to organize tables of adults and kids with similar interests. Adults present mini-lessons on job requirements and responsibilities and engage kids in a Q&A. Supplies: Name tags and tent cards for table topics
- Teamwork & Design Thinking: Team projects are part of any job, so give kids a hands-on activity, like the Marshmallow Challenge, to show them how it works. The Challenge is a hilarious way to explore the principles of physics and engineering through design-thinking and cooperation. Supplies: Marshmallows, dry spaghetti, masking tape, string, scissors and paper lunch bags
- Workplace Exploration: Take kids on a tour of your facility. At each stop, ask them what they think happens there and why it matters to the business. Validate their guesses and then provide a short explanation. Wherever possible, connect business functions with things kids know about from school like report-writing, math even snack time. Questions and connections engage kids more than speeches. Supplies: Name tags and way-finding signage
- Planning Exercise: Instead of asking kids to write about what they did and learned, engage them in planning next years event. Start by having them write down and share the things they found most surprising or interesting their aha! moments of the day. Then ask them to write and share tips for parents and kids participating in next years event. Capture the best ideas for future use. Supplies: Writing materials, whiteboard/flip chart and markers
Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is a terrific opportunity to not only bond with your kids, but to show kids how business is done and to reinforce key skills like writing, presenting, critical thinking and teamwork. Use these tips to plan a meaningful day or to inspire your own activities.