Cheap, Kid-Friendly Ideas for Take Your Child to Work Day

By Lisa Cericola April 14, 2009, 4:06 PM EDT

Eleni's animal cookies

Photo: Courtesy of Eleni's

If your office is going to be filled with kids on April 23, you'd better be prepared. Here are a few last-minute ideas—from activities to lunch—that will keep young visitors occupied without breaking the bank.

1. Making name tags can be a good ice-breaker—and will help the adults figure out which kid belongs to which parent. Set the children up in a conference room with some blank adhesive labels and a colorful alphabet stamp kit so they can create their own. (Oriental Trading has lots of options for under $20.)

2. Disposable cameras will help the kids record their visit. Kodak recently launched its first customizable throwaway camera; minimum orders of 250 cost $4.25 each. (Brand the cameras with your a logo and save the extras for summer picnics or holiday parties.)

3. If you need to keep them busy during the day, hand out small notepads and brandable scented pencils (28 cents for 1,000 pencils, plus a $45 setup fee) from ePromos, or, if your budget allows, bring in an event planning company that specializes in arts and crafts projects. Unirec in New York offers activities like picture frame and key chain making, starting at $775 for 50 kids, and P&J Kids Art Loft in the Chicago area offers classes starting at $8 per person.

4. Pizza suits almost all appetites—even grown-ups'. For pies that are a little nicer than the corner pizza joint, try Golosi in New York ($28 for a 28-inch pie), Two Boots in New York and Los Angeles ($16.95 for a large pizza), or Millwood Pizza, Burgers, and More in Chicago ($20.99 for a 16-inch pizza).

5. Or, instead of lunch, offer a kid-friendly afternoon treat like mini cupcakes, $1 each, from Platine Cookies in Los Angeles or Cupcakes Nouveau in Miami, or hand-painted animal-shaped cookies ($65 for 16) from Eleni's. For sweets with a charitable tie-in, Washington-based CookieTime is a bakery run by local middle school students with the assistance of CakeLove.

6. For a list of more activity and gift ideas, check out the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Foundation site.

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