Show and Tell at Work Day is a day to channel your inner kindergartner, showing off and talking about whatever item that tickles your fancy—at work! Work can often be a very impersonal place, so this day is all about mixing up the mundane by sharing a piece of who you are like back in grade school.
Created by Thomas and Ruth Roy of Wellcat.com, the purpose of Show and Tell at Work Day is to liven up the workplace with a childhood pastime. The Roys have created and copyrighted many wacky holidays since the 1980’s with the intention of simply having fun. Thomas Roy noticed the popularity of his silly invented holidays, musing that the world must be “hungry for mirth.” And where else could use a bit of mirth more than the workplace?
Show and Tell: More Than Fun
While show and tell can be fun no matter how old you are, there are actual benefits that similarly transcend age. Teachers use show and tell to help children learn descriptive words and planning. Likewise, this task is like a public speaking exercise for adults. Workplaces can strengthen workers’ speaking and leadership skills by incorporating show and tell. This is an inexpensive and fun method of employee development.
How to Celebrate Show and Tell at Work Day
Bring something to work
If your workplace allows it (with any needed permission or approval), bring something in to share and talk about and encourage coworkers to do the same. What is appropriate to bring would of course depend on the workplace. It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to bring a surfboard to a small office, for example.
A few possible things to bring
small collectible figures
photos of a loved one or great memory
a copy of a favorite artwork
a cute succulent you’ve been nurturing
a favorite book
something you like to bake (extra points for this one!)
Show by telling
If it just won’t work out to physically bring an item to show coworkers, “show” it with words. Find colorful descriptions that make the item come alive, so to speak. Maybe turn it into a charades or Pictionary style game to see who can guess what it is. This can be fun while doubling as a team building exercise.
By showing and telling at work, co-workers get to know each other while having fun, potentially deepening your understanding of others. Deeper understanding leads to more empathy and compassion; having fun together strengthens bonds. Show and Tell at Work Day is yet another holiday that unites the world.