Welcome to the Professional World
August 26, 2014  |  Written by M. Rodrigo Brao

Learning about different professions is one of the bases of child education. Children must become familiar with the wide range of jobs to see how they can work in society. The goal is to have children acquire concepts and skills to prepare them for the future. Learning about professions will enable them to discover what they want to be when they grow up. At The Toy Blog, we suggest a series of activities and related apps because the best way to learn is by playing.

In our article “The Future Jobs of our Kids”, we wrote about how the future would need skilled technicians and creative workers. But we mustn´t really become obsessed by what our children might end up doing when they grow up. They should decide what they want to do and a good way is having them discover what their interests are.

Our job as parents isn´t deciding what they should do but rather acting as counsellors. That´s why it´s very important to establish good communication habits and be observant. Pay attention to their day-to-day and ask yourself the following question: What do they enjoy the most?

Some estimates have 20,7% of boys wanting sport related jobs (soccer, tennis, Formula 1 drivers) which entail social recognition while 24,3% of girls prefer jobs that imply helping others such as teachers, doctors or veterinarians. These statistics aren´t very different from the ones we published a year ago.

That said, we shouldn´t be blinded by what they see on TV or what their friends say. In order to discover what they really want, be observant while they play and see if they really make an effort to develop skills linked to the job or profession they desire.

There are games that help children develop different skills that can help us identify their preferences. Children should be shown how each job is important. This will help them understand the world that surrounds them and learn about the different options they have.



Shall we play?

Internet offers an endless amount of resources that teach your children to differentiate existing professions: from YouTube videos like this one by the British Council to interactive games. There are also plenty of apps available. These are the most interesting: “When I grow up…” (1,79€), Professions Puzzles (free) and “Dress up: Professions“(1,99€)

We suggest you be part of these games so they know you are interested in what they enjoy. Aside from playing with dolls and toys, you can get them to play any of the following three activities:


Draw different professions on a large piece of  paper (this image can serve as a reference). Ask your children to tell you what they are, what does each one imply and what tools or skills do they need to carry out that job. “What does a hairdresser need?” Or, “what does the computer programmer need to do his job?”  Ask them to draw each worker, write the name of the profession and paint the tools.


Organize a costume party of professions. Make sure you have a variety: doctor, fireman, teacher, cook…  To play, children need to change their outfit and try acting out each profession. Create imaginary situations so they can learn the use of each one. For example, the cook is making food for everyone and suddenly, his kitchen catches on fire. The fireman must run to put it out but be careful. If he gets burned, the doctor might have to come along.

Riddles and Jokes

When your children learn to identify different professions you can teach them riddles and jokes that relate to that particular job so they can have fun while they keep learning. For ideas, check this website out.  

Do your children already know what the want to be when they grow up? Are you sure that is really what they want to become? 

PhotoCredits: Christiaan Triebert

PhotoCredits: Loren Javier



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