A fun day at work doesn't usually involve bringing your young children with you. Whether it is an unavoidable instance or you've planned it for the fourth Thursday in April for the national "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work" day, it can be a fun and informative time for all involved. Children feel special spending the entire day with a parent. Even something that doesn't seem fun to an adult, such as eating lunch in a break room, can be fascinating to a preschooler. Plan ahead so your child doesn't get bored; bored children tend to make their own fun!
1. Let your Office Know
Make sure your office-mates are aware that you are bringing your children in to the office. If you are planning this event for the national day, see if anyone else is bringing their children, as well. You can make it an office-wide event, which can make planning easier. Plan your schedule for the day so you aren't in meetings all day. Nothing is more boring for a child than waiting in an outer office for a meeting to be concluded. Plan your day so your child can participate as much as possible.
2. Busy Activities
If you know there will be times when you need to have quiet to talk on the phone or hold a meeting, plan something for your child to do. This could be a coloring page or two; pick a coloring page of professionals doing their jobs, either in your field or another. If you have a large office, see if you can have your child observe a co-worker while you conduct your business.
3. Do Normal Things
Your child has heard you talk about your day at the office, so he probably knows basically what you do. If you get lunch at the sandwich shop every day, do that with your child. If you eat a peanut butter and jelly in the break room, do that. It makes children feel connected to you when they can do exactly what you do. And next week, when you mention eating lunch, your child will be able to picture that exactly.
4. Show Your Child Around
Your child is going to be interested in your work place. Let him explore your office with you right there. Explain what everything is and what you do with it. Walk around the building with your child, showing him the different spaces and places that you frequent. Introduce him to your co-workers. This makes your child feel special and important. You could even give him a name tag.
5. Involve Your Child
Your child wants to help you, so let him. If you need to make copies, let him push the button on the machine. If you need to go pick up something from another office, let him go with you and carry what you pick up. Involve your child as much as possible. You may feel like you could do something so much faster by yourself, and that's probably true. But remind yourself that it's only one day; tomorrow, you can push the button yourself on the copy machine.
6. Thank You Card
Plan ahead and bring a piece of poster board to your office. During a quiet time, have your child write a thank you note on the card. He can write, draw pictures or even cut out and glue on the coloring pages that he colored earlier. When he leaves for the day, have him give the card to a co-worker or leave it in the main office. This is a great way for him to show his appreciation to your co-workers for welcoming him into the office and showing him around.
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