You will share a book about future careers, talk with your child about her ideas and goals, and play a guessing game.
Learning Area(s): Language and Communication; Social and Emotional
- Age-appropriate book with the theme of what kids want to be when they grow up (suggestions: When I Grow Up by Mercer Mayer or When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a… by Galia Lamo Dozo)
Together, read a book about what kids want to be when they grow up (see materials list for suggestions).
Afterward, talk about the ideas in the book and ask your child open-ended questions, such as, “What would you like to be when you grow up? Why would you like to do that? Do you know anyone who does that?” If your child does not know anyone in a career she is interested in, talk about how you might be able to introduce her to someone who does that job, or plan to do some research to learn more about that career.
Next, play a game in which you act out one of the jobs you read about in the book, and your child has to guess what that job is. Once you have done a few, your child can have a turn acting out a job. You and your child might find props in your house that can also be used in this game.
- If the guessing game is too hard for your child, you can modify it by choosing different jobs described in the book and encouraging your child to act them out with you. For example, you might say “Remember how Charlie talked about being a firefighter? Let’s pretend we’re firefighters too!” Then together you can pretend to hear the fire alarm, slide down the fire pole, drive the fire truck to the fire, spray water from the fire hose, etc
- If your child is interested in a particular type of job, consider taking her on a “field trip” to learn more about that job or meet some people who do that kind of job. This is easiest if you know someone personally who works in that field. But even if you don’t, you can often contact a business by phone or email and explain to them that your young child is interested in learning more about their work. Find out if they give tours or if there is someone who might be able to talk to your child about their work. You might also ask your child’s teacher for suggestions, as another parent may have connections to the type of work that interests your child.
- Another related activity would be to invite your child to draw self portraits as a person in that field. For example, your child can draw herself as a doctor or veterinarian or firefighter.
- Remember that children may have many interests and ideas at this age. Even if you think your child’s career ideas may be unrealistic or unusual, it is best to be encouraging and help your child learn more about all areas that interest her.
- If your child wants to be something that is in the realm of fantasy, you can gently help your child connect fantasy ideas with related real career ideas. For example, a child who is interested in being a superhero might be interested in the real work of firefighters, astronauts, airline pilots, police officers, doctors, etc.