During our Spring Break in Columbus, we visited the American Girl store and had lunch at their Bistro. My daughter thought this was the best part of Spring Break. Normally, my husband would take my son somewhere else while we visit such a girly store but he was home sick. I worried that my son wouldn’t enjoy himself at all. The store manager put my son at ease right away recommending the Bistro Burger, which is an amazing, huge burger that made even my 9 year old boy tolerate all the pink in the store!
What surprised me about our visit was the conversation I had with my two kids. The American Girl store has conversation cards that you can read while waiting for your food.
They had questions like “What do you think is the perfect age?” and “What is your favorite vacation memory.”
We started asking the questions one by one, just to try it out. My kids really, really got into it. They couldn’t wait until it was their turn to ask the question. I was surprised by some of the answers! It brought back so many memories as we talked about the past and I learned so much about my kids and what they think about a number of topics – stuff I would have never known because I never thought to ask.
25 Fun Conversation Starter Questions to Get Kids Talking
How are your dinnertime conversations? Not sure what to say to your kids? Can’t get them to “tell you about their day”? Asking questions that don’t allow kids to answer with a “yes,” “no,”, or “I don’t know” answer is best. We’ve tried asking specific questions like “what is one thing you learned today” or “what did you do in specials today ” (music, art, etc).
- What was the funniest thing that happened to you today?
- What is your favorite movie and why?
- What is your earliest memory?
- What Superhero power would you have if you could chose any?
- What are you most proud of?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- What are 3 words that best describe our family? you?
- What is the hardest thing about being a girl/boy?
- Would you give up your favorite food to never have to eat your least favorite vegetable/dish again?
- If you are sad, what meal could I make to help you feel better?
- If you could decorate our house, what would you change?
- What would you change your first name to if you could and why?
- What is one thing you didn’t know this morning that you learned at school today?
- If you had to eat one food the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
- What is the nicest thing a friend has done for you?
- What makes a good friend?
- If you could have any pet, what would it be and why?
- What do you think Heaven is like?
- How do you think your friends describe you?
- Tell me 2 things you remember about preschool/kindergarten, etc.
- Is there anything you pretend to understand but don’t?
- What would you do if you were president?
- If you could bring a movie or book character to life, who would it be?
- If you could chose a time period past or future to live in, which would you?
- If you could join the circus, what would you be?
Study after study talks about the importance of eating together as a family for as many meals as possible with your kids for better health, healthier weight, and good social skills.
I just read a piece in the Scholastic Parent & Child magazine that went further into the benefits. According to a studyof 35,000 kids conducted by the National Literacy Trust, kids that chit chat with their family during regular dinner’s together feel good about speaking in public.
These kids raise their hands more in class, work better in groups, and have more confidence. All because they eat dinner with their family at home.
I know it isn’t possible for many families to eat together every night with work schedules, sports, after school activities, etc. However, it seems that the benefits are far and wide when it comes to the benefits. If you can start planning just one meal together a week, then go from there, it’s a good start.
I feel like we have good, open conversations with our kids. We spend a lot of time together since both my husband and I work from home. We eat dinner together every single night – as well as breakfast and lunch on weekends and school breaks. However, after the experience we had at American Girl Bistro, I’ve started asking those sorts of questions at home too. It is amazing what you learn and how the conversations flow.