90 Questions for Kids to Jump Start a Conversation

We all know that kids are quite curious, but you know what? We can be inquisitive right back and learn something too. It might be intimidating to try to have a conversation with a child. What if you say something wrong and scar the child for life? What if the conversation lags? What if, what if, what if…?

Here’s the good news: with a child, the possibilities for conversation are unlimited. You can ask them about all kinds of things related to life, dreams, playtime, imagination, and even their future. Don’t second guess everything you say to them, and don’t try to control the conversation. If a child gets excited about the topic, let them talk.

How do I Know Where to Begin?

As I said, you can ask a child about anything. However, there are specific categories of questions you can glance at to get general ideas. A question can be a learning opportunity for both you and the child, as well as a chance to have fun.

Remember to ask these questions as they naturally arise. If a child feels as though you are interrogating them, they might not answer completely, or they won’t want to answer at all. Use these questions to get to know a child, whether it’s your own, a family member’s, or a daycare kiddo.

What’s most important is that they think and imagine and not get hung up on giving the perfect answer.

1. Questions to Improve Family Relationships

It is vital that a child feels included in their family: that they are listened to, their feelings are validated, and they have a say in the house’s rules. Asking your child questions lets them know that you are taking them seriously and that their input and voice in family matters is essential.

Use these questions to see what’s working in your family and how perhaps things might improve. While it is good to see where there might be kinks in family function, it’s better to keep the conversation light and open to all suggestions.

  1. If you could make up any rule for the house, what would it be?
  2. What do you like best about your family members?
  3. Do you think the consequences for bad behavior are fair?
  4. What activities do you think we should do as a family?
  5. What activities should we do more of as a family?
  6. What is your favorite family memory?
  7. What is your favorite activity we do as a family?
  8. If you could give a perfect gift to each family member, what would you give them?
  9. What chores would you be willing to do around the house?

2. Questions for Inspiring Imagination

Developing imagination and creative thinking is one of the most important things you can do for your child. It not only entertains your child but teaches them vital skills without them realizing it.

You can ask these questions while you play games with your child or even when sitting still enjoying the moment. 

  1. If your stuffed animals could speak, what do you think they would say?
  2. If you were the king/queen of your kingdom, what would you name it?
  3. If you could be any animal, what would you want to be?
  4. What superpower would you want to have?
  5. What pictures come to mind when you think of specific colors?
  6. If you had a fairy godmother, what would be your first wish?
  7. If you could go inside any movie or book, which would it be?
  8. If you could have any animal, real or imaginary, which would you choose for a pet?

3. Questions for Inspiring Kindness

Your child may already have a kind disposition, but it’s always interesting to hear how they would react in given situations. More importantly, it’s essential to teach children to look out for others and help when they can. Kindness is one thing, but having the courage to step in and do the right thing is another entirely.

  1. Have you recently seen someone getting teased or treated with unkindness?
  2. For what reasons would this person be teased or mistreated?
  3. How do you think people who get teased feel?
  4. How would you stand up for someone getting bullied?
  5. What are some ways that you can help someone in need?
  6. How can you show kindness to someone who is not being kind to others?
  7. If a new kid came to school, how could you make them feel welcome?
  8. Why is it important to not talk about playdates or birthday parties in front of people who could not attend?
  9. What are some ways you might help your family around the house?
  10. If you were the teacher in a classroom, and no one was listening to you, how would you get their attention?

4. Questions About School

You are not there with your child at school, so you can take chances to learn more about their environment. You can use these questions to supplement what you learn from the occasional parent-teacher conference and helping with homework.

  1. What is your favorite subject? Least favorite?
  2. What do you like most about your teacher?
  3. What is your favorite playground game?
  4. Do you prefer to play games by yourself or with friends?
  5. Do you have a favorite school supply? 
  6. Who do you consider your best friend?
  7. What qualities do you look for in a friend?
  8. What would you change about your school’s lunch menu?
  9. Do you think you are a good friend? Why?
  10. What’s something that you want to learn in school?

5. Questions for Building a Strong Mind

Kids encounter many new things each day, and sometimes they need help to process all that new information. It might be hard sometimes, so really take the time to listen to them. You can ask them these questions in light of something strange or uncomfortable happening to them or remind them that they have the power to overcome fear, anger, or embarrassment.

You can also use these questions to teach your children that their fears are usually not as bad as they think. Teaching children to deal effectively with anxiety and overcoming fear will do wonders for mental growth and health.

