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5 Ways to Re-Imagine Take Your Child to Work Day

7-minute read 

Like many events this year, “Take Your Child to Work Day” will be a little different. Rashelle Chase and Linda Nelson on KinderCare’s Education team, are sharing five ways your family can put a new twist on this yearly tradition.
  1. Expose kids to new possibilities, if they see it, they know they can be it.
  2. Connect their passions to possible careers: if they love art, they could be an art teacher.
  3. Break through stereotypes by pointing out diverse people doing different jobs in the community or on TV to instill a mindset of “anything is possible.”
  4. Let them see that some days are hard but reinforce the benefits of working by also talking about what you love about your job.
  5. Invite them to be part of your day by planning out a special schedule for you and your little coworker.

Like many events this year, “Take Your Child to Work Day” will be a little different. For some, taking your child to work isn’t a possibility, and for others, working from home makes this a daily thing. To help your family meet this moment, Rashelle Chase and Linda Nelson on KinderCare’s Education team, are sharing five, in-person and virtual, ways your family can put a new twist on this yearly tradition. 

mother and son piggyback ride


1. See It to Become It  
Children cannot envision themselves doing what inspires them in the future if they don’t see people they relate with doing it. Expose them to different jobs done by different people. Being able to see themselves in a variety of different roles helps children understand that they can be anything, and encourages them to follow their passions. Start by talking with your child about your work, then set up video calls to ask your extended family members what they do. Keep expanding by chatting with family friends and neighbors. You could even go beyond your neighborhood by taking a virtual field trip to explore a variety of occupations and locations, like this one to a Fire Station from PBS or search for your dream job, from animals to STEM on Discovery Education.  

2. Ignite Their Passion 
Talk with children about what it means to be passionate about something, then begin to make connections to possible careers. Brainstorm what they love, then pair those activities and skill sets with jobs. For example, if they love reading, maybe they could become a librarian or if they love art, maybe they’d make a great art teacher. Take it a step further when you walk through your neighborhood by pointing out different careers, from mail carriers to shop owners to construction workers. Then at bedtime, choose a story that continues your conversation, like: 

  • Infants & Toddlers: “The ABC’s of What I Can Be” by Caitlin McDonagh 
  • Pre-Schoolers: “Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do" by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook  
  • School-Age Kids: “Ada Twist, Scientist” from the series of career books by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts 
3. Break Through Stereotypes 
Point out diverse people doing jobs in the community or on TV, like women firefighters, male teachers, and Black and Asian female vice presidents. Read books together that feature all genders, people of color, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQIA+ community in a wide variety of roles. Look at pictures of people in your family or community who have braved their own path to achieve their goals. Encourage their ambitions and instill a mindset of “anything is possible,” by telling them you believe in them and their ability to be whatever they want to be. 

4. Focus on the Positive 
It’s OK to let them know that some workdays are harder than others, but also talk with them about what you love about your job too—this will help reinforce the benefits of working. For your kids, school is like their work or career. So, equate your experience and your feelings to the days when they enjoy school and the days when they aren’t as excited about it. Having one off day doesn’t mean you are not learning and growing at your job, or at school.  

5. Hire a Coworker 
For some families, “bring your child to work day” has become every weekday because of the pandemic. While it can be tempting to try to keep your work and personal life separate, the beauty (and your sanity) can be found in the balance. Involve them in your workday. Prepare your co-workers by going over the schedule the night before. Plan out special moments when you can sit next to each other on Zoom calls, enjoy lunch together, and help with school assignments. If it’s possible, you could even let them sit in on a meeting or two to see exactly what you do for work—it might spark a new passion in them! 

By showing that people are doing jobs are all around us, sharing what you do and why you do it, your child will be empowered to explore their passions and start to dream big about their own future career. 

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