Mother and Daughter in Farm

Conversation Starters

The kids climb in the car. You smile and ask "How was school?" hoping for tidbits about their day. But they respond back with "Fine." As always. 

When you find the best time, here are some suggestions to get them talking in more than one-word answers. 

Ask open-ended questions:


  1. Tell me something good about today that made you smile.

  2. Tell me something about today that made you sad/frown.

  3. What was a high point of your day?

  4. What was the lowest point of your day?

  5. Did you see someone be kind to others today? How did that make you feel?

  6. Did you share the love of Jesus with someone?

  7. Who did you eat lunch with, and what did they eat?

  8. Who did you play with, and what did you play? 

  9. Tell me something new you learned today.

  10. What was something funny that happened in your classes today?

School has changed this year. If your student is at home, it may be harder for them to find as many things to talk about, but here are some ideas.


  1. How are your classmates on Zoom?

  2. What is the best part of being virtual/traditional/homeschool today?

  3. What was the worst part of being virtual/traditional/homeschool today?

  4. If you could change something about being virtual/traditional/homeschool, what would it be?

And then sometimes you just need to talk about things BESIDES the classroom.

  1. What kind of workouts did Coach have you do today?

  2. What worries you about the upcoming game/competition?

  3. What do you feel you will do best in the upcoming game/competition?

  4. Tell me about the new play/move/dance/song you are working on.

  5. What should we cook/eat for dinner this week?

  6. What books/shows are your friends watching now?

  7. How can we pray for your friends/teachers this week?

  8. How can I pray for you this week?


If "magic" doesn't happen right away, don't get discouraged!

Some kids may need to process the day before they are ready to talk. It's not a bad thing, but sometimes questions are better asked at dinner or when they are done with homework.


Try asking them questions at different times of the day one week and notice if there are any differences.

It takes awhile to “train” kids as to what kind of answer you’re looking for (especially if they're not big talkers!), so be patient and truly listen when they answer.


Take their answer and ask another question to keep the conversation going!

Want a printout of these questions? Click here