Parents often ask kids the question,"How was your day?" The most typical response: "Fine." Every parent has had this "conversation" with their kid, but it doesn't lead to much compelling interaction. It is crucial to talk with your kids, get them chatting, and learn what is happening in their lives and minds. These questions for kids will help spark the dialogue necessary to keep those lines of communication open between parent and child.
Questions That Encourage Young Kids to Talk
Little kids usually don't have too much trouble sharing their thoughts with those they trust. While young ones are notorious chatterboxes, they sometimes need a bit of direction in their conversation angles (because honestly, how long can one listen to a kid talk about Roblox)? Kids will be happy to answer and expound upon the following fun family questions.
- If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
- If you could be any animal in the world, what would it be and why?
- What is your favorite holiday? Why is it your favorite?
- Would you rather have the ability to fly or to turn invisible? Why?
- If you could have any pet, what would it be and why?
- If you could eat one thing every single day, what would it be?
- What activity makes you the happiest?
- What skill can you not wait to master?
- In your opinion, who is the best superhero and why?
- What is something you are good at? What sets you apart from the rest or makes you unique?
Conversation Starting Questions That Spark Creativity
Tap into a child's creative side with these conversation-starting questions. Kids can be full of ideas and answers that adults never even think about!
- What color would you be and why?
- You are on a deserted island. What five things would you bring along, and why did you choose those things?
- What would be in your ultimate dream house? You can include anything you can imagine!
- Imagine you started a restaurant. What would it serve? What would it look like?
- Would you rather live in a magical forest or a secret underwater world?
- What types of things would you sell if you opened your own store?
- What instrument would you like to learn how to play? What makes that instrument special?
- If you were to make a movie about your life, what would it be about? What would it be called? What would the plot, problem, and solution be?
- What song best describes you and your life?
- If you could make a new color, what would it be called? What would it look like?
- You have the power to create an animal. What is it called? Describe it.
- You can suddenly grow one body part (either another one of something or a body part that's entirely made up). What do you choose?
- What book would you love to be a character in and why?
Silly and Fun "What Would You Do?" Questions
What would they do? Give kids some silly scenarios to ponder. Share a giggle about the solutions they come up with.
- What would you do with $1,000? (It might surprise you that most kids won't just say they would spend it all on video games)!
- What would you do if we let you have control of the household rules for a whole week? What would you change? What would you add?
- What would you rename yourself if given a chance?
- What would it look like if you had the chance to start a life on Mars?
- What would you decide between: a magic bean that would shrink you to the size of an ant or make you 100 feet tall?
- You have one day to do anything you want. What do you do on that day?
- You open the door to discover a puppy on the front step. What kind of puppy is it? What is their name? What activities would you do with your puppy?
- You stumble across a magical tree. What does the tree do? What do you do with the magical contents of the tree?
- What would you do with a free island? What would be built there? Who would live there? What would you grow?
'Would You Rather?' Questions
Kids LOVE Would You Rather? questions. Here are a few to draw out plenty of smiles and conversations. They might not be open-ended (unless you encourage elaboration, but they sure offer fun ways to get the chatter going)!
- Would you rather own a private jet or a private ship?
- Would you rather have gills or wings?
- Would you rather own a tree fort house or an underground bunker, and why?
- Would you rather read minds or be able to talk to animals?
- Would you rather never eat pizza or ice cream again?
- Would you rather take a dream beach vacation or a ski vacation?
- Would you rather have a movie theater or bowling alley in your home?
- Would you rather live in a city apartment or a country home?
- Would you rather be a mermaid or a fairy?
- Would you rather be a superhero or a villain?
- Would you rather be a famous singer or an actor?
Questions That Tap Into Kids' Hopes and Dreams
Want to know what your child dreams and thinks about becoming someday? These questions might help you better understand their inner hopes and desires.
- You are given three wishes; what do you wish for and why?
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?
- What is your ultimate dream job, and why?
- Imagine you had a time machine. Where and when would you choose to travel?
- Describe your perfect vacation.
- How do you see your life looking when you are 20? What about 40?
- Describe a perfect futuristic life.
- If you could give the people of the world one thing, what would it be and why?
- You can play any sport professionally. What sport do you choose?
Questions to Help Your Teen Open Up
Teenagers love to give responses like "fine," "no," and "good" to your burning questions. Be sure to strike up conversations with teens by asking them open-ended questions that require them to string more than three words together.
- What is the most exciting thing about soon becoming an adult, and what is the scariest thing about becoming an adult?
- Think of an invention that would make the world a better place. What would it be?
- What has been your favorite age or stage of life so far, and why is that?
- Imagine you could spend one hour with a historical figure from the past. Who is it, and what things might you ask this person?
- Describe your perfect day.
- What family traditions do you think you will carry on and use with your own family someday?
- What is the best and worst thing about your school day?
- What is the thing you feel most people do not understand about you?
- Who would you want to trade places with for an entire day, and why?
Insightful Questions to Help Kids Navigate Life
Life gets challenging, and thought-provoking questions can aid growing children in navigating some of the more weighty topics they might encounter.
- What qualities make someone a good friend?
- Name three things that you are grateful for.
- What is your number one fear?
- What do you consider to be your top three qualities?
- Who is your role model, and what have you learned from them?
- What book has taught you the most important life lessons so far, and what were they?
- What teacher has had the greatest impact on your life so far?
- What qualities do you think are important in a partner?
- If you could make a law for everyone in the world to follow, what would it be?
- What is the best lesson to pass on to future generations?
- What makes your generation special? What will your generation be remembered for?
- In your opinion, is it more important to have several good friends or a few best friends?
- You can suddenly eliminate one rule in our home; what is it?
- You have the power to erase one event from history. What do you choose and why?
Read Your Audience
Parents, when it comes to kids, questions, and conversations, be sure to read the room! There are times in a child's day where they won't feel like chatting it up. When kids, big and small, are tired, frustrated, or highly stressed, they might not have the mental and emotional capacity to entertain your thought-provoking questions. Really try to understand your child and gauge their mood. If it looks like they need some silence and solitude, allow them that and save your questions for a different time. While engaging in conversation is essential to your relationship with your child, they will love you for just being near, especially when they are in a quiet mood. A few times in the day that often work for questions and conversations are:
Times you may not want to pop in and drill your child with questions include:
- While they are studying or doing homework
- Directly after a major sports game
- The minute they walk in the door after school
- While they are trying to leave to go somewhere
- During playdates or hangouts
Remember, you know your child's personality and temperament best. Choose periods of question and answer sessions based on how well you know your kid and how receptive you think they will be.
The Power of an Open-Ended Question
If you really want to get kids of any age talking and engaged conversationally, you'll want to work in open-ended questions as much as possible. Open-ended questions, (like how well do you think you know me?) are ones where kids need to use multiple thoughts and words to arrive at an answer. They cannot answer the question with a quick yes or no, or a single word.
Open-ended questions allow kids to dive deeper into their thoughts and feelings as they arrive at an answer that fully satisfies the question that's asked. Be sure that when kids are giving a response to an open-ended question, you are exhibiting your best listening skills and allowing them to fully describe their thoughts without judgment or influence. If you still find it difficult to encourage your child into talking, this list of good yes or no questions might still help you gain a little insight about what's going on in their lives. If you have older kids, try this list of questions to ask your teen to get them talking.