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Do you always have a decent conversation with your child, or do you receive that one-word answer or that nasty grunt as a response?
This can be utterly frustrating, especially for a parent who is looking to engage and connect with their kids. However, it all boils down to the type of conversation starters you use to get your child talking.
If you ask pretty simple and plain questions, you are likely to receive the same kind of response from your child. For instance, ‘how was school' is one of the most common questions that parents tend to ask whenever they meet their children after school. If you ask your child this kind of question, you are likely to receive a sluggish and bored ‘fine' or ‘great' answer.
So what are the best conversation starters to get your child talking and develop a closer bond?
In this article, we have listed 115 conversation starters for kids that will help spark conversations and help you connect and engage your child.
Kids are particularly fragile when it comes to conversations; they are easily distracted and bored by the interactions we continuously engage them in, such as house chores, dinner, homework, and other activities that revolve around them. While there is really nothing wrong with such conversations, you need to go deeper in your communications particularly about their values, relationships, and spirituality
But before we get there, let's first define conversation starters for kids.
What You Will Learn
What are Conversation Starters for Kids?
Conversation starters are simple statements or open-ended questions that you can ask your child to get to know them on a deeper level. Research has shown that kids ask over 300 questions in a day.
That means dealing with the constant barrage of “why” because they ask about things that interest them, which is a pretty great place to start your conversations. You can listen to what they like to ask about and create your own conversation starters to hook them up for a chat.
Keep in mind that children are continually changing and will most often develop new interests, fears, thoughts, preferences, and emotions. You also want to ask these questions when your child is not hungry, sleepy, tired, or busy with their games. Remember to listen carefully and be thoughtful and honest with your response.
115 Fun Conversation Starters for Kids
1. Who is your best friend, and why?
This is a great conversation starter, especially after school. Popping this one out could help you catch something new about your child. They are also likely to share with you what they did with their friends at school.
2. If you were asked to describe yourself using three words–which words would you use?
Kids learn from different people; you are not the only one they rely on for information. This question can help you know your child deeper. Don't be surprised if they use words you never expected.
3. If we allowed you to make up your holiday, how would you celebrate it?
Let's find out the creative level of your child. This question will help you understand what inspires your child and the things that she or he values the most.
4. Which is your favorite day of the week?
Definitely not a Monday. If last year their favorite day was Friday, that must have changed now since they joined the music class or any other mentorship program in school. Just find out.
5. What goes into your mind before you fall asleep? What is the last thing you think about?
Scary dreams? Beautiful memories with family? Whatever it is, find out. This conversation starter can help you read your child's thoughts and help guide them in the right direction.
6. If you had a robot for one day, what would you do with it?
Want to know how innovative and creative your child can get? This question will lead you straight into it. It is best to ask this one when you are helping your kid with something.
7. If you were to appear in any TV show–what show would you like to be part of?
Most children will have a lot to say. I mean, who wouldn't like to appear in their favorite TV show? This is a great conversation starter to get a bored child back to their bubbly selves.
8. Who is your favorite person?
It could be you, his teacher, his best friend, or anyone in his cycle. Just prepare for the response.
9. Which superpower is better–being able to fly or be invisible?
Can be a tough one for a child but a great one to measure your child's thinking capabilities. To further explore their mind, ask why they chose what they chose and not the other choice, particularly how they will gain with the option they picked.
10. If you were a teacher, which rule would you do away with?
This one will send you straight to finding out what your child dislikes about their school. It could be the sitting arrangements, the programs, or any other complain.
11. What is your favorite chore, and which one is your least favorite?
Ask clearly and succinctly; if she doesn't like doing dishes or tidying her room, could you please give her a different chore? Maybe she would love mopping the floor or dusting the windows.
12. If you had your own zoo, which animals would you include, and which ones would you leave out?
Children love animals, so this question will be tough, but it would be fun to learn what animal your child dislikes and why.
13. If you were to be a parent and mom and dad the children, what would you do?
Another awkward but a fun conversation starter. Your child might end up laughing it all out and skipping the answer. So, be prepared with a closely related question.
14. What do you always look forward to when you prepare for school?
The dance class, mealtime, the maths class, or sports, let's find out what your child likes about school.
