I spent all weekend cleaning up blog posts. My recipe plugin hadn't been updated in over a year, and it was causing some backend problems on my site. I couldn't write or edit any posts, so it was time to dump it and get something new. I did that, and then I had to import over 300 recipes. It took a long time.
While I was sitting outside with my laptop, watching the girls play, Grace asked if she could write a blog post.
"Yeah, what do you want to talk about?" I asked.
"Isabella," she said. That's her American Girl doll.
"What do you want to say about her?" I asked.
She didn't know. She thought about it for a few minutes, and then she said, "I know. It would be good if you interviewed me and Allie and posted that on your blog."
I agreed that it was a good idea, and I set out to think of some interview questions. I love these kinds of interviews, and I never manage to keep safe the birthday interviews I do with the girls. I should put them in the baby books, but I never get around to it.
The questions I came up with follow, with both Grace's (age 9) and Allie's (age 5 ½) answers.
You could print this out and put it in your baby books. If you're anything like me, it will be the first entry in years.
- Who are your friends?
- Allie - Tynley and Gretchen
- Grace - Lydia, Dakota, Sophia, Addy, Allie, and God
- What do you like to do with your friends?
- Allie - Play follow the leader and ring around the rosey. Sometimes, I can't be with my friends because I'm away from them.
- Grace - Play games and house and talk
- What are you going to be when you grow up?
- Allie - A painter. They paint pictures.
- Grace - An engineer. They build stuff.
- Are you going to get married?
- Allie - No
- Grace - No
- How many children are you going to have?
- Allie - Zero
- Grace - Zero. Wait, maybe one or two.
- What is your favorite food?
- Allie - Walmart chicken
- Grace - Pepperoni pizza
- What food do you hate?
- Allie - Mushrooms
- Grace - Onions and mushrooms
- What's your favorite thing to do in school?
- Allie - Be with my mom. I like math.
- Grace - Science
- What's your favorite thing to do with Mom?
- Allie - Play outside with her because her is so pretty and nice.
- Grace - Play, paint, crafts, everything
- What's your favorite thing to do with Dad?
- Allie - Cook with him
- Grace - Build, cook, annoy him
- What do you love the most?
- Allie - My mom, my kitty Peaches
- Grace - God, Isabella, Rexy, Mommy, Daddy, Allie, my friends, my family, my house, my food, my water, my toys, my Shopkins, my dollies, my bed, my Nana, my PopPop, my Amanda, my Pappy, my Old Grandma and more
- What do you like best about yourself?
- Allie - I'm funny.
- Grace - My pretty hair and style
- What is something you're proud of?
- Allie - Going to Hersheypark
- Grace - How smart and funny I am. If I make something, I am proud of it. And my third place ribbon in the York Fair.
- What do you want to get better at?
- Allie - Bowling
- Grace - Being nice to Allie
- What's your favorite color?
- Allie - Red
- Grace - Pink, purple, gold, silver, and teal
- What's your favorite game?
- What's your favorite song?
- Allie - Call Me Maybe
- Grace - Let It Go, All About that Bass, Lips Are Moving and more
- What's your favorite holiday?
- Allie - Christmas because I love it and that's when Santa gives you presents.
- Grace - Christmas and Halloween and Easter
- What's your favorite place to go?
- Allie - Walmart
- Grace - Wherever Mommy is
- What's your favorite part of the day?
- Allie - When I get to spend time with my mommy.
- Grace - When Momma and Daddy come home from work
There are lots more questions you could ask your kids. I kept the printable to the 20 questions above, but here are a few more fun kids questions to get them talking. It's best to use a mix of open-ended questions and close-ended questions to keep the conversation going without overwhelming them.
These aren't all appropriate for all ages. Use your best judgement.
- If you could have any pet, what pet would you choose?
- Who is your favorite superhero?
- If you could be an animal in the zoo, what animal would you be?
- If you could have a new name, what would you like it to be?
- What's the funniest thing that happened to you recently?
- What is your favorite book?
- Where would you like to go on our next vacation?
- If you could create a new holiday, what would it be about?
- What's the grossest thing you have ever seen?
- What's the silliest thing about you?
- What's your least favorite subject?
- If you could time travel, when would you visit?
- What chores do you like to do?
- If you could do anything you wanted tomorrow, what would you do?
- If you could design a new video game, what would it be about?
- What's the best trip we've ever gone on?
- If you were on a desert island, who would you want to have with you? (or what 5 things would you want to have with you?)
- What qualities make a good friend?
- What's your:
- favourite colour
- favourite song
- favourite animal
- favourite toy
- favourite fruit
- favourite game
- favourite tv show
- favourite outfit
- favourite book
- favourite holiday
- favourite snack
- favourite sport
- favourite drink
- favourite candy
- favorite dessert
- favorite actor or actress
- favorite singer
- favorite activity
Tips for getting the best answers to your open-ended questions
- Sit in a quiet place out of earshot of other children. You don't want the second child's answers to be the same as the first child's, and if they overhear, they are likely to repeat.
- Let them do something while you talk. It often helps if the child is drawing (a picture of you makes a wonderful addition to the questionnaire!) or playing with a quiet toy. It makes the child feel less pressure.
- Write down their answers EXACTLY as they say them. Trust me, in 5 years, you will be glad you wrote down "her gives me cookies" instead of "she gives me cookies." You will look back on those mistakes with a happy tear in your eye. I still have the interviews from when Allie was 3, and they make me so nostalgic and happy to read.
- Encourage her. Toddlers and younger preschoolers are often totally inhibited and will say anything, but when you sit down with a piece of paper to ask them questions, they may clam up and say they don't know what to say. Teens and older kids may have the same problem. Gently encourage them and say that any answer is right and you just want to know what they think.
- Ask probing questions. This interview is an amazing way to get inside your kids' heads because it has lots of good questions. So when she says she wants to go to Paris on vacation, ask what she wants to do there or why she picked that spot. You might be surprised at the answer you get and it will give you more to write down than a one-word answer.
- Make it a game. There are some fun question games that you can use to get your reluctant older children to answer more questions. One of my favorites is to write numbers on a cheap beach ball from the dollar store. Play catch with the ball. Whatever number your thumb lands on is the question you have to answer.
Kid interviews is my favorite family tradition. I ask my kids questions about family members all through the year, for Mother's Day, New Year's Eve, the first day of school, and more. The hardest thing for me these days is that my kids (who are now much older than when I originally wrote this post) don't want to participate. But they know these interviews are special to me, and they go along for the most part.