A better way to ask How was your day? Open ended questions to fuel conversation

open ended questions for after school chats - tinystepsmakebigstrides.com

How often do your kids just say yes, no, fine or OK when you ask about their day after school? Yes that happens to me too.  I want to find out about their day, the fun they have had, all the learning that has happened also the struggles and the challenges that go with the day also.  And so…I ask HOW WAS YOUR DAY?  I get a mixed response of ok…it was good…and even yes good, with no information at all.

The type of questions can have a big effect on conversation.  Instead of starting a conversation with open words I am actually shutting down the very conversation I want with a closed question.  If I ask a question that can give a one word /short answer, then after a tiring day at school, that is probably what I are going to get.

Sometimes getting kids to talk after a busy day at school can be tough – actually down right impossible! As kids get older they are more likely to feel embarrassed, nervous and even secretive, which are all normal, yet it is good to talk and share the day together.

Try asking open ended questions.

Open ended questions have more than one answer, there is no right answer.   Open ended questions involve kids in the conversation and grows cooperation and a sense of belonging. Questions like these will also encourage your kids to:

  • Think beyond the obvious
  • Develop their creative thinking
  • Develop language skills
  • Increase their understanding of the world around them
  • Challenge their thinking
  • Foster critical thinking
  • Make predictions

so don’t be surprised if they need some thinking time and don’t answer immediately.

Try starting your questions with –

  • Tell me about….
  • I am wondering…
  • What do you think…
  • How do you know…
  • What would…
  • What could you do to…

In this fast paced world we are all guilty of the uh-huh response or a nod.  Afternoon tea is normally a time to chat in our home —  of course, the favourite time to talk is normally 8pm when lights should be going out!

Try following up with –

  • Oh, why…
  • Tell me more…
  • How do you know that…
  • Thanks for sharing…

Grab your printable open ended questions cards for after school chatting here.

Of course closed questions have a place.  Combining questions can expand a conversation, support your child with their language skills and help to develop deeper relationships.


Happy chatting  x

Books about friendship

10 Books about friendship - tinystepsmakebigstrides.com

School is now in full swing here in Australia.  This year we have seen lots of changes in our home as everyone now goes to a new school.  One of the biggest challenges we face as parents is helping our kids navigate the path of life.  We are again the new face in the hall!  Here is our pick of the best books about friendship – the highs, the lows and everything in between. Continue reading

Playful Ways With Numbers

Playful ways with numbers - tinystepsmakebigstrides.com

Number games are a great way to practice using and manipulating numbers.  Once your kids can recognise 0-10, developing number sense is crucial for working with higher level problems later on. Continue reading

10 Ways To Connect And Avoid The Summer Slide!

10 ways to connect and avoid the summer slide - tinystepsmakebigstrides.com

The summer slide is talked about often —it may sound like a great playground ride, but the reality for lots of children is that reading and maths achievement decline over the summer months and the effects can be long lasting. Children don’t just lose academic skills over the summer, physical fitness can also be impacted when too much time is Continue reading

10 Reasons Why A Farm Stay Should Be Your Next Holiday

10 reasons to enjoy a farm stay - tinystepsmakebigstrides.com

We have always wanted to go on a farm stay and this year we realised that goal. We stayed at Balingup Heights for 5 days.  It was the most tranquil relaxing place, set in 46 acres of woodland surrounded by farm land and beautiful views—the perfect recipe to unwind and reconnect as a family.   Continue reading

Become An Outer Space Explorer

Outer Space Activity Book #freeprintable - tinystepsmakebigstrides.com

Click on image to download little book

We recently explored the new Planet Pioneers exhibition at our local Science Museum – Scitech.  As the weather hots up here in Perth Scitech is a great indoor place to go full of education and entertainment – click here to read our full review of the exhibition. Continue reading

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Planet Pioneer?

Planet Pioneer Review -tinystepsmakebigstrides.comPlanet Pioneers is the new exhibition at Scitech, Perth and is on until it blasts off to NASA’s Space Centre in Houston in early 2018.  There are 17 hands on stations that will challenge you to think critically about life on earth and explore what we would need for the colonization of a new planet. Continue reading

Become A Tree Explorer

I am a tree explorer - 5 rules for when climbing trees - tinystepsmakebigstrides.com

Click the image to download your free Tree Explorer Book

Climbing trees can be so much fun and is loaded with benefits.  See our earlier post for 5 RESEARCH BASED REASONS TO CLIMB A TREE  It does come with some risk and so a while ago we all sat down and came up with some rules for EVERYBODY TO FOLLOW -so Continue reading

5 Reasons To Climb A Tree

5 reasons to climb a tree today - tinystepsmakebigstrides.com

Do you let your kids climb trees?  Like most kids, my kids love to climb just about anything.  There are so many reasons to climb a tree – yes you can fall out of a tree – there are risks involved! However, there are risks involved in using a playground or going swimming.  Continue reading