First we will start with explaining what is an open-ended question. Simple. Questions that have more than 1 right answer or that can be answered in many ways. They are also described as divergent questions. Instead of asking questions that require a simple “yes” or “no” this simple change you can do stimulates language and vocabulary, encourages creative thinking, affirms their ideas, and helps them understand there can be many ideas and solutions.
Second, and most important, LISTEN to you child’s answer.
- Allow them to answer without interrupting
- Wait 8 seconds for your child to think about the question and respond to you.
- Show interest and keep the convo going until they are ready to move on.
Third, now that you know why it’s important and how to listen to their answers, here are some easy questions to ask to extend play and courage that divergent thinking!
What happened when…?
Why do you think…?
Tell me how you would make/build…?
How can we solve this problem?
What do you think will happen next?
How else could you…?
Why do you think it’s important to…?
I hope this brings you many meaningful conversations with your little one.