15. If all your toys could talk, what do you think they would say?
For preschool children, their toys are their best friends. To start a great conversation with them, aim at the toys. Pick their favorite toy and ask them to guess what they would say if they could talk. You will definitely get a phenomenal answer. Just wait for it!
16. Which animal do you think can make a good driver? Why?
Can animals drive? Find out what your child thinks. This question will spark a long conversation that would help you understand your child better.
17. What is that thing that you don't like people sharing with you?
Just like adults, children have their own fair share of things they don't like. If your child complains about sharing basic things, it is probably time to teach them why it is essential to share with other kids.
18. If you could change all our names, what would you call us?
Testing your child's imagination? Expect names from their favorite cartoon or tv show characters or even their best friends. What about Barbie? Prince Eric? The list is endless.
19. Which animal scares you the most?
Can be an easy peasy for a child who has had a bad experience with an animal. Just be careful when asking this to ensure you don't get a one-word answer. Make it exciting and offer some advice to your child to help them cope.
20. What is your favorite subject at school?
Does your child have a specific favorite subject? Does he take after you? Find out with this conversation starter. It will also help you know if your child is struggling with school work or not.
21. If you could design or invent your own subject, what would it be?
If your child did not give you a satisfactory answer in the previous question, you could try popping this one out. While you may not get the exact answer you were looking for, you may just discover something extraordinary about your kid.
22. If daddy and mummy opened a store for you, what would you sell?
Looking to know if your child is an entrepreneur? This is the question to ask. Additionally, learn how your child's thinking ability has improved through this question. You can ask what they could sell in and why.
23. If you had a superpower, what would it be and what would be your superhero name?
This conversation starter is a great way to increase your child's imagination. Listen carefully to what they will say and offer advice accordingly.
24. Where would you like to travel, and why?
If you want to get your bored child talking, this question can be the magic you need. Allow your child to share with you all the places they would like to travel to and listen keenly. You can respond by asking why they would like to visit these places to get the conversation going.
25. What do you like most about your family?
Family dinner time? Vacations? Or simply everything about the family. Whatever it is, your child is genuinely happy about it. You could also ask what they don't like and how the family can improve to keep this flowing.
26. If you got $1000 to buy something and donate it to charity, what would you buy?
Probably $1000 is too much to buy candies. Enhance your child's thinking by asking this question. You are probably going to get a variety of answers which are not close to what you expect, so just enjoy the moment and get the conversation going.
27. What do you like most about yourself?
An easy conversation starter that will get your child talking. They will mention more than you had asked, and that's okay. Just listen and wait for them to repeat their favorite!
28. What are the three main activities you would like to do this summer?
A great way to help you plan for the summer!
29. What are you most thankful for?
Parents? School? Or friends? Children are unpredictable, wait calmly for the response.
30. If you were in charge of our house rules, what would you change?
Find out the rules that your child doesn't like and could change if they had the opportunity through this conversation starter. Maybe it's bedtime routine, regulated video game time, or simply eating vegetables every other day, just find out and discuss with your child how you can deal with that.
31. What is the best thing someone ever told you or said about you?
This is an emotional moment to share with your child that will also teach you a lot about your child. Remember not to be judgmental.
32. If you could choose one toy to play with your whole life, what would you choose?
This is a good question for younger preschool children who still value their toys. It can be a great conversation starter that will help you understand your child deeper. (Here are some interesting this or that questions you can ask kids.)
33. Which job do you admire most in the world?
Daddy's job? Uncle's job or your neighbor's job? Kids can be unpredictable. Just wait for it!
34. Which one would you go for, Christmas or a birthday every year?
Children treasure their birthdays, but let it not shock you when your child chooses Christmas. Your task will be finding out why your child chose Christmas instead of a birthday. Could there be an underlying issue?
35. Do you think you can go a day without saying a word?
Is it possible? Whether possible or not, this will stir a good conversation that will help both of you bond naturally.
36. Do you share names with anyone at school? Do you like that?
Sharing names, especially with a classmate your child does not get along with, can be a challenge. This question can help you speak to your child if they are in this situation.
