It’s never too early to encourage a little career exploration in your students.
After all, you’re not going to hold them accountable to what they say now — are you? Today, they might want to be doctors, lawyers, and musicians. Tomorrow: Olympic athletes and astronauts. That’s all part of the fun!
For kids, career exploration is a fundamental part of development. It can really help them to look forward to, and prepare for, what the future holds.
Whether they realize it or not, kids are constantly looking to their adult role models for guidance on how to act and what they should do in the future. How often do you hear young ones ask each other, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
By getting your kid(s) exploring career options through certain focused activities, you’re equipping them with the knowledge that there are so many different paths out there for them, and the world really is their oyster.
So, what are career activities?
Career activities are fun ways to introduce your kid(s) or students to the endless possibilities out there in the world of work.
In elementary school, students usually have a fairly narrow view of employment. They may know (roughly) what their parents do, but there will still be so much for them to learn. As parents and teachers, it’s your job to help them explore their interests, natural skillsets, and true passions — and that’s where career exploration activities come in.
But before we go into those…
Why are career activities important for kids?
Career games are beneficial for elementary students in a whole host of ways:
Broaden kids’ minds
In a modern, digital-first society, there really are very few limits when it comes to job seeking. Career games are a great way for kids to discover how everyone in society can play a different role.
Inspire kids to achieve more
By increasing your kid or student’s awareness of the different jobs out there, they can start to really see where they can fit in — inspiring them to find a job that truly fits them, their personality, and their passions.
Encourage goal-setting from a young age
Once kids have found their “dream job”, they can start making a plan and taking the right steps towards getting there — even if they change their mind a week later!
7 career activities and games for elementary-age kids
Now, let’s delve into some of the best career activities out there for 6-11-year-olds:
On Career Days, guests come to school (or homeschool!) to talk about their line of work. And when it comes to career types, the more diverse, the better!
These events allow children to interact with adults and ask questions in a comfortable and safe environment, while guests get to share stories and inspire the next generation.
What better way to engage young minds than to take them out of their usual, classroom environment?
Scheduling a field trip to a place of work can be such an eye-opener for kids and pre-teens, as it allows them to glimpse behind the scenes of whichever workplace you’ve chosen for that day.
Some particular favorites are fire stations, museums, restaurants, and TV studios.
Get your kid(s) or students to pick an occupation for each letter of the alphabet, and think about what skills these jobs would need. Once they’ve done this, they can go one step further and discuss why these skills are important for that particular job.
This activity is super easy yet educational and works well in the classroom for a larger group of students.
Paper and pens at the ready! In this activity, kids flex their creative skills and draw up a poster describing the ins-and-outs of a certain job or career.
To do this, we suggest writing down a wide list of different jobs and getting your kid(s) or students to pick the one that sounds the most interesting to them. That way, they can stay truly engaged and make it meaningful for them.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, why not have a look at our selection of worksheets on famous people? From writers to athletes, to inventors, and explorers, there’s plenty of resources for you to get your kid(s) or students inspired!
Get your kid(s) and students making active goals towards their dream jobs with this career path activity. The aim of the game is to help kids and pre-teens to understand what they need to do to make their dreams a reality.
You can visualize it as a ladder — with each step leading to the next stage — or as a more free-form diagram. At this stage, don’t worry so much about feasibility or accuracy; we’re really just trying to get kids to think about what the future could hold.
The variety of summer camps out there is amazing, and there are so many options to choose from, in fields like cooking, journalism, science, fitness, engineering, and more.
Enrichment programs are a great way to get your kids really immersed in a particular field, gaining valuable hands-on experience, as well as making memories and friendships that last a lifetime.
This one’s ideal for older elementary kids, and it’s something they can carry with them through their teen years. Volunteering exposes students to valuable experiences, while supporting their local community, too. If your pre-teen has dreams of becoming a teacher, why not set them up with a few hour’s work each week as a personal tutor? Similarly, if they see themselves working in medicine, can you go together to a local blood bank — handing out flyers, or meeting and greeting guests?
Volunteering is also a great way to boost a teen’s resume so that when the time comes to actually start their career, they’re more than equipped.
Sow the seeds now, and watch your child bloom!
Even if your kid(s) or students grow up to do something totally different to what they have in mind today, you can rest assured that this career support, early in life, has given them the confidence to strive for what they want — and achieve it!
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as Career Exploration for Elementary Students – 7 Activities for Kids: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 15, 2020