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Career Day for Kids: Exploring Occupations through Play

2015-09-04 by Melissa & Doug
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It’s Career Day for Kids, with 10 great ways to explore occupations!

career day banner

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

That’s a question all children seem to hear. Think about all of the exciting adult careers you wanted to have, as a child! You may have even followed your childhood dreams and be working in the career you hoped to have in those magical days of make-believe. Children today still dream of being a “grown up” and doing incredible things. At Melissa & Doug, we celebrate a child’s desire to achieve, so we’re presenting a “Career Day for Kids” with play-centered ideas for exploring occupations. Because pretend play can help develop creativity and confidence, we encourage creative play, every day! To make role play a consistent part of make-believe, we’ve designed and constructed our costumes to last. With machine washable jackets, carefully crafted accessories and the option of personalizing costumes for that special child, our costumes are meant to be worn and enjoyed for years – at about the same price as throw-away costumes that barely last one day!

Police Officer

What are some ways a police officer serves a community? Girls and boys may have a lot of wonderful ideas about this, and our top quality role play set is made to help a child explore some of the important duties that police have. Children can pretend to direct traffic around town with the included whistle, send and receive make-believe calls using the sound-effects walkie-talkie, and use the hand-held ticket to remind people about obeying laws. Your young officer might like a trustworthy partner on the job, like our police officer hand puppet, or could use vehicles stamps to make thank you cards for your local police department.

Career Day for Kids Police Officer

Pediatric Nurse

If career day makes your little one think of joining the medical profession, then being a pediatric nurse might just be the right prescription for playtime! This role play set features a comfortable uniform jacket with pockets, a soft baby doll, toy stethoscope, ear scope, thermometer, and syringe. The smiling toy baby wears a removable cloth diaper with self-stick closures, so it’s easy for little hands to change. Download this free printable activity sheet for even more fun!

pediatric nurse role play

patient checklist

With this free printable patient checklist, your junior caregiver will be prepared for baby checkups and boo-boos. Click on the picture above for your free copy!

Fire Chief

Make sure your aspiring fire chief is wearing a badge and is fully equipped for emergencies in the world of make-believe. Our durable role play set features a bright red jacket trimmed with reflective material, a red helmet with “fire chief” on the front, a pretend fire extinguisher and a toy bullhorn with sound effects. Take the firefighting work on the road in a wooden fire truck play set, with a lifting bucket-ladder, roll up hose and 3 wooden firefighter figures. The only way to make this fire chief’s career day even better is with a Dalmatian stuffed animal as a faithful companion. The playtime adventures would be endless!

firefighter role play

Hair Stylist

Keeping in style is more fun than ever, with our hair stylist role play set. Clients will be impressed by the coordinating smock, comb, brush and mirror. Plus, our non-cutting scissors and the battery-powered, toy hair dryer (that sounds like the real thing) will keep them coming back for more! Your confident little stylist will probably want to keep those beloved stuffed animal friends well groomed, too. Would you like to schedule an appointment?



Welcome aboard! Your captain today will be using a realistic steering yoke and wearing a handsome uniform that’s easy for girls and boys to put on and remove – with a decorative jacket and attached shirt, plus a stick-on tie. We’re sure you’ll also admire those pilot’s wings and the hat! A reusable pre-flight check list is included. These pilots in training can also practice their airline duties and flying skills with a sturdy wooden airplane play set. Feel free to use the free printable packing list and travel activity page below, as you get ready for some high-flying fun!


printable packing list

Race Car Driver

Our high quality, racing style jumpsuit zips up, and is embellished with colorful racing emblems. This race car driver role play set also includes a sturdy helmet with an adjustable visor, and a soft steering wheel with race car styling that’s sure to please young racing enthusiasts. Our revved up costume set is the perfect outfit for pretend play races, and for watching your favorite professional racing events! You can keep the fast-paced fun on a roll, with a magnetic race car loader set, or a cool racing keepsake for your collection.

race car driver role play


10…9…8…7… be part of the countdown to creative play, with a little girl or boy who wants to become an astronaut! Our sturdy, step-in jumpsuit is made to survive exciting missions, with silvery, stretchy gloves and a helmet that slip on and off those brave space travelers. Your adventurer can study planets and map out explorations with our space themed floor puzzle or reusable learning mat. Let the inspiration blast off right now, with this free coloring page.


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Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to be amazed by your own little magician! Turn your gaze to the dazzling red vest and bow tie, sparkling black cape, magic wand and silky top hat.

magician role play

Pull the  rabbit out of the hat! Do card tricks. Make a coin disappear (ssshhh – using a secret pocket). Includes accessories and instructions.careerdayforkidsexploringoccupationsthroughplay_13


Little foodies will love this chef’s costume. The washable hat and jacket make this set ideal for food play, and for helping out the “big” foodies in the kitchen. With the included wooden utensils, set of measuring spoons and quilted kitchen mitt, these little helpers have just the right recipe to develop a passion for cooking. Introduce your tiniest foodies to the world of cooking, too, with a “Little Chef” soft activity book from K’s Kids and Melissa & Doug. What a great way to “stir up” an early interest in reading!



If you’d like to know what today’s specials are, please ask the waitress in this cute pink dress, with the cap and apron. Our classic waitress role play set is color coordinated, right down to the menu. A reusable, dry-erase order ticket and plastic serving tray complete the look and make serving hungry customers as easy as pie – or pizza – or tea. Who knows what they’ll order! (The felt sandwich set shown here is sold separately.) We invite you to download this free printable sign to color, fill in and display in your friendly career day diner.

waitress role play

Bon appétit! career day exploring occupations restaurant sign printable

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Melissa & Doug

Our team of play experts occasionally enjoys sharing news about our company, new product launches, and some of the #CountlessWaysToPlay with our toys, crafts, and games. At Melissa & Doug, we’re on a mission to inspire the innovators of tomorrow through kid-powered play!

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