37. Which food would you like to eat for the rest of your life?
Children change as they grow. This conversation starter works every time you run out of conversation starters for kids. You will likely get a different answer of their favorite foods every time as their appetites, taste, and cravings change.
38. How do you describe your best friend?
If your child never speaks a lot about their best friends, this question will get them talking. This is also an excellent opportunity to reinforce your teachings about maintaining healthy relationships with friends and the values to look out for in a friend.
39. If you could do away with one subject in school, which one would it be and why?
Least favorite subject? You may already have guessed, but you might be shocked to find out that your child has another least favorite subject. It is normal for them to keep changing. Just ensure to enquire what is going on in your child's school life.
40. What is that one thing you would like to know about grown-ups?
Want to know what is running through your kid's head about you? Pop this one, and expect anything.
41. What makes you feel better when you feel sad or upset?
You probably know the answer to this one, but it is still worth asking to show your child that you care about them.
42. When was the last time you felt angry at your parents secretly?
Could it be yesterday night for not reading her favorite book? Today, for not packing his favorite sandwich for school? You may never know if you don't ask.
43. What is your favorite part of school?
You should get an interesting answer to get your conversation running smoothly.
44. Are you kind to your friends? What is the kindest act you ever showed to a friend?
If you want to know your child's understanding of empathy and kindness, you can start a conversation with this question. Let your child know that you care that they care about other people.
45. Do you like it when other kids are bullied or teased? What do you do about it?
If the previous question didn't work out the way you expected, you can pull out this one, and you are likely to get the answer. Allow your child to speak and listen carefully to their explanation; it will tell you a lot about their character.
46. What is that thing that mum or dad taught you that you would never forget?
It could be hundreds of them, but there is always that outstanding one that outshines the rest.
47. If you caught another child stealing from another child, what would you do?
This question also helps you know your child' s character based on the teachings they have received from their teacher and you as a parent.
48. What is that thing you know that other kids don't?
Something your child is proud of? Is it a sum that he got right, and other children did not? A football stunt that he has perfected and other boys have not yet learned? Whatever it is, let your child know that you are proud of them.
49. What do you value the most in your family, your friends, your toys or your teacher?
Brace yourself for any answer, because it could be their toys!
50. If you could change your room–what would you add or remove?
Give your child a chance to be his own room maker. You never know how this would go.
51. What is the funniest thing your teacher ever said?
Let your child be the narrator and laugh together. You could also give your own example and have a fun heart to heart talk with your child.
52. Do you like other countries? Which one is your favorite?
Time to find out what your child has learned about other countries.
53. What do you think parents should be more understanding about you?
Should you be more understanding about being too strict on homework? House chores? or school grades? Allow your child to speak, and remember it is not time to judge or scold.
54. If you were famous today, what would you like to be famous for?
Karate, dancing, drawing, playing video games? Help your child discover their favorite activity and how they can perfect it.
55. If you could write a book today, what would it be about?
Another one to bring your child's imagination into play. Wait! Can your child write a book? Help them work on it.
56. Which is better, to be honest, or funny?
Find out what your child values. It will help you know how best to advise and guide them without judging them.
57. If you were asked to teach your classmates something–what would you teach?
Is your child confident? Find out by asking this question. It doesn't matter whether they have something to teach or not; the most critical value here is whether they can actually do it.
58. If you could change your name, what name would you give yourself?
Batman? Cinderella? Or some fancy name they heard from friends? Just find out the answer and get the conversation going.
59. Who is your favorite cartoon character, and why?
Another provocative question any child would love to answer. Allow them to answer them from the best to the least favorite. Remember, the whole point is to get a decent conversation with your child.
60. What don't you like about your school?
This conversation starter can get your child off guard. While it shows that you care and are concerned about what they do not like, it is vital that you be honest with your child so as not to build castles in the air.
61. What is your favorite school trip so far?
Find out why it is their favorite and let them share everything about it.
62. Which family tradition is your favorite
Listen carefully; it will help you figure out what they like and what they don't like.
63. What do you think is missing in our family?
If your child has been nagging you about getting something like a baby sister or brother, a bigger television, new toy, book, or PlayStation, then this would be an excellent opportunity to talk about it.
