Bedtime routines with kids can sometimes be a battle, especially in the toddler years. But bedtime can also be a good time to connect with our kids. I always make sure to carve out time to converse with my 8-year-old daughter while I’m tucking her in for the night. I’ve noticed it’s the best time to pick her brain and get her to open up about anything that might be bothering her. It’s always been important to me to continually reinforce that I am someone she can talk to about anything, especially as she enters her tricky pre-teen and teen years.
Before bed, I always ask her, “What was the best part of your day and the worst part of your day?” I want her to feel comfortable talking to me about the things that bother her instead of creating a habit of internalizing uncomfortable feelings. Sometimes she doesn’t have an answer for the worst part of the day, and I tell her that’s OK. I keep the question in the routine so that she knows I’m someone she can come to when it is a tough day.
Besides asking generally about their day, there are other questions you can ask your kid during this special part of the evening. This one-on-one time is focused on closeness and bonding; they are vulnerable and likely to let you into what they’re thinking in their little brain. These questions can also be openings for your child to start a longer and deeper conversation with you.
Below are 40 questions to ask your kid before bedtime that let you lean into exploring their feelings, learning about their unique personalities, diving into their imagination, or just being silly at the end of a long day.
40 Bedtime Questions to Ask Your Kids
To explore their feelings
Bedtime is great for more than just being a reliable time to talk about tough or unpleasant feelings. You can touch on the full array of emotions, from sadness to happiness to confusion to kindness.
1. Did you help anyone today? Did someone do something to help you?
2. What’s the most fun thing you did with your friends today?
3. What’s the most fun thing you did with your family today?
4. Did you do something kind for someone today? Did someone do something kind for you?
5. Did anything happen that made you feel sad today?
6. Is there anything you are grateful for today?
7. Did anything embarrassing happen today to you or a friend? How did that make you feel?
8. What is a problem you faced today and how did you handle it?
9. What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
10. Is there anything on your mind you’d like to talk to me about?
To learn more about their unique personality
My daughter loves when I ask her questions about her likes and dislikes. While bonding before bed, I like to periodically toss in questions about her preferences so she’s always reminded how much I care about what makes her so special.
11. What do you hope to learn about at school next week?
12. What’s your favorite book you’ve read recently?
13. What’s your favorite game you’ve played recently?
14. What’s something you’re hoping to do this weekend?
15. What’s a recent achievement that you are proud of?
16. What’s something you really appreciate about yourself?
17. Is there a skill you want to improve?
18. What’s your favorite thing to do with your friends?
19. Is there someone in school you want to be friends with, but aren’t yet?
20. What is your favorite family tradition?
To dive into their imagination
At the end of a long day, you’re relaxed and tired and it’s easier to let your mind go off on tangents. I like to take advantage of this mindset and go on mental adventures together with these bedtime questions.
21. What do you think you’ll dream about tonight?
22. If you could be an animal for a day, what would you choose and why?
23. If we went on a surprise vacation tomorrow, where would you want to go?
24. If you could talk to any famous person, who would you choose and what would you talk about?
25. If you could meet any character from a book, TV show, or movie, who would you choose?
26. What would your dream house look like?
27. If you could go buy anything at any store right now, what would you choose?
28. If you woke up with magical powers, what would you do first?
29. If you had a time machine, would you visit the past or the future, and why?
30. If you could swap lives with someone for one day, who would it be and why?
To be silly
Every bedtime conversation doesn’t have to be deep and meaningful. Sometimes the mood is best to be a little lighthearted and silly.
31. Did anyone make you laugh today? Tell me about what happened.
32. What’s your favorite joke you’ve heard recently?
33. What’s the silliest word you can think of and what does it mean?
34. What’s something your parents do that makes you laugh?
35. What would you do first if you switched bodies with a grown-up?
36. What’s the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?
37. If you could only choose one, would you rather give up dessert forever or screentime forever?
38. What is something funny you believed to be true when you were younger?
39. If your pet could talk, what do you think they would say?
40. If you met someone from another planet, what would you talk about?