40 Great Questions to Ask Grandparents

Do video chats with grandparents sometimes run into awkward silence? It can be even more of a challenge to bridge generational distance when you can’t be together physically. To help get the conversations going, and to make them more meaningful and memorable, try having your kids ask their grandparents some of these questions, adapted from a master list provided by StoryCorps, an organization dedicated to preserving people’s stories. After all, you don't need to wait for Grandparents Day to help your kids build relationships with their grandmas and grandpas.

Questions for Kids to Ask Grandparents

Questions for younger kids (kindergarten-second grades)

  • Can you tell me about a time when you were very happy?

  • Can you tell me about a person who has been kindest to you in your life?

  • Can you tell me what it was like where you grew up?

  • Can you tell me about a family pet that you had?

  • How did you celebrate your birthday (or a holiday)?

  • When you were my age, who was your best friend and what did you do together?

  • Who lived with you when you were my age and what were they like?

  • What do you remember about your first day of school?

  • Who was your favorite teacher and what was he or she like?

  • When you were my age, what did you want to be when you grew up?

  • Do you have any favorite stories from your childhood?

  • What was your favorite age to be?

  • What was my mom/dad like growing up?

  • Do you remember any songs you used to sing to my mom/dad? Can you sing them now?

  • What was the silliest thing mom/dad did when they were little?

  • What is your favorite memory of me?

Questions for older kids (third-sixth grades)

  • Can you tell me about someone you’ll always remember?

  • Can you tell me about someone who has had a big influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?

  • Can you tell me about a time you were proud of yourself?

  • What is a historic moment that you lived through? What do you remember about it?

  • What was your childhood like?

  • What are your favorite stories from school?

  • Can you tell me about a time you got in trouble?

  • Who were your favorite relatives and what were they like?

  • Do you remember any of the stories they used to tell you?

  • What were your parents like?

  • Was my mom/dad well-behaved when they were little?

  • What was the worst thing mom/dad ever did?

  • What is your favorite story about mom/dad?

  • Can you tell me about the day we first met each other?

Questions for teens (and adults, too!)

  • Can you tell me about one of your happiest memories?

  • Can you tell me about one of your most difficult memories?

  • What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?

  • How has your life been different than you imagined?

  • How has the world changed over the course of your life?

  • If you could hold onto one memory from your life forever, what would it be?

  • What do you feel most grateful for in your life?

  • What is a family tradition that you hope I continue?

  • How would you like to be remembered?

  • What are your hopes for me?

Questions for Grandparents to Ask Kids

Getting kids to open up can sometimes be a challenge if their grandparents aren’t sure what questions to ask in return. Send this list of 17 conversation starters for chatting with kids to your parents to help give them ideas for how to keep their grandkids engaged.

Other Ideas for Kids to Connect with Grandparents

If the conversation still isn’t flowing, you might want to try an activity that can be adapted for socializing at a distance or done via video chat. Some kids have an easier time talking when they’re on the move.

Cook a family recipe together.

Grandparents and kids can cook together by following the same recipe—perhaps a traditional family one—in their separate kitchens. Or have your kids and their grandparents alternate who chooses a recipe to make each week, every two weeks, or monthly (whether a family favorite, a recipe that’s been passed down, or something new found in a cookbook or online).

Play an online game together.

Grandparents don’t need to be particularly technically savvy to play games online like Battleship and Connect Four. Older kids can play Scrabble, Words with Friends, or other word games with their grandparents online. And Uno is always a fun game, no matter the age!

Read a book together.

Reading is another activity that translates fairly well over a screen. Patient, attentive grandparents make an ideal audience for your emerging reader, or send some of your child’s favorite picture books to their grandparents for a read-aloud for younger kids.

Encourage your kids to try out different topics and activities with their grandparents to find the ones that click for them.