Wondering what questions to ask children in order to know their hearts and encourage critical thinking skills?
Young children love to tell their parents about every little thing they observe and experience. But this changes as kids grow older. It becomes harder to really know about their day, especially after school.
As parents we are curious to know about what’s going on in our child’s head. Especially after a day at school. The challenge here is getting young children to talk about their day at school. Most of the time, they simply forget by the time they get home and with older kids, they get busy with their day after school or want more privacy.
How then can we as parents really know what’s in our children’s hearts? One of the most important gentle parenting tips I talk about on this blog is, Connection. Connection based parenting helps us know our child better. These insights into our child’s mind help us to be a better parent to them.
How do I learn about our son’s heart? I ask thought provoking questions that encourage him to talk about his day and express his feelings better.
Related reading : Encouraging phrases to say to kids
FUN QUESTIONS TO ASK STUDENTS ABOUT THEIR DAY AT SCHOOL
These are simple questions for kids that act like prompts and allow the child to narrate about the day at school and help you ask follow up questions to gain better understanding about his day.
Do not go overboard and ask for a blow-by-blow account of the day. No-one likes to be interrogated. Keep the questions light, look for cues from your child’s mood after school and decide which questions would help his mood or help you get better understanding of his situation.
The key here is to be as specific as possible and yet keep it open-ended enough to allow for a conversation to follow.
Questions to ask your child about school
- What new things did you learn at school today?
- Name 3 incidents that made you smile/laugh at school today?
- Who did you sit next to at lunch?
- Who was absent at school today?
- Did you help someone at school today?
- How was the—–? What did you do? (When you know school had an event?)
- Who did you play with today?
- What book did your teacher read to you? Or What new book are you reading at school?
- What questions did you ask in class today?
- What did you learn in—–? (Specific subject/class at school?)
- How was your day on a scale of 1-10?
- What did you find hard to do in school today?
- What was the funniest thing that happened today?
- What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
- If you were a teacher for a day, what would you teach?
CONNECTION BASED QUESTIONS TO ASK CHILDREN
These questions can come in handy when you need to gain insight into your child’s heart.
- Name three incidents/parts of the day you enjoyed the most?
- What felt hard/difficult for you today?
- What do you feel most grateful for today?
- What memory makes you most happy?
- If we could repeat one thing from today what would it be?
- What can I do for you? (I like asking this question from time to time, because it helps my son express his needs and reveals any gaps in our connection.)
- What are your 3 most favorite toys/books?
- What are the 3 things you want to do in your upcoming school vacations?
QUESTIONS TO ASK CHILDREN THAT ENCOURAGE LEARNING AND CURIOSITY
Children are naturally curious and learn by asking questions.
Instead of the asking interrogative questions to kids like, “Name 3 animals/what color is this crayon?” choose questions that help the child dig deep, talk about his ideas and problem solve.
These support a child-led learning atmosphere at home.
I use the following questions in our at-home explorations and play as a tool to create curiosity or sometimes even to nudge him to try a new perspective when he feels stuck.
- What do you want to learn more about?
- Why do you think it is? (When observing/learning together, encourages the child to question and seek answers.)
- Tell me about it
- If you wrote a book, what would you write about?
- Do you want to write a note to your grandpa? (encourages writing skills)
- What do you think happens when—? (When trying an experiment together?)
- Why did you draw XYZ?
- What activity do you want for Quiet Time?
- Can you think of—?
- What’s your idea?
- How does this work?
- Do you have any new ideas about projects to make?
- What do you need for your projects?
- What are your plans for the day?
- What should we put here?
- How can we fix this?
- How can we—-?
- Is there another way to do this?
Related reading : Indoor activities for toddlers and preschoolers.
SILLY QUESTIONS FOR KIDS
- What cartoon character would you like to be?
- If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
- If you could invent anything, what would you invent?
- If you could be any animal you wish, what animal would you be?
- What is your favorite food?
- If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- What is your favorite Pizza topping?
- If you had to come up with a crazy sandwich idea, what would you like to make?
- If you could be mommy for a day, what would you do?
- What is the funniest thing that happened to you?
- Which place is your favorite?
- What is your favorite song?
- What is your favorite story?
- Which is your most favorite place in the world? Why?
What are some of your favorite questions to ask children? Leave me a comment below.