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

5 Minute Vegan Gluten Free Pancakes

5 Minute Vegan Panckaes

Quick and easy pancakes that the kids can make with you.    We always make pancakes and today we decided to make a special pancake breakfast for International Day of Happiness. However, once we had added all the ingredients to the bowl we realised that we had no eggs.    Well today, we found out that you can make a pancake without breaking eggs! Continue reading

Happiness Day Activities – Choosing Happiness


What does it mean to be happy?  We talk about the concept all the time.      Is happiness eating the chocolate bar after school or maybe playing at the park with friends?  Or is it cultivating gratefulness and accepting all emotions that will result in lasting happiness. We are often conflicted by the fleeting moments of happiness – the getting what I want when I want it, rather than the concept of seeing happiness as a habit that needs to be developed over time .  Lasting happiness is complicated and doesn’t come with a secret code that if we tap into it we will forever be in a state of happiness. Continue reading