64. Which traits do you use to make new friends?
If you have given them proper training and mentorship on choosing friends, then you must know the answers. However, it will still do some good to emphasize on a good friendship.
65. If you were to change your school uniform, what would you change?
Is that the reason why he is always grumpy when wearing his school uniform? Time to find out!
66. If you had to pick the name for a new family pet, what would it be, and why?
Don't suggest what type of animal the pet would be. Let them tell you what kind of pet it would be, and why they chose that name.
67. Do you ever feel like you lived a life before this one? What were you like?
Some kids may have no idea, but many will likely launch into a long, detailed story about who they were in another life.
68. If you could swim in a pool full of anything EXCEPT water, would you? And what would the pool be filled with?
I often thought of this as a grade school-aged kid. There were so many things I would have cannonballed into.
69. What's your favorite kind of exercise or physical activity to do? Or is there something you've always wanted to try?
These questions could lead to a new, fun adventure for you and your child to do together. There's nothing wrong with engaging in a little exercise or sport together.
70. Name the first famous person you can think of that you have most recently seen on TV.
They may or may not struggle with this one. If they name someone famous they saw on TV, have them describe how they feel about them.
71. Who do you miss the most that you haven't seen in a while?
You may hear them mention a friend at school, a relative that doesn't live nearby, or some person you all met along the way that made an impression.
72. What is one of the earliest memories you can think of from when you were really little?
I've asked my daughter this before. It's funny to hear their recollections of things from way back that you might have forgotten about as a parent.
73. What do you think the world will be like when you're 100 years old?
I like this because it lets them assume they'll live a long time. They'll probably answer about how advanced the world is or maybe something related to being elderly.
74. If we had another baby, would you want a brother or sister? What would you do to help with the baby?
Most kids may come up with a number of things they'd want to help with if they had a new brother or sister. Just don't make any promises!
75. What kind of car or vehicle would you like to have once you're old enough to drive?
The descriptions you get should be fun to hear. Colors, shapes, and possible alternatives besides your average car.
76. What types of YouTube videos do you like watching the most?
Kids LOVE YouTube. They usually have a bunch of people they enjoy watching. Watch a few of your kids' favorites with them.
77. If you could design a fashionable outfit, what would it look like?
Most kids have no idea what is actually fashionable, but they'll certainly have opinions on this one. Let them put together an outfit and give you a fashion show.
78. If you were asked to donate a toy to a child in need, which one would you give them?
Don't be surprised if they say they'd buy them one rather than donate. Some will offer their favorite, best toy. Compliment them for being so generous.
79. If you had to switch families with one of your friends for one day, could you do it?
Be prepared for a big “NO WAY!” Unless your child just adores one of their closest friends' parents, this will likely be met with resistance.
80. If you could be any dinosaur, which one would you enjoy being?
T-Rex, Velociraptor, Pterodactyl. They will come up with SOMETHING. Ask them what a day in the life of that dinosaur was like.
81. What is your favorite song or musician, right now?
Listen to their song or an album together. See if they'll listen to one of your favorites, too!
82. If we could cook something together, what would you make with me?
Let them pick a dinner to make together. This is a fun parenting activity to do together.
83. If it was safe to live on another planet, which one would you choose and why?
Assume that it's possible to live on another planet. Ask what life on that planet would be like and how it would differ from Earth.
84. What's your favorite lunch at school each week or month?
Ask your kids which foods are their favorites. If they take their lunch, ask them the same about it.
85. If you could be any video game character, which would it be? How would you go about completing the game?
Be prepared for a LONG answer on this one. You may end up playing video games with them after this.
86. What do you think about nail polish? If you like it, what color or colors would you wear?
Ask your kids what they think and if they like it, you might just be playing “Nail Salon” after this conversation.
87. What is one of your favorite memories of you and me spending time alone together?
They may pull some random memory out of nowhere. Sometimes, things we think about are much more important to our children than we realize.
88. What is one of the best movies that we've seen together in the movie theater?
Going to the movies is a big deal when you're a kid. I bet they'll have an immediate answer to this one.
89. If we made art together, what would we make?
Let your child discuss what kind of art would be fun to make alongside you. You can have a lot of fun getting art supplies and making something cool together.
