We all live busy lives in a variety of ways and that is no different for our children. Often the car trip home from kindy or school can be a great but sometimes challenging time to ask your child the dreaded questions:
How was your day? Or What did you do today?
We as parents are often hit back with a one-word response or the common ‘nothing’ reply. It often isn’t that children don’t want to talk or share their day, it is often just so embedded in the day that it becomes repetitive. So, we have compiled a list of some fun new, tried, and tested strategies parents have shared on getting your child to open up, talk and engage with you through those car trips home or around the dinner table at night!
– Begin with telling them about your day. By starting a conversation before starting to ask them questions, your children can take some time to think about what they would like to share with you!
– Start with a question like; “If I had been at Kindy with you today what would we have done”? “Where or who would we have played with”?
– What was the ____________ fill the blank (Change it up each day with a different word eg. challenging part, exciting part, shocking part, funniest part) part of your day? Then it doesn’t become repetitive, and it is open-ended, fun, and engaging.
– Ask how their friends are? Often this will spark a memory from the day, opening up conversations.
– Ask about their educators/teachers? This is a great way to assist your child to establish connections and to also identify which educator/teacher is their preference.
– What would your favourite day of Kindy/ School look like/ Feel like/ Sound like?
– High/ Low Buffalo – Everyone shares something happy or a high moment and something that made them feel low or sad for the day. Talking about the positive and negative aspects of our days will support our children to build healthy relationships with all emotions.
– Did you help anyone with anything today? Or did anyone help you?
– Take turns. You share one thing about your day today, then I will share one about mine game.
– What did you do that was kind today?
– Pick a space in the studio/ classroom and ask them about it?
– Read through the monthly news blast and studio snapshot with your child, looking at photos and having visual prompts to conversations.
– Kids love to be silly with you! You can sing questions and answers in the car to the tune of songs they know.
– At home, act out something you did in your day and get them to do it too!
We hope this helps with those afternoon car trips and dinner table conversation starters and that you and your child/ren enjoy the conversations and connections through meaningful everyday rituals.