We’ve all been there – you pick up your child after school, eagerly waiting to hear about their day, and you ask the dreaded question: “How was school today?” And what do you get in response? A monosyllabic “Fine” or “Okay” or worse still…the dreaded shrug of the shoulders! Not exactly the engaging conversation you were hoping for, right? Fear not, fellow parents, because we’ve got seven questions that will not only make your kids spill the beans but will also stimulate their brains AND have you both giggling and connecting in no time!

  1. “If You Could have Swapped Places with a Classmate today, Who Would it Be and Why?”

    Let’s start with a hypothetical scenario! This question not only encourages your child’s imagination but also gets them thinking about their classmates in a fun and playful way. You might even learn something new about their friendships or interests.

    This question not only stimulates imagination but also their analytical thinking, as your child considers the cognitive differences between themselves and their classmate.

  2. “If Your Teacher Suddenly Turned into an Animal, What Animal Would They Be?”

    Ah, the age-old question of what your teacher would be as an animal! This question is bound to elicit a laugh or two as your child pictures their teacher as a koala or a chameleon. It’s also a great way to gauge your child’s feelings about their teacher.

    Imaginative scenarios like this engage the brain’s capacity for creative thinking and problem-solving, leading to amusing mental imagery.

  3. “What was unexpected about today?”

    Inviting your child to share the unexpected twists and turns of their day. Encourages them to reflect on moments that took them by surprise, whether it was a sudden change in the weather or an unexpected turn of events during a class project. By exploring the unexpected, you’re delving into their brain’s capacity to adapt and react to new situations, like a seasoned explorer charting uncharted territories.

    It’s a journey through curiosity and adaptability, where each unexpected event becomes a delightful detour on the road of learning and growth!

  4. “If You Could Add One Rule to Your School, What Would It Be?”

    Time to let your child’s inner rule-maker shine! You might be in for some creative and hilarious suggestions, like “No homework on Fridays” or “Free ice cream every day.” Who knows, maybe they have a future on the school council!

    Encouraging your child to create a new rule engages their brain’s executive function, fostering decision-making and planning skills.

  5. “What’s the Funniest Thing That Happened Today?”

    Humor is a great way to break the ice and get your kids talking. Encourage them to share a funny anecdote from their day. Whether it’s a goofy teacher moment or a hilarious mishap during a science experiment, you’re guaranteed to learn more about their day AND get a good chuckle.

    As a bonus, laughter triggers the release of endorphins, which not only make you and your child feel good but also enhance memory and bonding.

  6. “If You Could Have Lunch with Any Fictional Character, Who Would It Be and Why?”

    This question taps into your child’s love for stories and imagination. Whether they choose Harry Potter or SpongeBob SquarePants, their answer will give you insight into their favorite books, shows, and movies. Plus, you might learn about some cool characters you’ve never heard of!

    You’ll also be activating their brain’s storytelling abilities, promoting narrative thinking and creativity.

  7. “If You Could Teach Your Teacher One Thing, What Would It Be?”

    Turn the tables on your child and make them the teacher for a moment! This question encourages critical thinking and allows your child to reflect on their own interests and expertise. Maybe they want to teach their teacher how to dance the latest TikTok trend or how to perfect a slam dunk in basketball.

    Encouraging your child to take on a teaching role stimulates their brain’s mirror neuron system, fostering empathy and social awareness.

So there you have it – seven hilarious and compelling questions to ask your children after school that don’t include the dreaded “How was school today?” With a little practice, before you know it, you’ll have your kids talking, laughing, and sharing their school experiences like never before. Who knew that swapping places with classmates and turning teachers into animals could be so much fun AND so good for their brains? The world through your child’s eyes is a playground of endless possibilities, and together, you’re exploring the fabulous nooks and crannies of their innate wisdom. Happy chatting, intrepid explorers of parenthood, and may your after school chats be filled with laughter, wonder, and whimsy.

More for the curious:

If you are a parent AND a leader/ manager, reread those questions now! How could you incorporate them into your team conversations? For more on how these correlate for leaders in a hybrid world go here.