School. The word itself brings back a flood of memories.
The new notebooks, the pencil cases filled with freshly sharpened pencils, and oh, that distinct smell of new books! Don’t even get me started on the excitement of covering and labelling everything (yes, I was absolutely that kid).
Still, there’s a certain magic about the first day of school that can’t be replicated. The anticipation, the excitement, the jittery nerves — it’s like stepping into a whole new world.
But as a parent, we’re on the other side of the looking glass. We’re the ones packing lunches, buying booklists, and saying reassuring things while trying to suppress our own set of nerves.
We’re curious about their day. Did they make new friends? Did they like their teacher? Was the cafeteria food edible?
Well, sit back and relax, because I’ve got you covered!
Here are 25 thoughtful questions to ask your kids on their first day of school. Let’s not settle for the obligatory “How was your day?” and really dive into their experiences.
Keep in mind, you don’t need to ask all 25 of these questions, it’s not a grand inquisition.
These are just some ideas – perhaps you can choose a handful of these to ask each day over the first week or so of the new school year, or even make a routine of asking questions like this each day.
25 Questions To Ask Your Kids On Their First Day Of School
1 – “What was the most exciting thing that happened today?”
Ask this question and watch their eyes light up as they recount their favorite part of the day.
Who doesn’t love a good story, right? Especially if it involves recess and a surprise cupcake.
2 – “Who did you sit with at lunch?”
As they answer, you get a glimpse into their social life.
It’s like a secret window into their world, minus the awkwardness of being a fly on the cafeteria wall.
3 – “What did you find challenging today?”
Learning is all about tackling challenges.
Whether it’s a tricky math problem or remembering which locker is theirs, it’s these little struggles that make the triumphs more rewarding.
This also normalizes challenges and reminds your kids that facing and overcoming challenges is not something to avoid or be scared of.
4 – “What did you learn that surprised you?”
Ignite their curiosity! It’s like sparking a mini scientific revolution in their minds. Besides, who knows, you might learn something new too!
5 – “What was the funniest thing that happened today?”
Laughter really is the best medicine. And who doesn’t want to hear a story that will make them chuckle? So, ask away and prepare for some kiddie humor.
6 – “What part of the day did you look forward to the most?”
This question helps identify their interests and passions.
If they were excited for art class, then you’ve got a budding Picasso. If they couldn’t wait for PE, maybe you’ve got the next Serena Williams!
Plus it also helps you to understand what is important to them and what takes their focus.
7 – “How did you help someone today?”
Promote empathy with this question. Teaching them to be kind and helpful is just as important as academics.
Plus, doesn’t it just melt your heart when they share a sweet act of kindness?
If you ask this question regularly, you might even find that your kids start to look for ways to help people.
8 – “What made you proud today?”
Fostering self-esteem is crucial. This question allows them to self-reflect and acknowledge their accomplishments, however small they may be. We’re talking little victories here!
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9 – “Who made you smile today and why?”
It’s like a sneak peek into their social interactions and the budding friendships. It also serves as a gentle reminder about the power of a smile.
10 – “Was there a moment when you felt confused?”
Misunderstandings and confusions are part of life. By discussing these moments, you can help them learn to navigate through tricky situations and help them to come up with ways to communicate their confusion when they need to.
11 – “What was the coolest thing your teacher said?”
Teachers play such a significant role in our kids’ lives. This question gives you insight into that dynamic, and hey, it’s always fun to hear about the teacher outside the parent-teacher meetings!
Plus, it’s great for kids hear you speaking positively of their teacher and encouraging them to have a positive view of their teacher too.
12 – “Who would you like to play with that you didn’t get to today?”
This might reveal if your child is feeling a bit shy or hesitant about approaching other kids.
It’s a subtle way to encourage them to step out of their comfort zone and opens up the ability for you to talk with them about how they can initiate play with other kids too.
13 – “What would you change about your day if you could?”
It’s like having a magical wand that grants do-overs.
This question encourages them to think critically about their actions and decisions. And let’s be honest, don’t we all wish we had a redo button sometimes?
14 – “What’s something kind someone did for you?”
We’re cultivating kindness here, remember? This question not only encourages gratitude, but also highlights the importance of small acts of kindness.
15 – “What made you feel grateful today?”
Fostering gratitude from an early age is priceless. This question will help your kids appreciate the good things in their lives, no matter how small.
16 – “What was the hardest rule to follow today?”
Sometimes rules can be challenging, especially for the little rebels amongst us.
This question can help identify any potential issues and make sure they’re not feeling too overwhelmed.
17 – “What did you create or build today?”
This question lets their creativity shine! Whether it’s a finger-painting masterpiece or a block tower that defies gravity, let’s celebrate those creations!
18 – “Did anyone do anything super nice for you?”
Time to spotlight those heartwarming moments of human kindness.
Besides, stories of kindness always make for a feel-good conversation, don’t they?
19 – “If you could be the teacher tomorrow, what would you teach?”
Oh, to be the teacher for a day! This question lets them step into a teacher’s shoes, giving them a fresh perspective while revealing their passions.
