Way too often, I find all four of the kids in my home staring at screens like zombies instead of interacting with one another. Even if they aren't on electronic devices, their ability to converse with each other is rudimentary at best. As a parent, it's up to me to help facilitate better communication between my kids, and these 40 conversation starters for siblings are a great jumping off point.
For some reason, I don't see the same connection via conversation with my own children that my sister and I had growing up, or even that I had with my childhood friends where we talked about everything under the sun with each other. The art of person-to-person communication has gone the way of the text message, and while I'm mostly a fan of expressing one's self in written form (I'm a writer, duh), I also understand that my kids are building key relationship skills right in our home when they actually talk to one another.
It may not be easy to make kids do anything, but using one of these 40 conversation starters to get your kids talking to each other just might help break the ice and allow them to open up.
1. "If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?"
Super heroes are high up on many kids' lists of favorite things, so asking them to engage in conversation with one another about super powers they wish they could have should really get them talking.
2. "Describe your earliest memory."
This is a fun thing to ask siblings because the older siblings will likely remember things that younger siblings do not. This conversation starter offers a place to start talking about cherished family memories siblings can connect over.
3. "What do you like most about your sibling?"
Pointing out positive traits about one another is one way to get your kids talking to each other, as well as help facilitate some moments of niceness if they happen to be hard to come by in your household.
4. "What traits do you admire in other people?"
Another way to help encourage kids to talk to each other is to ask them to describe things they admire about others. Kids may find they share common values after discussing this topic.
5. "What do you want to be when you grow up and why?"
The "why" is so important here. Just stating what a child wants to be when they grow up may not spark actual conversation, but adding the element of explanation about how they came to that conclusion can help them really open up to each other.
6. "What is the hardest thing for you about school?"
This question can help your kids find some common ground if they are of school age. They may find that they share school struggles with their siblings or might be able to help each other see where their strengths lie during the school day.
7. "Name three places you wish you could visit."
Depending on their ages, kids may take a worldwide approach to this question, or they might just wish they could visit McDonald's. Either way, this conversation starter gets kids talking about their wants and desires in a way that makes it easy for others to chime in.
8. "What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?"
Money is a funny concept for most kids. My own son once thought that he needed $20 to buy bubblegum. However, if given a ridiculously large sum of money, answering the question as to what they would buy is sure to garner some lively discussion between your kids.
9. "What is your least favorite chore?"
Creating camaraderie here is key. When your kids start dishing about what they don't like to do to help out around the house, they may be inspired to swap chores or even just support one another as a cheerleader in accomplishing the chores they are assigned.
10. "If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It's always fun for kids to imagine what their life would be like with certain parameters, so asking kids to open up about what food they think they could stand to eat for the rest of their life can really get them talking.
11. "If you could pick any age and stay that age, what age would you pick, and why?"
This one is interesting because some kids may pick an age they have already been where others might wish to be an older age. But discussing the "why" with each other will certainly spark lively conversation.
12. "Describe your life 10 years from now."
Dreaming about the future might already be something your kids are doing on their own, but doing it with their siblings can help keep them accountable for their dreams and goals.
13. "What would you have named yourself if you could have chosen your own name?"
This one may end up with giggles galore depending on your kids and their sense of humor.
14. "If you could create a new holiday, what would it be?"
With this one, be prepared for your kids to discuss the merits and drawbacks of holidays such as "National Pajama Day" and "Only Eat Marshmallows Day" at length.
15. "Do you like cold weather or warm weather better?"
Given only these two options, your kids will likely either have the same answer and find that they share a common bond here, or have different answers and launch into a debate about which type of weather is better. Either way, it should get them talking.
16. "What do you do to get yourself out of a bad mood?"
Bouncing ideas off of each other is something that many siblings already do, but this productive approach to remedying bad moods can help them understand how they each think.
17. "What is your biggest fear?"
This conversation starter could be a touchy subject for some kids, but understanding the fears of others truly does help build empathy.
18. "What is the funniest joke you know?"
In the event your kids don't know any jokes, this is a great opportunity for them to learn some and test them out on each other. But if they do know a few funnies, this question will surely have everyone laughing together.
19. "If you were to become President, what would you want to do for our country?
