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When Does Your Child’s Play Become A Future Career?

Updated on April 5, 2017
Kristine Manley profile image

Kris Manley is a blogger, author, and speaker. She's a guest on radio in the U.S., Canada, and overseas, as well as a guest on network TV.

Aspiring Cartographer (Map Maker)


What a joy and a pleasure it is to see a child excel at something or just enjoy what he or she is doing. This is the very reason we, as adults, need to assist our children in choosing activities that will help them behave their way to success. The majority of adults have heard a child say, "when I grow up I want to be _______." I know I have heard this from a child, and then I said, "that's nice sweety." I really didn't take the child seriously because he or she is a child, and from my experiences, children's minds change like the weather, but some children do know what they want to be when they grow up and begin pursuing their chosen career early. Some adults don't even know what they want to be when they grow up - LOL!

A child's play shows little indication of their future career aspirations, but for some children who "eat and sleep" certain activities a parent may have a sense of career direction their child might take. It would behoove parents to sit down and talk to their children about a career. Children need to know what prompted Mom and Dad to choose their careers. Was it a chance encounter with an organization? Was it something they saw on TV? Was it a speaker at career day? Was it a favorite person and what they did?

When you see a child enjoying a particular activity ask him or her, "Do you know there are people who get paid for what you are doing?" Then go on to explain the job or career. Maybe even look up what it takes to get into that career. Also, consider looking up the salaries for that career. Look up if that career will be on the rise for the future. There is a reason schools have career days for its student body. Teachers are especially adept at seeing in a child a future career - the reason for this might be because children spend most of their time at school. Teachers can also help to introduce a child to a future career because of what he or she sees as the child interacts with others on the playground. Teachers can make a game and match the game's activities to jobs. Kids love to role play. A child who loves and it great at playing basketball can be a professional basketball player. A child who loves and is great at cooking can grow up to be a professional chef. A child who loves and is great at track and field can grow up to be a coach. A child who is great at and loves to get in front of people and talk and/or read can grow up to be a lawyer.

This is a short list of some activities that a child might "eat and sleep" and may give a parent a guess of how their child's play might turn into a future career:

A Child's Activities
Possible Career 
Book Reviewer / School Newspaper Contributor / Readers’ Circle / Blogger 
Editor / Writer / Author / Columnist 
Helping to operate a high school radio station / Operating TV camera at church / Radio Host 
Broadcasting: Reporter / Senior Producer 
Cooking Academy Participant 
Dietician / Chef / Nutritionist 
Building homes for local organization
Architect / Contractor / Interior Designer 
Jr. Open Water Diver / Sea Camp Participant / Lifeguard 
Marine Biologist  
Speaks a second language 
Lawn Care Service 
Landscaper / Arborist  
Pet Caregiver / Classes in: Wildlife Biology / Wildlife Camper / Farm Volunteer / Ranch Volunteer 
Veterinary Science / Animal Husbandry / Taxonomy (the science of classifying organisms)
Musician / Singer 
Composer / Lyricist  
Robotics and/or Engineering Camper / Computer Programming 
Engineering Disciplines / Science / BioMedical 
Little League / Gymnast  / Any sports
Young Investor 
Economist / Banker / Trader 
Aerospace Program Participant 
Astronaut / Aerospace Engineer 
Camp Counselor / National 4H Forestry Program 
Conservationist / National Park Ranger 
Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program 
Commercial Pilot 
Naval Sea Cadet Corps Program (ages 13-17) and Navy League Cadet Corps Program (ages 11-14)
Ship's Captain / Marine Pilot / Navy Seal 
Studying maps as a hobby
Cartographer (map making)

As your child gets older offer incentives for discovering careers that might interest them. Increase their computer time, game time, TV time, curfew, or allowance for using their healthy investigative nature in finding careers, and the required education that goes along with those career fields. Talk to your child about your chosen career path and how you arrived at it. This approach is proactive. There's nothing wrong with preparing your child for life and for encouraging their self-sufficiency.


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    • editorsupremo profile image


      6 years ago from London, England

      Great informative hub. I can pay testament to a child's play becoming a future career. I have twin boys and from the age of 5 I noticed their playing habits, one would throw 3 die when playing snakes and ladders and add up the dots in his head, a future mathematician maybe? Now 18 and with much encouragement he is going to university to study mathematics and economics, plans to be an economist!

      The other twin who was not as academic as the other constnatly watched films and knew the lines before they were uttered by the actor. As a child he would watch the kiddy films over and over again. Now he is attending university to become a film director, the British Spike Lee, perhaps!

      Voted up and shared with all.

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 

      6 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      Really great article. Sharing!

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Treasuresofheaven, thank you. Just trying to give a child every advantage to succeed.

      Blessings! Kris

    • Treasuresofheaven profile image

      Sima Ballinger 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Nice job Kristine. I like the way you laid out the possible career choices.

      I saw this Hub scrolling on the Main Page of Hub.

      We do need to pay attention to our children - playing or not! VOTE UP.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wonderful article and some great kids activity ideas.

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Eiddwen, Thanks

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      A very well written and interesting hub.

      Thanks for sharing

      Take care



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