30 open-ended questions to ask your child

Talking with children is not as simple as it sounds!

Toddlers are just learning to put their words together and sometimes we need to decipher what they are yelling at us – often because they’re so frustrated with the inability to clearly communicate.

And as our children get older, sometimes just getting an answer to a question can be a challenge!

We ask our children a lot of questions every day:

How was your sleep?

What colour is this?

Can you come here please?

What would you like to eat?

As parents, we ask them questions to gain insights into their feelings and to identify any challenges they may be facing.

Although questions are a great way to learn more about our children, it is important to pay attention to asking questions that let you get to know your child better, rather than asking questions about what they already know.

There are basically two types of questions you can ask your child: Close-ended or open-ended questions.

Close-Ended Questions

Close-ended questions are similar to interviewing. They can be answered with few words such as yes or no, and usually have a right or wrong answer.

Here are some examples of close-ended questions:

Did you like the chicken?

What is your favourite colour?

Are you feeling sad?

Open-ended questions typically require more than a one word response. They force children to think critically, solve problems and use their language skills.

The 30 best open-ended questions to ask your child

1. What happened when…?

2. What happened before/after…?

3. What did you use to make it?

4. Why do you think…?

5. How can you tell the difference between _______ and ______?

6. Can you give me an example of ______?

7. How do you know that…?

8. Tell me what happened…

9. Tell me about a time when…

10. Tell me how you would make/build…

11. What do you think will happen next?

12. How can you find out?

13. Show me what you could do with it.

14. How can we solve this problem?

15. What do you think will happen if…?

16. How else would/could you…?

17. Why is this important?

18. In what ways are these different/similar?

19. What do you think will happen?

20. Why do you think…?

21. What could we do differently next time?

22. What else could you do/use?

23. What could we have done instead?

24. Why did you choose…?

25. How are you planning to do that?

26. I wonder what…

27. What do you think might happen when…

28. How did that happen?

29. How does it work?

30. What might you change?

Asking open-ended questions takes practice, and lot’s of it!

Have fun and enjoy asking your child these questions, you are sure to learn a lot!

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