150 Best Open Ended Questions For Kids & Teens (2023)
Open ended questions for kids are the perfect way to get kids talking, thinking deeply, and making better decisions. All you have to do is ask. Then, let their imaginations and ideas run free!
What are open ended questions?
Open ended questions require thoughtful answers. The child can not answer with a yes or no. Instead, they give you a creative response. And you get to watch the gears in their minds work!
Benefits of Open Ended Questions To Kids
These types of questions are amazing for helping kids with critical thinking skills.
- Problem-solving – Open ended questions encourage a child to think of multiple possibilities and solutions.
- Communication skills – Kids increase their vocabulary and improve their speech. Plus, open ended questions promote active listening. The asker is modeling listening skills and showing that the child’s answers are important.
- Evaluating & Decision-making – Kids analyze options and risks. Then, they weigh them together.
- Expression & Articulation – Open-ended questions help kids improve memory recall and build confidence.
- Empathy – By digging deeper, kids learn to include feelings and see how solutions affect others.
- Creativity – Out-of-the-box thinking is welcome!
Kids Open Ended Questions For Preschoolers
First, these open ended questions are great for toddlers, early childhood, and even kindergarten age kids.
1. What do you think this story will be about?
2. What tv show or movie do you wish was real?
3. How do you know that?
4. Can you tell me about _________ (school today, your activity, etc.)
5. Why did you choose that?
6. If you owned a pirate’s treasure box, what would you put in it?
7. If you drew a picture of anything right now, what would you draw and why?
8. If you could make up a new rule, what would it be?
9. Talk to me about what you are doing.
10. Tell me what you are thinking.
11. What is the difference between kids and adults?
12. If you transformed into an animal, what animal would you be?
13. Who is the most important character in this story?
14. How can we _______ (share, play together well, etc.)?
15. What could you do with this ____________ (rock, piece of paper, etc.)?
16. What would you say to this person?
17. What is the best thing about being with your family?
18. How did you do that?
19. What sounds do you like best? What sounds drive you crazy?
20. Why do you think _________ acts that way?
21. What else could you use for this project/activity?
22. How did you _________ (run that fast, paint that picture, etc.)?
23. What else could _________ have done?
24. Show me how you would do that.
26. How would ________ feel about this?
27. Why is that girl crying?
28. Why is that girl laughing?
These questions about emotions help teach social awareness and empathy as well as critical thinking.
29. What did you learn from this?
30. Do you think these are the same or different? How so?
31. What did you like the most about ________?
32. What do you like most about school?
33. What does your dream birthday look like?
34. Why is __________ your favorite?
35. If you opened a store, what would you sell?
36. If you opened a restaurant, what food would you make?
37. What is your favorite movie? Why is it your favorite?
38. Could you do that another way?
39. What was the most interesting part of your day today? What was the most boring?
Open Ended Questions For Elementary School Students
Next, these open ended questions help kids in elementary school develop new ideas.
40. What would you do if _________ happened to you?
41. If you could build any kind of treehouse, how would you design yours?
42. This reminds me of _______. Why do you think it does?
43. What do you think their motive is? Why would they do that?
44. How could you explain this to someone who hasn’t seen it before?
45. Where would this solution work? Where would it not work?
46. Who is most likely to ___________ (build an epic fort, climb a mountain, etc)? And why do you say that?
47. What is your favorite thing to daydream about? Why?
48. If you could add a secret passageway in your house, where would you put it?
49. What do you think is the hardest job in the world? What’s the easiest job?
50. Do you think someone could argue against this? What would they say?
51. How do you think animals tell each other things?
52. What’s the best one-liner or joke you’ve ever heard?
53. What do you think will happen next? Why do you think this?
54. Is there evidence to support that? And is it good evidence? How do you know?
56. What do you think is the lesson this is trying to teach?
57. How does it work?
58. When was your last amazing day? What made it so great?
59. What if _______ happened? What would you do?
Related: Best What If Scenario Questions For Kids
60. What can you look at to help you form an opinion or make a decision?
61. What is your body (mind/heart) telling you about this?
62. What made you think that?
63. Why is this important?
64. What do you think would be a better ending to this?
65. What does being a good friend mean?
66. What does it mean to “be a good student”?
67. If you could play a character in any movie, who would you be?
68. Show me how you did that.
69. Explain to me how you did that.
70. Why is this a problem?
71. What do you think is a possible solution?
72. What do you enjoy giving others?
73. If you could invent your own roller coaster, what would it be like?
74. If you wrote a book, what would it be about?
75. What would you do if you found ________ on your doorstep?
76. Do you think there’s a better way?
77. If you could create your own magical creature, what would it be like?
78. How do you feel about __________?
79. If you could have any magical power, what would you want it to be?
80. If you could improve any skill you have, what would it be?
81. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? And why?
