Conversation starters to get your child to talk about their day at school

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

A pretty printable packed with conversation starters that provide the perfect prompts to get your child opening up, and talking about their school day.

Do you ask your child how their day was at school, only be to be given a one word answer? School days can be long and tiring, so it’s understandable that kids might not be very talkative when they come home – but that doesn’t mean as parents we wouldn’t like to know a little of how their day was. Here are some great conversation starters to help you out…

When my kids started school all those many years ago, I would ask them as soon as they got in the car ‘How was your day?’. Nine times out of 10 I got ‘good’ as an answer and then that was it, the conversation was over. Either they felt they answered the question, they were too tired to say more, or they didn’t want to discuss. I wanted to know more than ‘good’ though! I want to know what happened during class and whether they had fun at lunchtime – I wanted sentences. I soon learnt the key was asking detailed open-ended question. The key was to ask them ‘why?’.

5 conversation starters to get the ball rolling…

  1. How was your teacher today?
  2. What was your favourite food in your lunchbox today?
  3. Did you write a story today?  Tell me more about it.
  4. If you could change one thing about today what would it be?
  5. Who was the friendliest person in your class today and why?

If you’re wanting even more conversation starters, check out my After School Conversation Starters printable which has over 20! Simply download and print this pretty Conversation Starters printable, and have it on hand in the car or on the fridge as the perfect prompt for getting your kiddies to open up about their school day.

conversation starter printable to get your child to talk about their day

These 21 conversation starters definitely helped to get our kids sharing more about their day. Typically I chat to the kids about their day on the drive home or we discuss their day while we eat dinner. We always sit together as a family and eat dinner, and have done this since the kiddies could sit in high chairs. Our weekdays are so busy, it’s nice to relax, eat and chat together. Sometimes we do have the news on in the background, but other days if we have something that needs to be discussed we will turn it off. It’s created an open environment where the kids know they can ask us any questions or tell us about struggles they are having socially or educationally.


This post was originally published on 3rd February 2015, it has been updated with new photos.

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Conversation starters to get your child taking about their school day

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Max February 3, 2015 - 12:02 PM

The key is for your kids to sense you are genuinely interested in them and their experiences. Avoid some of the “closed” questions on this list (i.e. questions that can be answered with a single word) such as “How was your teacher today?” (Good) or “How much homework did you get today?” (None). Open-ended questions that invite a story are much more productive. “Tell me about your day today?” “What happened after I dropped you off at school this morning?” or, from the list, “If you could change one thing about today, what would it be?” If kids find a way to answer with a single word to even an open-ended question, then persist, “Tell me more about that?” “Why would you think that?” Once you get your kids talking, make sure you attend carefully, and explore further!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 3, 2015 - 4:25 PM

Love some of these ideas, especially – What happened after I dropped you off at school this morning. Thanks for sharing Max.

Belinda February 3, 2015 - 9:05 PM

It’s important not to make it sound like an interrogation, children need to feel listened to and valued for their ideas thoughts and opinions , I would hope most families would use the great list above as a tool,not a check list, ticking off when they have asked the right questions….it is a means as a tool to support and guide open ended questions. I believe it is more important to laugh and play with your kids even in the teenage years it is in these times children really open up and feel comfortable. Good luck

Kelly February 6, 2015 - 10:19 AM

I’m a big fan of your list of after school conversation starters but have just realised I am guilty of asking every one of them each afternoon in quick succession!!! I’m thinking I might need to tone it down a bit! LOL! Thanks for this moment of clarity! My children thank you too… 😉

Julie February 6, 2015 - 7:35 PM

I love these questions. I do options for my kindy kid so she can choose which option she liked or wants to talk about.

Tanya February 7, 2015 - 7:04 AM

Check out the following link on 25 Ways to Ask Your Kids ‘So How Was School Today?’ Without Asking Them ‘So How Was School Today?’

Rebecca Cleghorn February 7, 2015 - 10:12 PM

I think the Huffington Post article, linked above, has some great questions. Some are “What word did your teacher use the most today?” “Is there anyone from today that you would send to the moon?” (Good question to determine who your child might be having conflict with). I often ask my kids “What was the worst thing that happened today?” That always gets the conversation going!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 9, 2015 - 9:10 AM

Fantastic conversation starters, Rebecca! I like it.:)


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