10 Questions to Ask your Kids After School... that won't get one word responses

Now that the school year is well underway, you might be finding it difficult to get information about the school day from your children. After school, kids are tired, and getting more than a "fine" or a "good" can be a challenge. Today, I am sharing 10 questions that you can ask your kids after school... that will get more than a one word response.

1) What did you do at recess / lunch? Who did you play with? Who did you sit beside at lunch? - Great questions because they lead to a bigger discussion about who their friends are, what they are interested in playing, and what sort of drama is happening on the playground.

2) Did anything funny happen at school today? - A simple question with a positive focus.

3) Did you find anything hard or upsetting today? - A great question for uncovering emotional struggles.

4) What are you working on in math? What are you reading? - Wonderful questions for showing interest in the academic part of a child's day.

5) What was the best part of your day? What was the worst part of your day? - Simple questions that can lead to more detailed discussions.

6) What did you learn today? 

7) What are two positive things that happened today? What is one negative thing that happened today?

8) Did anyone get in trouble in your class today? What were they doing? - This is a wonderful question to ask because it allows you to talk to your kids about acceptable and unacceptable behavior and what your expectations are for them.

9) Did you eat your lunch? Why or why not? - Sometimes kids don't eat their lunch because they were worried about something and had a sore belly. Or, sometimes they don't eat their lunch because they were in a hurry to get outside to play with a new piece of playground equipment. Either way, it's a good question that can help uncover further information.

10) Do you have any homework? Do you have any projects or tests coming up?

  • Of course, you aren't going to ask all these questions every day. Pick the questions that work for you, and feel free to "mix them up". You should also consider the timing of asking your child questions. Some kids love a chat while enjoying an after school snack, but others prefer to share information at bedtime. You know your child best, so go with your gut.

  • What's your favorite question to ask your kids after school? Did any of your favorites make my list?

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)


  1. Title should read "18 questions to ask your kids...one word response." Most of these are one word response questions without the additional follow-up questions.

    1. I guess the idea is to always use follow up questions. That's what works for me.

  2. Love the list,gets them talking!

  3. Great job! Your article is so informative. I really like it.


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