35 questions to ask your child instead of 'How was your day?'

Primary school conversation starters
If finding out about your child's day at school is mission: impossible, try these alternative conversation starters.

Getting information from our kids about their day at school can be a bit like trying to scale Ben Nevis wearing flip flops: painful and pretty much impossible. We’re dying to hear all the classroom gossip, but as far as they’re concerned, the school day is over, and they don’t want to think about it any more, thanks very much.

But while grilling your child about their school day tends to involve a lot of pain for no gain, asking the right questions – rather than the all-encompassing ‘What have you done today?’ – can encourage them to part with snippets of information.

Try these 35 alternatives to ‘How was your day?’ and see what your child has to say.

Questions about schoolwork

1. Tell me one thing you’ve learned today that you didn’t know this morning.

2. What did you do today that made you feel proud?

3. What word did your teacher say the most today?

4. Did you need to ask your teacher for help with anything?

5. What did you do today that made your brain work really hard?

6. Did you do anything that made your teacher say ‘well done’?

7. Did you do anything that made your hands dirty?

8. Were you bored in any lessons today?

Questions about friendships

9. Who do you most enjoy talking to at school?

10. Who did you sit next to today?

11. Who made you laugh the most?

12. If an alien spaceship landed in the school playground, who would you want them to beam up?

13. Who’d be the most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse?

14. Who in your class has a talent that you really wish you had?

15. Which one of your classmates do you think would be the best prime minister?

16. Who would be the most likely to win X Factor?

Questions about playtime and lunchtime

17. Who did you sit next to at lunchtime?

18. What was the yummiest thing in your school dinner today?

19. What was the yuckiest thing?

20. If you could swap your packed lunch with someone, who would you choose?

22. Who did you play with at breaktime?

23. Did you help anyone out in the playground?

24. Where’s the best place to hang out at playtime?

25. What’s your favourite thing to do if it’s a wet playtime?

26. Who thinks up the best games?

27. What would you do if you felt lonely at playtime?

Questions about school life

28. If you could change one thing about school, what would it be?

29. If you were the headteacher, what one rule would you make for all the children in your school?

30. If a new child was thinking about coming to your school, what would you say to them?

31. What’s the hardest rule to follow at school?

32. What do you think makes your teacher really happy?

33. Did anything make you cry/make you cross today?

34. How would you rate your day out of 10, and why?

35. What would make tomorrow more fun than today?