82. Are mistakes bad?
83. What makes someone smart?
85. What do you feel grateful for the most? Why?
86. What makes you feel loved?
87. If you found that food was falling from the sky, what food would you want to be falling? What food would you NOT want to be falling?
88. What is something you are good at? What makes you good at this?
89. What traits do you think are important for a person to have?
90. What is your favorite family tradition? Why?
91. What is your favorite time of year? Why?
92. If you could go to the Olympics, what sport would you want to compete in?
93. If you joined the circus, what would your act be?
94. What would you want to do first on a family bucket list or summer bucket list?
95. How do you know when something is “too good to be true”?
96. What is your favorite day of the week? Why?
97. What makes you feel strong?
98. What do you want to be when you grow up?
99. Is there anything you’ve stopped doing that you wish you had continued?
100. How do you know when someone is trustworthy?
Need to get kids to open up more? Try: Interesting Topics To Talk About
Open Ended Questions For Tweens, Teens, & Young Adults
Finally, the following questions are open ended so that teenagers are able to analyze, get to know someone, and form their own opinions.
101. If you could change something about the world, what would it be?
102. Could someone interpret this differently?
103. If you invented something, how would you get it out into the world?
104. What will happen if ________ were to happen?
105. What are the pros and cons of _________?
106. What do you think is the best age to be? Why?
107. How do you go about achieving a big goal?
108. If you could change anything about where you live, what would it be?
109. What does your dream house look like?
110. Would you ever want to be famous? What would you want to be famous for?
111. In your favorite play or movie, what character would you want to be?
112. If you could trade places with anyone for a week, who would you trade places with?
113. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
114. What would you love to see come out as a trend in the next year?
115. What is one thing you are glad you did, but you will never do again?
116. If you could ask one person (dead or alive) one question, what would you ask?
117. If you were to create a video game, what would it be like?
118. If you had to pick a book character you related to most, who would it be?
119. What is your favorite time of the day? Why?
120. If you invented a time machine, what would you do with it? Where would you go?
121. What do you wish you could learn more about in school?
122. What do you wish you would learn less about in school?
124. With music, what is it about your favorite songs that speak to you?
125. What do you think are the three most important things to living a good life?
Related Post: Thought Provoking Life Questions
126. What are you planning to do now that __________ happened?
127. What would you do differently?
128. Do you think they see it the same way you do?
129. What is a memory you cherish?
130. If you became president, what’s the first thing you would do?
131. If you were given 1 million dollars, what would you do with it?
132. If you were given $500 to give to a good cause, who would you give it to?
133. What makes you feel brave?
134. What does your dream car look like?
135. Does this fit in with your personal values?
136. What does your dream job look like?
137. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
138. If you could have any view from your bedroom window, what would you want it to be?
139. What makes you happy?
140. What makes you worry?
141. If you could find out one of life’s big secrets, which would it be?
142. What do you look forward to at the end of a school day?
143. What do you look forward to on the weekends?
144. What is something you bought that was well worth the money? Why?
145. What’s something you bought that you regretted?
146. If you were a photographer, what would you take photos of all day?
147. What makes you feel like other people care?
148. How do you show others that you care?
149. Everyone has a story to tell. What is your best dinner table story?
150. Who will be affected by this decision?
151. Are there potential risks?
Related Open Ended Questions:
- Deep Philosophical Questions For Teens
- Good Questions To Ask Your Future Self
- Fun Questions Teens Love To Answer
Tips For Building Great Communication With Kids
Now that you have the questions, here are expert tips for encouraging kids with open ended questions.
Challenge their thinking.
Ask follow-up questions and introduce new ideas. Help them to understand that there are often multiple ways to look at something.
Show kids what active listening looks like and help them build confidence by giving them your full attention.
This means: putting down your phone
Kids will watch your reactions. Help them feel safe expressing their ideas by not reacting in a negative way.
Ask Follow Up Questions
In my home, I love to use “Why?” It’s simple, easy to remember, and always gets them to go further.
- Why did you do that?
- Why do you think that?
- Why did it turn out that way?
You can also use these follow-up questions:
- Then what happened?
- What are you thinking about that?
- How do you feel about that?
To Consider With Open Ended Questions For Kids
Open ended questions are the opposite of closed ended questions. These get kids to open up to the world around them.
I hope you loved this list!
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- Deep Thinking Questions For Kids
- Ice Breaker Questions To Get Kids Talking
- Two Truths And A Lie Game Questions