Communicating with your kids is important, but it can feel like pulling teeth to get more than one-word answers out of them. Instead of the typical “How was your day?” question, try more specific questions to spark an enlightening conversation.
We’ve gathered 49 great conversation-starter questions. Pick a few from the list below each day to dive deeper, giving your kids a chance to reflect and share. By talking about certain aspects of their day, you can get an idea of how they like their teacher, the subjects, classmates, and school in general. You can also see red flags if something is amiss (such as bullying).
- Did anyone make you laugh? What did they say/do?
- Did anyone make you mad? What did they say/do? How did you handle it?
- Who did you sit with at lunch? Who do you want to sit with tomorrow?
- Who did you share your snacks with at lunch?
- Who did you play with at recess? Did you have fun?
- If you could play with three people at recess, which ones would you want to play with? Why would you pick them?
- Did anyone in your class get in trouble today?
- Were there any new kids in your class today? What were their names?
- Did anyone do anything nice for you today? What did they do?
- Did you do anything nice for anyone today? What did you do?
- Did anyone say thank you to you today? Why did they thank you?
- Who brought the tastiest lunch today? What did they bring?
- Are there any upcoming events like basketball games, dances, or birthday parties you want to go to?
- Do any of the kids tease or say mean things to any of the other kids? Which ones?
- Was anyone sitting alone at lunch today? Do you think you should invite them to sit with you tomorrow?
- Which classmate do you want to talk to tomorrow that you didn’t talk to today?
- Did you help anyone today? What did you do?
- If you could trade seats with anyone in your class, who would you choose to trade with? Why?
- Who is your least favorite person in your class? Why?
- Did anyone do anything that made your teacher mad today? What did they do?
- What did you learn today that you didn’t know before?
- Which subject did you enjoy most today?
- Which subject did you enjoy least today?
- Did you learn any new words today?
- Who did your teacher compliment today? What did they do to get the compliment?
- Did you have any special visitors in class today? Who were they and what did they say/do?
- Did you hear any good jokes today? Who told it?
- Did you tell any jokes today? Will you tell it to me?
- Did anyone do anything that made your teacher laugh today? What did they do?
- If you had $500 to buy something for your classroom, what would you buy and why?
- If you could choose an animal for a class pet, which animal would you choose and why?
- If one of your classmates could be the teacher, which one would you want it to be?
- If you could have a dance party at your school, what three songs would you want to dance to?
- If you’d had a camera at school today, what would have been one thing you would have taken a picture of? Why?
- If your teacher got another job besides teaching, what do you think they would be good at doing?
- What job do you think your teacher would not be good at? Why?
- What game did you play at recess? Did you enjoy it?
- What is your favorite game to play at recess?
- What was your most favorite part of the day?
- What was your least favorite part of the day?
- What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
- Rate your school day from 1 to 10. Why did you give it that number?
- What is one thing could have made your school day better?
- What is one thing you hope happens at school tomorrow?
- Did you do anything that made you feel proud of yourself?
- Were you comfortable, or too warm or cold today?
- Was anyone in your class out today?
- Did anyone go home sick today? What were their symptoms?
- Did you feel unsafe at any time of the day today? What caused it?
Don’t be afraid to use these starter questions to get your kids talking. Keep in mind that they may resist at first, but you’ll both be glad that you made the effort.