Talking openly about ways to improve the world in which we live is important for kids and adults alike. Encouraging your kids to talk to each other about the ideas they have for the betterment of our country is important.
20. "If you could trade lives with someone famous for a week, who would it be?"
It is always fun to see who your kids admire or who they wish they could be. Celebrities are so visible to kids these days, so getting them to talk to each other about what they see celebs doing and why they might like to be them for a week can really spark some discussions.
21. "What has been the happiest day of your life so far?"
Your kids might just find that they share some treasured memories with one another when they begin to talk about the happiest days of their lives.
22. "What is your hidden talent?"
If your kid doesn't already have a hidden talent, this question might inspire them to figure out if they do have a unique talent within them. If they already know of a hidden talent they have, sharing it with each other can definitely be a fun activity.
23. "What three items would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?"
The desert island conundrum is a fun one to explore. Your kids can come up with different parameters for the question such as not being allowed to bring a food item or only picking clothing items to make the question different or more interesting.
24. "If our family had a theme song, what song would it be?"
Get ready for your kids to bust out some tunes for each other when they start trying to decide which song best describes your family.
25. "Would you ever go sky diving?"
Jumping out of an airplane is daunting to say the least, even if you're using a parachute. Asking your kids to discuss whether or not they would go sky diving or even participate in a different extreme sport like bungee jumping can help facilitate discussion with each other.
26. "Who would play you and your siblings in a movie about your life?"
Kids don't tend to think about their lives on a grand scale unless prompted, so it may take some talking through this one to discover which actors and actresses they really feel would do their life story justice.
27. "If you could trade places with your parent for a day, what would you do differently?"
This one is sure to get your kids talking. They probably have some of the same grievances against you and will likely find common ground discussing what they would do differently than you if given the chance.
28. "If you could be an animal, which animal would you be?
Discussing the merits of hanging from tree limbs like a monkey or being able to roar like a lion will surely provide your kids with plenty to talk about.
29. "Where would you pick to go for our next family vacation?"
You kids may already have some favorite vacation spots, but if they were to be able to choose your next family vacation, I'm sure they would love to debate with each other the reasons why they want to go to ride rides at Disney World or explore the Grand Canyon.
30. "If you could stay up all night, what would you do?"
This question may end with your kids hatching a plan to ask you if they can stay up all night together binge eating Oreos and playing Minecraft until dawn, but if it gets them talking to each other, it might just be worth it to let them pull an all-nighter.
31. "What does your dream home look like?"
Most kids have no idea the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into both building and affording their dream home, but it's always fun to fantasize about having three swimming pools, an elevator, and an entire room devoted to just playing video games.
32. "If you could travel back in time, when would you visit?"
This is a fun question for kids interested in history to talk about what time period they love the most with each other. And even if they aren't necessarily history buffs, some kids may decide they want to travel back in time and see themselves as a baby or their parent as a kid.
33. "What is one invention you wish existed?"
Your kids may just start talking to each other about automatic nose pickers or bed-making robots when you give them this conversation starter.
34. "What is your favorite family tradition?"
Understanding what your kids like best about your family traditions could help them better relate to each other and talk about the fun times they have together.
35. "If you could decorate your room any way you wanted, how would you decorate it?"
Your kids may or may not already have their dream room, but if they don't, this conversation starter could spark lively discussion about their personal expression and room decor between your kids.
36. "Describe your idea of the perfect day."
So that your kids can see how different or how alike they are, describing their idea of the perfect day will help them jump into conversations about likes and dislikes, things they find fun, and how they relate to one another.
37. "What are qualities that make a good friend?"
Your kids are likely some of each others best friends. Asking them to describe the qualities that make a good friend can help foster conversation with each other that could help strengthen their bonds.
38. "What is your biggest pet peeve?"
When your kids understand the things that they each find annoying, it can help them learn how not to push each others buttons and assist in reducing the number of petty disagreements.
39. "If you had to lose one of your five senses, which one would you want it to be?"
This is a tough question for anyone to answer, but it can really spark discussion between your kids when it comes to debating whether or not they would rather lose their hearing versus their sense of smell, and so on. It also can help build empathy when you point out that there are actually people who live without all five senses.
40. "If you could design a theme park, what would it be like?"
As over-the-top as they can make it, kids will likely be able to get into pretty specific detail with each other about how they would like their theme park to be.