Open-ended questions are the perfect way to get to know a new friend or strengthen your bond with your kids or spouse. This huge list of open-ended questions will help you get to know people at a whole new level!
What are open-ended questions?
Open-ended questions require more thought than a question that can be answered with just a few words, a yes or no, or a head nod/shake.
If you ask an open-ended question, you can expect a detailed answer. Since there’s no right or wrong answer to these questions, you’ll probably get different answers depending on who you are talking to, which allows you to really get to know those you ask.
Why should I use open-ended questions?
Asking open-ended questions can help you start meaningful conversations with your friends and family.
Have you ever asked your child, “How was school today?” and gotten a grunt in response when you thought you would get a 2-3 minute answer hearing all about it?
Well, guess what? That’s not an open-ended question, and it doesn’t get people talking to you, which is what you really want!
Using open-ended questions helps you dive deep into emotions, experiences, hopes, and dreams. You’ll go from surface-level conversations to an increase in closeness and knowledge in no time.
Using open-ended questions with kids, they help build their critical thinking and language skills. These questions also help kids be creative!
Open-ended question examples
Open-Ended questions might ask you to make a prediction about something. While reading a book to your child, you could stop and ask them, “What do you think will happen next? Why?” Your question may focus on feelings, such as “What is something that made you feel happy today?” or “What do you do when you are angry?”
Open-ended questions can lead to problem-solving, like “What can we do to make this better?” or they can help you evaluate choices, such as “What made you choose soccer instead of basketball this year?”
Asking open-ended questions can take some practice, so here is a list of 150 to get you started! There are general open-ended questions, open-ended questions for kids, and open-ended questions for your partner.
150 Open-Ended Questions
General Open-Ended Questions
- If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
- What was the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?
- What helps you calm down when you are upset?
- What things would change if children were allowed to vote?
- If magic were real, how would our lives be different?
- What’s the funniest movie you’ve ever seen and why did you find it so funny?
- What’s the best day you’ve ever had?
- What would make today the best day ever?
- What is your favorite place in the world and what makes it your favorite?
- If the zombies were coming, how would you get ready?
- Why are video games fun?
- How do you definite “art”?
- What qualities do you admire in your hero?
- Would you want to be able to read minds? Why or why not?
- If someone gave you $100 right now, what would you do with it?
- What’s something you are currently excited about?
- What is something you are currently worried about?
- What was the last thing that made you really mad?
- What’s the last thing that made you cry?
- What’s something you are looking forward to?
- What do you think you will be like when you are old?
- What is something that you are really good at?
- What’s a mistake you’ve made recently, and what did you learn from it?
- What was fun about today?
- What made you laugh today?
- If aliens came to earth, what would they find most interesting?
- How do you feel about going to parties?
- What makes you a good friend?
- What was the most boring part of your day?
- If you could meet any person (fictional or real) who would it be and why?
- What makes you feel hopeful?
- What are you thankful for?
- What’s your favorite thing about nature?
- When was the last time you felt shy?
- What book character do you wish were real?
- Have you ever taught someone something?
- What’s something you really like about yourself?
- How have you helped someone lately?
- What does it mean to be a good friend?
- What’s something you wish you could change about yourself?
- What is the best thing about summer?
- What is the best thing about winter?
- What type of weather is your favorite? Why?
- Who has taught you something important? Who were they and what did they teach you?
- What do you wish you had more time to do?
- If you were the President, what would you do?
- How do you feel about your name?
- What kind of clothing makes you feel most comfortable?
- What helps you feel confident?
- How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
- What do you think are the worst jobs in the world?
- When did you last feel embarrassed?
- If you could immediately be really good at one thing, what would it be and why?
- If you could go back in time, where would you choose to visit?
- Is it ever ok to tell a lie?
- What’s the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?
- How do you feel when you watch a sunset or sunrise?
- What do you like about mornings?
- What do you like about evenings?
- What’s your favorite thing about weekends?
- How important is winning to you?
- What are some of your favorite flavors?
- What are some words that you like the sound of?
- When was the last time you wanted to quit, but didn’t?
- What is something you own that is very precious to you?
- What do you think about before you fall asleep?
- Do you prefer being alone or with a bunch of other people?
- Which would be more fun – time travel or going to outer space?
- When was the last time you tried something new?
- Is it easy for you to say no to people, or is it hard?
- Who is the bravest person you know?
- What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned about lately?
- What have you taken pictures of lately?
- If you could re-do something about today, what would it be?
- What are you hoping happens tomorrow?
- What do you wish you knew about the future?
Couples Open-Ended Questions
- What laws don’t make sense to you?
- If you could revisit any part of your life, what part would you choose?
- If you could go back and tell a younger version of yourself one thing, what would it be?
- If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
- How do you feel about swearing?
- What is the best thing about being an adult?
- What do you miss about your childhood?
- What do you think TV shows will be like in 20 years?
- If we colonized the moon, would you want to live there?
- What would you do with your life if you didn’t have to work?
- What is the most important lesson you learned from your parents?
- What do you think would happen if the internet stopped working worldwide for a month?
- Is it more important to be polite or to speak your mind?
- What would your dream house look like?
- What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
- What do you do when you have a really big decision to make?
- What was the best conversation you’ve had this week?
- What does loyalty mean to you?
- What’s something you’ve always wanted to try doing?
- What is something you hope you never have to do again?
- Do you believe in fate/destiny, or do you think we are in charge of our own stories?
- What do you wish your parents had done differently when raising you?
- What is the best way for me to show love for you?
- What are some of our strengths as a couple?
- What is the most important thing you’ve learned as an adult?
- What is something you did as a child that you can’t believe you got away with?
- How do you feel about pets?
- What’s something you loved doing as a kid but you don’t do anymore?
- How important is spirituality to you?
- What does money symbolize to you?
- Who did you really look up to as a child?
- Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
Kids Open-Ended Questions
- If you buried a treasure chest, what would you put in it?
- When have you been brave?
- When did you feel like telling a lie, but you were honest instead?
- What advice do you have about making friends?
- If you were the principal, what rules would you change?
- If you had a giant cardboard box, what would you do with it?
- What is the best part about having (or not having) a sibling?
- If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
- How does your favorite color make you feel?
- What is your favorite thing to do at recess?
- Do you feel more like sunshine, rain, or a thunderstorm today?
- How do you feel about school uniforms?
- What is something that just isn’t fair?
- If you could help someone in another part of the world, how would you do it?
- Do you like feeling safe, or do you prefer taking risks?
- How would you decorate your room if you could do whatever you wanted?
- What do you hope to learn about today?
- What do you do if someone isn’t sharing?
- What is the best thing about being a kid?
- If you had a magic pencil, and anything you drew became real, what would you draw first?
- If you could visit a fictional world, which one would it be?
- What advice would you give to someone who is younger than you?
- If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
- What is the nicest thing someone said or did for you today?
- What rules at school don’t make sense to you?
- If you were famous, what would you be famous for?
- What was your favorite part of today?
- What do you like about the project you made?
- How do you think airplanes work?
- What would you do if you woke up in the morning and you had an elephant nose?
- What do you think about the Loch Ness Monster?
- What do you think our pet would say if they could talk?
- What do you like most about your best friend?
- What do you think you will be like as a grown-up?
- If you were an inventor, what would you invent?
- What questions did you ask at school today?
- What’s the best place to sit in your classroom?
- If you got to design a playground, what would it look like?
- If you were an alien, what would your planet be like?
- If you could change one thing about school, what would it be?
- What do you hope you’ll dream about tonight?
- What is something you are proud of right now?
Do you have any more great open-ended questions? Comment below and we’ll add them to the list!