Age by Age Conversation Starters for the Scheduled Nightly Phone CallBy DADvocacy™ | July 23, 2015
Age Range: Little Ones
Read a nightly book together. Get two copies so they can page through as you read it to them.
If they draw or build with Legos ask them what they’ve created since you last saw them.
Are they at tooth losing age? Ask them if they have any wigglers and if they think they’ll lose one soon. Ask what they think the tooth fairy looks like and where she lives during the day.
If you were a zoo animal what would you be?
How high can you count?
How many hugs did you get today?
What is your favorite story?
Tell me about a time you were silly.
If you pretended to be someone else who would it be?
What’s your favorite toy?
If you could only eat one food forever what would it be?
If you could have any pet what would you want?
Age Range: Kiddos
If they could design their own school what would it look like?
What did you do in ____ class today? Try to ask about their favorite to get started. Or alternately – what was the best thing you did in class today?
Do you have any projects due or completed? What was or is the best or hardest part?
Ask about the times of day your child interacts with other children, at lunch or recess or after school care.
What’s the best thing you did today at school?
Who’d you sit near at lunch?
What did everyone eat? What looked good?
What was the best game you played at recess? What did most kids do? Did you do it too? Did you want to join in?
How long is your bus ride? If it is different in the morning or the afternoon ask which is better.
Who do you sit with on the bus? What games do you play on the bus? What’s the funniest thing someone said on the bus?
Think about sharing a hobby – a dad and child book club you can read together and talk about nightly. Or create a menu for their time with you and trade recipe ideas.
If they play an instrument ask them how it’s going? Let them play for you over the phone if they want.
Do they have religious studies outside of school? Ask how that’s going. What’s their favorite thing they’ve learned? Is anything confusing?
What do you want to do this weekend/weekday when you’re at dad’s house?
A joke of the day. There are lots of child friendly jokes online if you’ve forgotten your old favorites.
Describe yourself in 5 words. Describe dad in 5 words.
What superhero power would you have?
What’s the best and/or grossest thing you smelled today?
If you could be any kind of sandwich what would you be?
What was the coolest thing you saw today?
What is the first thing you remember about dad or a sibling?
What is your favorite snack? What is your favorite snack for school?
Where do you like to go in the car?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
If you were invisible where would you go and what would you look at?
Age Range: Teens
What subject would they like to teach or wish was taught in school?
Who’s their favorite teacher? What makes them great?
Who’s their least favorite teacher? What don’t they like?
Any tests in school, how’d they go?
Did anyone say anything really interesting at lunch?
What was the funniest thing someone said today at lunch or in study hall?
Where’s your locker?
Who has a locker near you?
How’d your game/practice go? Is there a new skill they’re learning that’s hard?
If they follow a sports team ask them how the game went or will go.
What do you want to make to eat?
What’s your favorite time of day? How come?
What’s the nicest thing someone has done for you?
If you had a time machine where would you go?
What is your favorite movie?
What is your favorite song?
What song are you sick of hearing?
What are you most proud of?
What is your ideal day?
What makes you feel better when you feel sad?
What is your biggest goal this year?
When was the last time I embarrassed you? What did I do?
Tips: Keep a cheat sheet of their friends, favorite classes or shows so you can ask specific questions that show them you pay attention to their answers.
“Why?” questions can feel like an attack. Instead, ask questions with numbers in them to get more specific answers such as, Who are your three favorite friends this year?
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