20 – “What are you looking forward to tomorrow?”
This question keeps the optimism flowing and encourages them to look forward to a new day. It’s all about spreading those positive vibes!
21 – “What are three words that describe your day?”
Encourage them to think deeper about their day and express it in just three words. It’s like creating a mini word-cloud of their day.
22 – “If you could teleport back to a moment in school today, which moment would it be?”
We’re all about nurturing their imagination. This question lets them relive their favorite part of the day in their mind, and it’s your ticket to another lovely story.
23 – “What new fact did you learn today?”
Remember when I said you might learn something new too? This question can often be the one that surprises you the most.
24 – “What are you most excited to learn about this year?”
Whether it’s dinosaurs, fractions, or writing cursive, this question can give you a head start on what to expect in the upcoming year.
25 – “What are you hoping to accomplish this school year?”
Asking them about their goals helps them to focus and look ahead. It could be as simple as reading a chapter book or mastering multiplication tables.
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How to Ask These Questions
The art of asking questions goes far beyond the words we use. It’s about creating a space where kids feel safe, heard, and excited to share their experiences. So, how do you do that?
Start by picking the right moment. Bombarding them with questions the moment they step off the school bus or get into the car, might not always yield the best results.
Give them a little breather. Maybe over a snack, or as you’re tucking them into bed. Pick a moment when they are relaxed and more likely to open up.
Try to ask open-ended questions that can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” (such as the ones above). The aim is to encourage them to elaborate and share more about their day.
For instance, instead of asking, “Did you have fun at recess?”, you could ask, “What games did you play at recess?”.
Remember, your child isn’t giving a testimony in a court of law. This should be a fun, relaxed conversation. No interrogation lights necessary!
Show genuine interest in their answers. Let your face light up when they’re describing their epic game of tag or their beautiful art project.
When to Ask
Timing is everything. We’ve all been on the receiving end of an ill-timed question, right? So, when’s the best time to ask your kids about their day?
The perfect time could be during dinner when everyone’s gathered around the table. It’s a setting that’s informal, yet intimate. It can turn your everyday meal into a delightful story-sharing session.
Bedtime is another great time for these conversations. There’s something about the quiet darkness that makes kids open up. Plus, ending the day with a heart-to-heart talk is always a good idea and gives your kids a chance to get any thoughts they have out of their mind.
Follow-up questions are your best friend. They keep the conversation going and show your child that you’re engaged and interested in what they’re saying.
Let’s say your child mentions a new friend at school. You could ask, “What do you like the most about your new friend?”, or “What games do you play together?”.
If they’ve encountered a problem, you could ask, “How did that make you feel?” or “What do you think you could do differently next time?”.
Remember, the aim is to keep the conversation flowing naturally, not to fire off a barrage of questions that makes them feel cornered.
The Art of Active Listening
Lastly, the most important part of asking these questions is active listening. It’s about more than just hearing their words — it’s about understanding their experiences, emotions, and perspectives.
While they’re sharing, maintain eye contact. Nod occasionally. Show them that you’re fully present in the conversation. Don’t rush them or interrupt. Give them the time and space to express themselves fully.
Respond with empathy. If they’ve had a rough day, acknowledge their feelings. If they’ve achieved something, celebrate with them. It’s these small reactions that show them you’re not just listening, you’re understanding.
Through these questions, we have a chance to step into our child’s shoes and see the world through their eyes, even if it’s just for a few moments. It’s not about prying or probing, it’s about connecting.
After all, isn’t that what we all seek — to feel connected, heard, and loved?
By asking thoughtful questions and actively listening to the answers, we can create a bond that’s built on empathy, understanding, and love. And honestly, isn’t that the most beautiful part of being a parent?
So there you have it, folks. An arsenal of thoughtful questions to pry open that proverbial clam and get those delightful pearls of insight into your child’s day at school.
With the right timing, a dash of curiosity, and a dollop of empathy, we can transform our everyday conversations into meaningful dialogues that nurture a strong bond with our children.
Remember, the questions are not an end in themselves. They’re just a bridge, a bridge that connects our world to theirs. They provide a safe and comfortable platform for our children to share their victories, their challenges, their dreams, and their fears.
As parents, we don’t get a how-to guide or a foolproof strategy. We navigate through the ebbs and flows, figuring out things as we go. And amidst this beautiful chaos, these conversations become our anchor. They ground us, connect us, and give us a glimpse into the wonderful minds of our little ones.
So, let’s make the most of these moments. Let’s dive headfirst into their stories, their experiences, their little worlds. Let’s go beyond the simple “How was your day?” and create a space where they feel heard, valued, and loved.
After all, the first day of school is just the beginning of a whole new chapter of adventures, discoveries, and growth. Let’s embark on this journey with an open mind, a curious spirit, and a heart full of love.
Because, as we all know, parenting is not just about raising children. It’s about raising ourselves to become the parents our children need us to be. It’s a beautiful journey of learning and growing together. And these conversations, my dear friends, are our roadmaps on this incredible journey.
So, here’s to a new school year filled with learning, laughter, love, and lots and lots of heartwarming conversations. Happy parenting!