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25 Questions to Ask Your Child Instead of “How Was Your Day?”

Don’t know what to ask your child other than “How was your day?” Liven up your after school conversations with these twenty-five questions.

Do your after-school conversations sound something like this?

“How was your day?”


Simple, no substance, and boring. How are you supposed to have conversations with your kids when they won’t put effort into the conversation?

Rather than prying conversation out of your kids, you might have better luck with these twenty-five questions. Without the open-ended ambiguity of “How was your day?” and with the personal touch of a caring parent, these questions are sure to get more out of your kids than “fine.”

These are the questions to ask your child if you want to get them talking after a long school day. Your strong bond starts here.

Why Conversation Is Important for Kids

From the earliest stages of life, children begin to grasp the intricacies of language, learn about the world around them, and build the foundations for successful social interactions, all through conversation. Studies have shown that conversation—the interplay between a parent or caregiver and a child—has the power to change your child’s brain—literally. The words your child hears at home can directly affect the growth of their neural processing capacities. In fact, a ground-breaking study in 1995 found that children from higher income families hear about 30 million more words in their first three years than children from lower income families. This 30-million-word gap correlated with significant differences in tests of vocabulary, language development, and reading comprehension.

Considering all of this data, conversations are a cornerstone of a child’s growth and development. They serve as a powerful catalyst for numerous essential skills and attributes:

  • language development
  • cognitive development
  • social skills
  • emotional development
  • self-confidence
  • knowledge acquisition
  • cultural awareness
  • academic success
  • problem-solving
  • parent-child bond
  • conflict resolution

Finding time to not just talk to but talk with your child will open the door to all of these benefits and more. Whether it’s responding to coos and giggles or getting your child talking after school, all of the conversations you have with your child are preparing them for adulthood.

Questions to Ask Your Child Instead of “How Was Your Day?”

  1. What would you rate your day on a scale of 1 to 10? Why?
  2. What was the best part of your day?
  3. Did anything surprise you today?
  4. What’s one thing that made you smile today?
  5. Tell me something that made you laugh.
  6. What challenged you today?
  7. Did anyone push your buttons today?
  8. Can you share an interesting moment or story from your day?
  9. What is something you know that you didn’t know yesterday?
  10. What is your favorite word right now?
  11. What made your teacher smile? What made them frown?
  12. What book did your teacher read to you? What was it about?
  13. Did you like your lunch?
  14. Who brought the best food in their lunch today? What was it?
  15. What games did you play at recess?
  16. What is the most popular thing to do at recess?
  17. Tell me something you learned about a friend today.
  18. Who do you want to make friends with but haven’t yet? Why not?
  19. Did you do something important today?
  20. Is there something you’re looking forward to tomorrow?
  21. What’s something you’re grateful for today?
  22. What did you do that was creative today?
  23. Did you help someone today, or did someone help you?
  24. Did you tell anyone “thank you?”
  25. What’s one thing you’d like to do better tomorrow?

Bonus Questions (That Will Make Your Child Think—and Laugh)

  1. Did you catch anyone picking their nose?
  2. Which one of your teachers would survive a zombie apocalypse? Why?
  3. If school were a ride at the fair, which ride would it be? Why?
  4. Does your teacher remind you of anyone else you know? How?
  5. If you switched places with your teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?
  6. If aliens came to school and beamed up 3 kids, who do you wish they would take? Why?

For more creative and hilariously inspired questions, check out these posts from ParentCo and Her View From Home.

Books That Help You Talk to Your Kids

Shaelyn Topolovec earned a BA in editing and publishing from BYU, worked on several online publications, and joined the Familius family. Shae is currently an editor and copywriter who lives in California’s Central Valley.

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