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How many times have you picked up your child from school and asked them the same old question, “What did you do at school today?”

Time after time, parents ask this question, expecting a different answer than the traditional, “Nothing.” that children give from an early age. But it doesn’t have to be this way! There are simple ways you can open up dialog between yourself and your child. Read on for questions to ask your kids after a day at school to encourage conversation about their day. You’ll notice these questions are all open ended, not simple yes or no questions. Take the time to truly listen–don’t interrupt and allow them to discuss. Then they will start to open up more on their own!

5 Questions to Ask Your Kids After a Day at School

What was your favorite thing that happened to you today?

Asking what was your child’s favorite thing that happened at school allows them to think about all the parts of the school day. Also, this is not a question that allows for a simple yes/no answer or quick answer. It can easily lead to more conversation between you and your child.

What was the most interesting thing your teacher did today?

As a teacher myself, you will be entertained by some of the stories you hear about your child’s teacher. Your child’s teacher probably did something silly, fun, embarrassing or just plain boring during the day.

What was the nicest thing you did for another person today? Who did you go out of your way to help?

This is another question that will get your child thinking about what they did and maybe will start getting your child to go out of his/her way to start helping people more often.

Who were three people you played with at recess today or talked to at lunch? What did you do?

So many parents focus on the academic part of the school day–which is important!–but the social aspect of school is so important as well. Find out what your child is doing socially and who is important to them. Maybe this will be an opportunity to start setting up playdates!

What are you most looking forward to about school tomorrow? Do you have anything you really want to happen at school or anything that you’re not looking forward to?

Sometimes children can have big events at school that we don’t even know about. For example, my son was learning about worms this year and loving it so much! It was a big deal to talk to me about it every day. But, on the flip side of that, my daughter was dreading school for awhile this year because of a child in her class. Because we were having open communication, I was able to know what was going on in my children’s classrooms and what they were feeling about school!

Looking for more ways to open up dialog in your home? Check out 25 Conversation Starters for Around the Dinner Table.