Trying to figure out what questions to ask kids to get them to talk? If your kids are like ours, some days they can go on & on with all the details of the day but many days when you ask "How was your day?" all you get is the dreaded "fine". That's it. Once that answer is out, there is no going back, your kid has shut down the topic of their day. You will need to come back with a new tactic if you want to open them up again. For us it seems like they often clam up just when they really do need to talk about something.
Luckily we have found that there are a few tricks that parents can use to help encourage their kids talk about their day more and some great questions to ask kids to get them talking.
How To Ask So Kids Want To Talk:
Don't ask them any questions in the first 30 minutes. No one likes to be bombarded with questions right away. Lead in with something gentler like "I was thinking about you today when I was ..."
- It's not what they say but that they are talking that matters!
- Try not to ask "How was ..." or "Did you..." types of questions. these can easily be brushed off with Yes, No or Fine.
Ask only 1 open ended question per day. Try and think of questions that start with When, How, 'Tell me about', or What.
Give them a chance to decompress after school or any after school activities before asking any questions. With younger kids, bath time is a great time to ask about their day.
Healthy Snack first then talking. Especially for younger kids. The 'Kindie After-School Meltdown' is a real thing!
- Make eye contact and fully engage with them when they answer. Don't half listen while doing something else!
- If you slip up and ask "How way your day?" and get the dreaded "fine", laugh and ask for a do-over question!
- Remember that some days just aren't that exciting.
35 Easy Questions To Ask Instead of "How Was Your Day?":
- What are 4 words you could use to describe today?
- What did you have a hard time learning today? How do you feel about it now?
- What would today’s theme song be?
- What surprised you today?
- What is the most popular game at recess? How do you play it?
- How was today different than yesterday?
- Who did you spend the most time with today?
- Was anyone in your class not at school today?
- Other than my smiling face, what made you smile today?
- What did your teacher read to you today? What was it good?
- When did you get to be helpful today?
- Who did something silly and make you laugh today?
- Is anyone in the school having a hard time? How can we help?
- When did you get a chance to be creative today?
- What was one cool small thing that happened today?
- Who did you get the chance to help today?
- Who did you eat with?
- What made you laugh today? Who were you with?
- What were the high and the low of today?
- What was the hardest rule to follow today?
- If could have been any animal, what would have been today?
- What made your teacher smile today?
- Who did you play with at lunch today?
- Tell me one quick thing that you know today that you didn’t know yesterday.
- What was the best thing in your lunch today?
- Rate today on a scale from 1-10. Why?
- What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
- If you could switch seats with anyone in the class, who would it be?
- Rate today from 1-5? Why?
- If you could change one thing about your day, what would it be?
- When would you have liked to hear music today?
- What made you feel proud today?
- If you were the teacher today what would you have changed?
- Which friends are having a hard time getting along? Is there a way you can help?
- What question do you wish I asked about your day today?
We are always looking for ways to help our kids open up ! Let us know if you have found any tricks to keep the communication open , we are all ears!
Heather is a Toronto born mama of two whose parenting journey has taken her family coast to coast across Canada. When she’s not whipping up recipes for the Healthy Family Living website or sharing the latest fun Vancouver events on HFL’s Facebook page, she’s a freelance writer that has recently been published in an anthology entitled BIG, as well as in the Huffington Post, as she and her hubby of 13 years attempt to keep up with their two spirited girls and 3 fur babies!