  1. How often do you feel scared, angry, or embarrassed?
  2. When you start to feel those emotions, what is the first thing you want to do?
  3. When your thoughts become angry, what can you tell yourself to work through those thoughts?
  4. What can you say to yourself to face your fears?
  5. What is your favorite place in the world? Can you go there when you feel scared or angry?
  6. What do you like doing that makes you the happiest?
  7. What were the consequences of the worst mistake you’ve ever made?
  8. Were the consequences of your worst mistake as bad as you feared?
  9. Do you know the difference between rational and irrational fears?

6. Questions for Thinking Ahead

It’s a cliche question to ask a child what their day was like. It might be a little more fun to ask about how they imagine the future. Kids have plenty of time before they grow up, so you can ask them to imagine careers, families, traveling, etc. Such questions not only inspire imagination, but they might also inspire ambition.

  1. What do you want to be when you grow up?
  2. Do you think you’ll want a family someday?
  3. Where do you think you’ll want to live? In a house? An apartment? A trailer home or RV?
  4. Would you prefer to live in a big city or the quiet countryside?
  5. What would you like to accomplish someday?
  6. What cities or countries do you want to travel to?
  7. Where do you think you’d like to live when you grow up?
  8. At what age do you think a person becomes an adult? Why?

7. Questions about Role Models and Personal Values

Every child deserves to have a role model: someone they can look up to when they feel lost or uninspired. You can ask your child about who they admire and why. Their answers can provide a lot of insight into your child’s values and the wonderful person they could become.

  1. Do you have a favorite character from a movie, book, TV show, comic book, etc.?
  2. Why do you love this character?
  3. What do you think is the most important quality in a person?
  4. What makes someone a role model for you?
  5. Which real-life figure would you want to have lunch with? What would you like to eat with them?
  6. If you were a teacher, what lesson would you want to teach people the most?
  7. If you could make up one rule that everyone in the world had to follow, what would it be?
  8. What would you change about yourself to become a better person?
  9. What was an instance where you had to learn a lesson “the hard way”?

8. Questions to Inspire Positivity

As children grow up, they’re going to see that many things in the world are not so good. They’ll need tools to counter the not-so-good things they encounter personally or in the news. That’s not to say that you should teach your child to ignore the bad entirely, but recognize that the positive things are worth celebrating.

You can also use these questions to teach your child about gratitude. Learning to not take things for granted and recognize the good in every day will prove a valuable tool.

  1. What is one good thing that happened to you today?
  2. How did that one good thing make you feel?
  3. What is at least one thing that you are grateful for today?
  4. What is at least one thing that always makes you laugh or smile?
  5. What is a song that you enjoy singing along to?
  6. What are some things that we might not like but are essential to have? (Rain, sadness, dentist visits, etc.)
  7. What are some things that you get to do but maybe others cannot?
  8. What is the hardest part about being a kid?
  9. What are some things you have done that you’re proud of?

9. Questions for Just Being Silly

Sometimes you can ask questions for the sake of being silly and imaginative. Maybe you and your kid can crack jokes together or come up with something funny or wild.

  1. What are a couple of funny jokes you can tell me?
  2. What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen this week?
  3. How would you describe a perfect day in your life?
  4. If you could change your name, which would you choose?
  5. If you were invisible for one day, what would you do?
  6. If you could travel back in time, when would you go?
  7. If you grew up to be famous, what would you be famous for?
  8. Who would you switch bodies with for one day?
  9. How would the world be different if animals could speak?

10. Questions about Holidays and Traditions

If you’re getting to know a child, it’s always fun to ask about their holiday traditions. Maybe they can describe something that your own family can try, or explain a holiday you didn’t know much about before.

  1. Are there any special holidays you celebrate?
  2. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
  3. What do you look forward to the most when the holiday comes?
  4. Do you wear any unique holiday clothes?
  5. Do you or your family like to do fun, silly things for the holiday?
  6. Do you have a favorite holiday decoration?
  7. Do you have a holiday food or drink recipe you could teach me?
  8. Do you know the story behind your holiday? If so, could you tell me about it?
  9. If you could invent a holiday, what would it be?

Final Thoughts

If you think of any questions that are not on this list, go ahead and ask them. This list is just a starting point for all the things you can ask a child. Who knows: the child might have fun and interesting questions for you to answer in return.

Again, remember that these questions should open a positive and fun conversation with a child. Don’t try to force the conversation and press for answers. Allow the conversation to flow and see what the child can teach you.

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