Three easy ways to start a conversation with your child

How do you create opportunities for children to lead conversations that we have with them?
By Table View Preschool and Creche

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Three essential phrases you should be using to drive conversation with your little ones.

As parents and caregivers, we get so excited to see and hear what our little ones are doing! And we should! However, any interaction we have with them is an essential moment for us to let them lead the way and tell us what they want to tell us, and not what we want to hear. Our children have a lot to say, and they know what they want to say, so we need to ensure that we are creating opportunities for them to do it.

There are many ways that you can encourage your little one to share in more detail and drive the direction of conversations. Guided by our curriculum, here are some strategies that the staff at t Table View Preschool and Creche use.

·       Repeat statements that your child makes

·       Make observations about things that your child is doing; and

·       Use open-ended questions.

What is an open-ended question? It is a question that requires your child to come up with their own answer, one that requires them to think for themselves. One simple way to test whether your question is open-ended is to check if there are definite answers, like ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If there are, it is not open-ended.


 If you are ever in a situation where you would like to create this opportunity, but are not sure how, here are three simple phrases you can use:

·       Tell me more …

·       I wonder …

·       Repeat any statement they have just made and wait for them to respond (this is hard in the beginning, but just wait …)


“Ah, James you painted a picture? Tell me more!” or “James, I see you painted a picture, tell me about it”.


“Ah, James. I see you painted a picture. I wonder how you made all these different colours?”

Using open-ended questions and repeating what children say ensures that they are driving the conversation. So often we misinterpret what a child has said or done, but by following the examples above, we allow them the freedom to explain themselves, encourage them to think, and most importantly to lead the conversation in a direction that they would like to go, building their confidence in their ideas.


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