Whether it’s a family dinner night or a long car ride, getting your kids to engage in a meaningful conversation isn’t always easy. If your kids are giving you nothing but monosyllabic answers or throwing out one-word responses, it’s time to get creative! Try these conversation starters for kids to encourage them to speak up and engage in fun and memorable discussions.
What Are Conversation Starters for Kids?
A conversation starter is a simple way to connect with your kids and encourage them to open up about their thoughts and opinions. Beginning in a discussion in a playful way, like playing would you rather or asking trivia questions, can help break the ice and make having a conversation more exciting and engaging. Keeping the communication lines open as your children become more independent is critical to maintaining a strong relationship with them.
10 Conversation Starters for Kids
Try these fun and easy games and activities to get the ball rolling.
1. Playing Would You Rather
Playing would you rather is a great way to get your child talking and leads to some fun and philosophical discussions. For example, would you rather be a teacher or an artist? Or, would you rather have a house made of jello or a car made out of marshmallows? The possibilities are endless! Try a book of would you rather questions for kids to help you get started.
2. Conversation Cards
This is a great way to begin a conversation with your kids. Packs of conversation cards are available at stores like Target, Walmart, and Amazon. These cards come with creative discussion topics for families, but you can also create your own by printing out questions on index cards or tiny pieces of paper.
photo: Keira Burton via Pexels
3. Open-Ended Questions
Open-ended questions are a fun way for kids to share their thoughts and opinions, leading to more dialogue. You can ask these types of questions once the conversation has started or as new openings present themselves. Open-ended questions are hard to answer with just one word, so they naturally encourage discussion.
4. Photo Scavenger Hunt
If you have pictures of your family stored on your phone, tablet, or computer, print them out and create cards for each person in the picture. Hide the photos throughout the house and have your children search for them while asking questions about each family member’s favorite memories and characteristics.
Roleplaying is a great way to engage communication skills and open up discussions about difficult topics. By taking on different roles, kids are more likely to feel comfortable sharing their opinions or answering questions. Act out different scenarios like going on a visit to the doctor or getting ready for the first day of school.
6. Trivia Questions
Playing a game of trivia for kids is a fantastic way to start a discussion. Pick a topic that you know they are interested in, like Disney movies, and ask them questions about the characters and stories to get the conversation flowing. You could also ask interesting questions from a book of kids’ trivia questions.
7. Current Event Discussions
Begin a discussion with your child about issues that are relevant in today’s society. Discussing current events will show you how their mind works and spark conversation about topics that interest them. You may even learn something new!
8. Family Trees
Creating family trees is a great way to get kids interested in talking because it encourages them to think about their family. Have your child list their grandparents, parents, and siblings, and then talk about the similarities and differences between each generation.
photo: Sarah Dietz via Pexels
9. Draw Me A Story
Another fun way to encourage your children to talk with you is through drawing. Ask your child to draw a picture of their family, friends, pets, and other things they enjoy. Take a look at what your child has created and ask them questions about it.
10. Reverse Interview
This is a fun game to play in the car or around the dinner table so everyone can take turns. Ask your kids questions like “What’s your favorite animal?” or “What’s your favorite dessert?” Then switch roles and have them ask you questions.
There are many ways to get your kids talking, and if all else fails, you can talk about the weather, favorite foods, books, or movies. These discussions will help strengthen your relationship with your child and encourage healthy communication habits for a lifetime.
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