90. What do you look forward to most about being a teenager?
If you have younger children, ask them this. Reassure them, if they bring up worries along with things they are looking forward to.
91. If you won a five-minute shopping spree at any store, which one would you choose? What items would you take?
Kids have so many wants and this question opens up endless possibilities for them to discuss.
92. If you were to write a book, what kind of book would it be?
Science-fiction? An adventure set in ancient times? Let them spin a tale about their book for you.
93. Have you ever thought of an invention you'd like to create? What would it do?
Some kids may not have thought about this before. Ask questions about their invention if they have something in mind.
94. If you could eliminate one major problem we have on Earth, which would you choose?
This topic may be a little worrisome for them but ask it anyway. A lot of children are quite empathetic and their views of the world and its problems matter, too.
95. What is something that you're proud of about one of your friends?
This is a nice question because it makes them think about others. Have them name something they're thankful for about one of their friends.
96. Would you rather be able to travel the world or stay in the United States your entire life?
Traveling to foreign countries can be an adventure and exciting for them. Some may want to visit domestic destinations.
97. What's the funniest dream you've had lately?
Dreams can be really offbeat, funny, or even scary. Ask about the funniest dream they've had.
98. If you could change your haircut, would you? What would the new one look like?
Kids often stick with the same haircut for many years at a time. See if they are happy with the one they've had for a while.
99. Who's your favorite character from a book? What do you like about them?
Assuming your kids read books, this should be a pretty fun topic.
100. What's your favorite restaurant to go out to eat at? What do you order?
Going out to eat is one of the highlights of being a kid. They'll freely talk about this and you can plan your next dinner outing.
101. If you invented the next popular dance, what would it be like?
Have them demonstrate it for you. This will show their imagination and burn off some excess energy.
102. If you were a parent, what would you name your child or children?
Even if they don't think they'll have children someday, this can still be a fun, imaginative question.
103. What type of job do you think you'd enjoy when you're an adult?
Kids will probably come up with the silliest answers to this. Game-tester was always my go-to, as a child of the '80s.
104. If you could meet a famous person from history, who would it be and why?
This is an old-school question, but worth asking. Kids have learned about historical figures and may have interesting answers.
105. If you were stuck on a deserted island, what would you do to survive and escape?
Yet another old-school question, but one that lends itself to a detailed plan of action.
106. If you could give yourself a nickname, what would you choose?
Ask them why they'd choose that in particular. The answer will likely be amusing!
107. If you worked on a farm, what job would you most enjoy?
Running the machinery, or taking care of the animals, they may have a number of ideas.
108. What is your favorite T-shirt that you own?
Ask them which one is their favorite and why they like it so much.
109. What are your favorite phone apps to use?
If your child doesn't have their own phone, ask which apps they like best on mom or dad's phone.
110. Would you rather be able to swim like a fish underwater, or fly like a bird?
There would be so much to explore, regardless. Ask them about what they'd go see first.
111. What is your biggest fear?
This can be scary, but an opportunity for a parent to reassure them about the things they worry about.
112. What ice cream flavor is your favorite?
There are so many flavors, discuss these and then go get some together.
113. What is your most and least favorite season of the year?
Spring, summer, fall, winter. Talk about the best and worst aspects of all of them.
114. What do you think I was like as a child?
This can be a long and detailed question about Mom, Dad, or both!
115. What do you think is one of the greatest inventions ever?
This question can go in many different directions. They may even come up with their own invention!
Conversation Starters for Kids: Final Thoughts
These conversation starters can help you develop a solid relationship with your child. Most of the questions in this list help inspire and build other critical characteristics about them, such as creativity, imagination, gratitude, confidence, and empathy. Some can even teach a skill or two that will be valuable for your child.
Don't worry if your child is not initially interested or excited about answering your questions–just choose something else to ask and don't rush or force the answer.
And don't just robotically ask these questions. Instead, let your child know that you genuinely care and are interested in knowing them deeper. I cannot emphasize more on making them as fun as possible to get your child really hooked in the conversation.
If your kid is a little older, this list of conversation starters for teens may just be what you need.
Finally, if you want to level up your parenting skills, then check out this resource that will show you how to get your kids to listen WITHOUT yelling, nagging, or losing control.