Looking for thoughtful conversation starters for kids? Learn more about your family through these 31 question prompts and simple topics.
“Daddy’s home!” the kids yelled when they heard the jingle of keys at the doorknob. I was equally elated to see my husband not just home, but just in time for dinner to start.
Over the years, we’ve eaten most of our meals together as often as we can. Dinners are a bit trickier, with work and his LA traffic-laden commute, so it’s always a treat when we get to spend a weeknight dinner together.
Why? These moments provide a chance to start conversations with the kids, the ones that can get buried in the hustle of the day. It’s the moments that get lost as we scramble out of the house or settle in after school or work.
Besides dinner, I find other ways to spend time with one another. From daily breakfast to drives in the van and even waiting in line at the grocery store, I’ve found opportunities to get conversations started with the kids.
31 family conversation starters for kids
The best way to encourage your family to talk is through simple conversation starters for kids. These prompts will get the conversation going and reveal so much about you and your family. They’re fun, insightful, and a fantastic way to get kids to open up.
Take a look at these conversation starters for kids and try one each day of the month. I’ve grouped them together by similar questions, but you can mix and match, and cross them off as you like:
- What was your favorite part of the day?
- Who did you play with at school?
- How were you kind to someone today?
- What are you proud of?
- What are you thankful for?
- What’s one good thing you’re really good at?
- Who’s the nicest person you know?
- Which family member do you love seeing the most?
- What are you looking forward to this [season/month/week]?
- How would you change the world when you grow up?
- What could our family do that would make the world better?
- What superpower would you like to have?
- If you could only keep one toy, which toy would it be?
- Pretend you could be the teacher: what rules would you have in the classroom?
- If you could be an animal, which one would you be?
- Would you rather [blank] or [blank]? (e.g. go to the pool or beach)
- If we spent time alone just you and me, what would you want to do (or where would you want to go)?
- Let’s say you could be any age, what age would you be?
- If you could be any cartoon character, who would you be?
- How does a good friend act?
- What do you think makes a family close?
- What makes you feel happy?
- How do you cheer yourself up when you feel sad?
- What’s your favorite book?
- What’s your favorite meal?
- What do you like best about our family?
- What’s your favorite thing to do as a family?
- What’s your favorite thing about [a family member]?
- What do you like best about school [or camp, swim class, etc]?
- What’s your favorite holiday of the year?
- What’s your favorite room in our home?
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Benefits of conversation starters for kids
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For the most part, I’ve allowed conversations to flow as they naturally do. Kids are keen on sharing what happened during the day or how they feel, often on their own.
But sometimes I’ve found that a little prodding is needed. This is especially true when they seem bored, if one child is taking over the conversation, or if I simply want to learn more about them.
Experts also say that conversations are important for learning. Author and professor Robert D. Putnam wrote in his book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis:
“Cognitive stimulation by parents is essential for optimal learning. Children who grow up with parents who listen and talk with them frequently… develop more advanced language skills than kids whose parents rarely engage them in conversation…”
Take a look at these amazing benefits to offer about the importance of having conversations with your children:
- Kids learn conversation skills like how and when to talk versus listen
- We reflect on our days, how we felt, and the choices we made
- Conversation starters for kids opens up topics that otherwise wouldn’t be shared
- All family members learn about one another
- You’re able to celebrate successes and how to support and encourage one another
- Kids value how others feel
- You’re able to reinforce family values like kindness, respect, and perseverance
- Kids build confidence and competence
- You practice gratitude
- You strengthen the family bond
The best way to keep the conversation going after your child responds? Ask why and how. Have them explain why they love Halloween, or how they’re going to enforce rules as a teacher.
And remember, there isn’t a “right” answer, no matter how whimsical theirs might be. It’s perfectly fine for your child to say she would love to be a unicorn or fly to the clouds to cheer herself up.
Above all, apply these questions to learn, grow, and bond with your child—whether over nightly dinners or even waiting in line at the grocery store.
Get more tips:
- Amazing Family Conversation Starters to Try Right Now
- Children’s Books about Family
- 20 Open Ended Questions for Kids You Should Ask
- The Best Activities to Do with 2 Year Olds
Source: Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert D. Putnam
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