Family Laughing around a table

Family Conversation Starters That Get Kids to Open Up

Conversation starters are not only a great way to get the kids talking, they’re also a great way to learn about each other. I’ve written up a month’s worth of family conversation starters with a very specific goal in mind. I want to cover some important topics and take the pressure off by mixing them in with some really fun, light conversations.

Pay attention (and maybe even jot down a few notes after you chat), and it might help you understand your kids a little better. You might learn how they would react in a certain situation, what time of day they feel at their best, and who they feel most comfortable confiding in.

Conversation Starter Questions for Kids

  • Would you rather deliver the mail, sort the mail, or be the clerk who takes the packages at the post office? 
  • Think about the books you’ve read. Which character would you like to be friends with? What qualities make you feel this way? 
  • Say one thing you like about the person on your right. 
  • If you had all the Lego bricks you needed and all the time you needed… what would you build? 
  • Would you rather live by the beach, in the mountains or in the desert? 
  • What is something you are afraid of? 
  • What is the best thing that has happened today? 
  • What is the worst thing that has happened today? Who do you trust with your most personal conversations? 
  • What is one thing you would like to learn more about? 
  • Share a memory that makes you smile.
  • Talk about something you’ve done lately to be helpful. 
  • What type of spy gadget would you invent? How would you use it? 
  • If you could amplify one of your senses, which one would it be? 
  • Would you rather fly an airplane, be a flight attendant, or work in the control room? 
  • What time of day do you feel most happy? 
  • What time of day do you feel the least patient
  • My favorite thing to do outside is…. My favorite thing to do inside is… 
  • Do you think someone can be happy and sad at the same time? 
  • If you had to give away one of your toys, which one would it be? 
  • Would you rather be on stage singing, writing the songs, or organizing schedules? 
  • If you went to a magical restaurant where they could serve your perfect meal, what would it be?
  • Which superpower would you like to have? 
  • Would you rather design a house, build a house or sell a house? 
  • If you had to pick one meal to eat over and over for a month, what would it be? 
  • Share a problem you have that you’d like us to help you brainstorm a solution. 
  • What is something you love to do in the Spring? 
  • Do you have a pet peeve? What is it? 
  • What animal do you think would make a great pet? 
  • What animal do you think would make a terrible pet? 
  • What is something you feel very confident doing? 
  • What is something you feel unsure about doing? 

An Easy Way To Connect With Kids At Dinnertime

The dinner table is one of the greatest places to get to know your kids through conversation. Everyone is together; everyone is sitting, and everyone is facing each other. Our dinner conversations have revolved around a fun game of “best and worst” since my kids were old enough to talk. 

What was your favorite part of the day?

This question has become a touchstone in our family. We ask it at dinnertime- whether that dinner is happening at the dining room table or in a half-hazard gathering in the living room, it is a way to connect and bring people present.

If the adults in the room are just a *wee* bit exhausted and grouchy, it is a way to pull us out of our funk. (How can you stay grouchy when your four-year-old says his favorite part of the day was when you played a game with him?)

Conversation Starter Jokes

We’ve also found that jokes are such an easy family conversation starter. What better way to get talking than to start with a laugh? One of our favorite things while we’re driving lately is making up and telling jokes.  The kids LOVE when I teach them jokes and they practice so they can tell their friends.

A few of our favorite jokes around here are:

  • Why did the rooster cross the road? ……………..The chicken was on vacation!”
  • “Knock knock…………..Who’s there?……….. Ach…………..Ach who?………….. Bless you! You sneezed!”
  • “Knock knock………… Who’s there?……….. Woo………….. Woo who?……….What are you so excited about?”
  • What do you get when you cross Bambi with a ghost?……………BamBOO!
  • What’s brown and sticky?……………A stick!!

Here are a couple fun books that have great conversation-starter jokes:

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Family Conversation Starters:

1. Don’t be afraid to ask for more details, but drop it if they seem resistant. A gentle way to ask is, “can you tell me more about that?’.
2. Remember that it’s okay to not feel like talking. If someone doesn’t want to talk about a certain subject, that’s okay. You might note that as something to come back to privately or find a new way to ask the question.
3. Have fun with it and be honest. Some of the questions are downright silly. Be silly right along with your kids. It will make the deeper questions easier to answer.
4. Use these family conversation questions when it works best for your family. Is bedtime a good, calm time to chat? Maybe driving to and from school?

About the Author

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Alissa is a resilience coach, cartoonist, and advocate for ‘connection, not perfection’. She’s dedicated to helping others find a sense of safety and belonging inside themselves so they can heal, connect, and build authentic, joyful lives.