When putting on shoes feels like a job, it might be hard for the kids to visualize what you do at work all day. In honor of National #TakeYourKidstoWork Day, we’ve got some survival tips to bringing the kids to the workplace, today or any time you need to have them with you. Scroll down for our top tips.

baby at office at work photo: Derek K. Miller via flickr

Tip #1: Bring donuts. Or muffins. Or something else delicious. Having a kid in the office/workplace isn’t always everyone’s idea of a good time so best to butter them up with something sweet. Have your child hand-deliver these treats to all your co-workers.

Tip #2: Let your kiddo pack their own “briefcase” or bag while you’re throwing your last-minute things into your purse or backpack. You can even suggest items they might want like an apple, a notebook, etc.

Tip #3: Be ready, with supplies. Kids love to staple, hole punch, make copies, cut paper, shred. Depending on their age, some of these tasks can be done without supervision or while you are actually getting some work done. You can also just have them do it over a recycling bin in your work space. And sorting recycling is a fun job, too. Work in a restaurant or retail store? Have the kiddos be the greeter for the day (or at least for 15 minutes). 

Tip #4: Water refills! Same principle as #1 but with a little more hydration. Let your kiddo fill water glasses and bottles up for your fellow employees right from the ol’ cooler or tap. Delivery works if there’s a lid involved or your child has a steady hand. They can also water the plants around the office/shop/kitchen.

Tip #5: Bring a camera and let your little one become the staff photographer. Have them walk around and take snapshots of your workplace and co-workers from their point-of-view. It will be a great team-building share later on.

Tip #6: Organize the supply room. Busy those little hands and gain the admiration of your boss when the sticky notes, yellow pads and extra pens all have their place.

Tip #7: Keep a stash of small toys and a coloring book or two that your kids only see at your place of work. It makes it special and gives them something to do while you furiously answer 7 emails.

Tip #8: Relax. The point of the day is to show your children what you do while you’re away from them. It doesn’t have to be a perfect day, or even a full day. If you can just do a lunch break, that works too. Eating in the break-room with your work wife is the perfect way to celebrate the day. 

Did you take your kids to work? What’s their favorite thing to do to “help”?

—Amber Guetebier