If your kids are anything like mine, as soon as they get in the car after school, they’re both starving and usually quiet. (By the way, I firmly believe those two things are related so before you tackle any of the questions below, feed them first.)
Asking your kids, “What did you do at school today?” will illicit approximately zero enthused answers, and even open-ended questions like “Name one good (or bad) thing that happened to you today?” get old after awhile. So, if you’re looking for a little inquisitive help to jump start some pretty cool convos, try one of these quirky queries to get you and your kids talking.
1. If you could start today over, what would you not do?
2. What would you like to forget about from today?
3. If you had a camera at school today, what picture would you have taken?
4. What is the silent reading book your classroom seatmate or neighbor is reading right now?
5. Who in your class would you like to know better?
6. Does anyone have a parent who is stationed overseas right now? What can we do for that family?
7. What kind of book display is up in the school library right now?
8. Who in your class is the best artist, and what’s the last thing they drew?
9. Who had the best idea for what game to play at recess today?
10. Who made you laugh in class today? Why?
11. Who made you sad in class today? Why?
12. Was anyone sitting alone at lunch today? And if they are tomorrow,what can you do about it?
13. Was anyone playing alone at recess today? And if they are tomorrow, what can you do about it?
14. If your teacher had $500 to spend on the classroom, what do you think she would buy?
15. What kind of class pet do you think your class would have if they could have one?
16. Who in your class would make the best teacher?
17. Who would make the worst teacher?
18. If you had to teach tomorrow, who would you want to be your assistant?
19. What other job do you think your teacher would be really good at besides teaching? What would they be really bad at?
20. What rule did you almost break today? Why didn’t you break it?
21. What rule do you think the teacher needs to add? Take away?
22. What do you think your playground needs more of?
23. What other adult at school made you laugh today, and what did they say?
24. Did you hear a good joke today? Tell me.
25. What did your teacher do this weekend? Don’t know? Ask her about it next Monday.
26. What did you learn today that we can Google about tonight?
27. What do you wish you could have learned about today that you didn’t?
28. If you could teach tomorrow, what subject would you teach all day?
29. Tell me something you are going to do tomorrow that will make someone’s day.
30. What is one thing you want to make sure to do at school tomorrow?
It’s a good idea not to barrage your kids every single day with after-school questions, because inevitably you’re still going to get the same answers and silent treatment. Try putting each of these questions on cards and dropping them all in a large bowl, then have your child randomly pick out one question every few days. Also, ask them to make up their own questions about your day, and put them in the same bowl. Now you both can get talking!