I spent some time, a few months ago, thinking about how to help my children understand what their dad does. It's not as clear a picture as a carpenter who can take the kids to their shop and show them the things they are working on. I spend a lot of time at my computer, doing things that will be translated by someone else into real-world, physical (and sometimes not-so-physical) products.
I stumbled across some great videos that cover the whole process, courtesy the fine folks at Harper Collins Kids. They're not just good for my kids (although they're good for that!) -- they're helpful to authors trying to understand better the steps needed to get from manuscript to book-in-hand.