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It’s a question every parent asks when picking up their child or children from school, but more often than not we are answered with only a short habitual response (“it was good,”) or an “I dunno.”

After school is an important time to reconnect with your child and to help them celebrate their successes. It’s a good way to reinforce their interest in learning, positive feelings toward school, and sometimes to identify and resolve problems if any. But this can only be accomplished if you can get your child talking about their school day.

Instead of the regular “How was school today?” question, try switching things up and asking more specific/interesting/surprising questions instead. has some great suggestions, such as:

  1. What was the best part of your day today?
  2. What was the funniest thing you saw today?
  3. Which books did you read today?
  4. What was your teacher wearing today?
  5. What activity at school today was your favorite?
  6. What made you feel happy today?
  7. How did you get to be a helper today?
  8. Did you get to spend time with the class pet today?
  9. Which color crayon or marker did you use the most today?
  10. What do you think I’d like best about your teacher?
  11. What was the hardest part of your day?

It can also be a good opportunity to reinforce what your child learned that day:

  1. What was something new you learned today?
  2. Is there something you heard about today that you’d like to learn more about?
  3. If we went to the library to get a book about something you learned today, what kind of book would we get? (bonus points if you go to the library to check out a book)
  4. What pictures did you draw today?
  5. What was the character’s name in a book you read today? What did that character do in the book? Do you like that character/dislike that character?
  6. What do you wish you didn’t have to learn about?
  7. What letter did you use the most today?
  8. What was something you learned today that you think I don’t know?
  9. What did you learn today that surprised you?
  10. What did you learn today that you already knew?
  11. If you could have done one activity longer at school, what would you have done?

It’s also a great way to encourage socializing, empathy, and awareness of others:

  1. Which child in your class was the quietest? (loudest? most energetic?)
  2. Which kid at school would you like to get to know better?
  3. Did you get or give any compliments today?
  4. What child in class seemed like they could use a friend today?
  5. Was there a kid in class today who seemed like they might have needed to be cheered up a little today?
  6. What was something nice someone said to you today?
  7. What was something nice you said to someone else today?
  8. Who were you a good friend to today?

Have you tried any of these questions out with your child? Share their responses in the comments below!

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