Every day, parents across the globe ask their children, How was your day?, eager to discover what their child has been up to while at daycare or preschool. Unfortunately, that go-to question, seemingly filled with infinite possible answers, is often met with a conversation-stopping fine or good. But do not fret...there is info in there just waiting to be shared! You just need to tweak your questions—and your timing.

You see, toddlers’ and preschoolers’ brains are still very much a work in progress, so it is often difficult for them to review their whole day in their mind and tease out specific details—and words—to share. Essentially, what seems like a simple question to you is actually kind of overwhelming for a young kiddo. Plus, some kids need to decompress for a bit before they can muster up the energy to chat. After all, they have been 'on' all day...and that can be exhausting! When the time is right, help your child open up with these conversation-starting tips:

  • Use open-ended questions. When possible, ask questions that cannot be answered in one-word answers.

  • Share details of your.  Lead by example by telling your toddler some details about what you did over the course of your day. You sharing will naturally spark their interest in sharing, too.

  • Recount your school memories. To ignite a spark of conversation, try saying something about what you enjoyed when you were your child’s age, like, I always loved playing Duck Duck Goose at recess—what is your favourite recess game? My favourite school lunch was pizza. What is yours?

  • Know your kids’ schedule. When you are familiar with what generally happens during your child’s day, you have a question-asking starting point. For instance: What station did you pick during choice time? Who was your guest reader today? Which classroom job were you assigned?

  • Be present. When you reunite with your child at the end of the day, concentrate on reconnecting without Try giving a hug; offering to carry your child's backpack; saying I missed you.

With that, here are some more ideas of what you may want to ask after a snack, over dinner, before bed, or whenever your child is giving off relaxed let’s-chat vibes.

  1. What was the most fun thing you did today?

  2. What made you laugh today?

  3. What made your teacher smile today?

  4. Did anything make your teacher frown today?

  5. What did your teacher talk about most today?

  6. What superpower would have come in handy today?

  7. What rule was the hardest to follow today?

  8. Did anything make you feel sad today?

  9. Did anything make you feel frustrated today?

  10. What was the hardest thing you had to do today?

  11. If you could change one thing about your day, what would it be?

  12. What was your favourite thing in your lunchbox?

  13. Who brought the best lunch today?

  14. Can you tell me all about the coolest thing you made today?

  15. What was better today: circle time or choice time?

  16. What station did you choose at choice time?

  17. What is your least favourite choice-time option?

  18. What classroom job are you hoping to get next week?

  19. What is something you were super good at today?

  20. What questions did you ask at school today?

  21. What story did your teacher read?

  22. Did you talk to any new friends today?

  23. Who did you play with at recess?

  24. Who is the friendliest kid in your class?

  25. Did you tell anyone thank you?

  26. What is a nice thing that someone did for you today?

  27. What was the nicest thing you did for someone else today?

  28. Can you tell me about a time you shared today?

  29. Can you tell me about when someone shared with you today?

  30. How was today different than yesterday?

  31. What was your least favourite part of the day?

  32. What is something you know today that you did not know yesterday?

  33. What are you looking forward to tomorrow?

  34. Who do you want to play with tomorrow?

  35. Can you teach me something you learned today?


More toddler communication tips here:

Better Ways to Say 'Good Job!'

How to Talk to Your Picky Eater

30 Things to Say Instead of 'Be Careful!'

How to Speak Toddler-ese

Conversation-Starters to Get Your Toddler Talking

 

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    Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.