30 Questions to Ask Your Grandparents

a girl talking to her grandmother.

As families of all ages gather around the dining room table and at holiday family events, it is the perfect opportunity for grandchildren to learn more about their grandparents. Encourage your children to talk to their grandparents, ask questions, and share more about their lives.  It is a meaningful way to pass along family history and holiday traditions to the next generation.

Depending on your child’s age and how comfortable they are with their grandparent, children may feel shy about starting a conversation or knowing what questions to ask.  Remind them that it’s best to ask open-ended questions to encourage a dialogue.

Questions to start a conversation with grandparents.

  1. Do you have a holiday tradition? What is your favorite thing about the holidays?
  2. Were you named after a family member or does your name have a special meaning?
  3. Do you have a nickname that your siblings or friends call you? How did you get the nickname?
  4. Where were you born? What was your house like as a child?
  5. How did your family spend time together when you were young?
  6. What was your favorite subject or teacher in school?
  7. What is the most important lesson that your parents taught you?
  8. What did your friends do for fun when you were young? Did you have a best friend?
  9. Did you have a favorite toy as a child?
  10. Did you get an allowance? How much was it and what did you spend your money on?
  11. Did you ever get in trouble as a child or teenager? Did you have a curfew and what time was it? Did you ever miss curfew?
  12. How did you meet grandma/grandpa? What was your marriage proposal like?
  13. Where was your wedding? Who was your matron of honor/best man?
  14. Have you had a job? What was your first job?
  15. What did you want to be when you grew up?
  16. What was your first car?
  17. Where have you lived? Tell me about your first house.
  18. Where have you traveled? What is your favorite city to visit? Do you have a favorite family vacation memory?
  19. Do you practice a religion? What impact has religion had on your life?
  20. Who are your children? What is your favorite memory with your children?
  21. How do you handle stress?
  22. What could you tell me that I would be surprised to learn about you?
  23. What is your dream for your children and grandchildren?
  24. What were your grandparents like?
  25. What is the earliest memory that you have?
  26. Tell me about the day when my mom/dad was born?
  27. What makes you happy?
  28. Have you owned any pets? What was your first pet?
  29. What is different about growing up today than when you were a child?
  30. What is your favorite thing about being a grandparent?

In a large group, some seniors may find it difficult to hear or follow conversations.  Others might feel left out, or their soft voice may go unheard.  Having grandchildren engage in discussions with their grandparent is an excellent way for seniors to feel included and a part of the activities.   An added benefit for the child is to learn the essential skills of conversing, active listening, and manners when speaking with their grandparent.

A fun idea, when gathered around the dinner table, is to share silly questions that can be answered by everyone and start more conversation.  These questions are a more lighthearted approach that may better serve younger children or elderly parents who are less likely to share. Encourage those answering the question to elaborate or follow up with another question.  The goal is that everyone gets the opportunity to talk and be heard—no matter their age.

A few examples of silly questions that can spark a lively conversation or create a new memory in unexpected ways!

  • Would you rather be able to breathe underwater like a fish or fly like a bird?
  • If you could have dinner with your favorite movie character, where would you dine, and what would you eat?
  • If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
  • If you could only have one food to eat every day at every meal, what would it be?
  • What is your first memory?
  • If you could switch places for one day with another family member, who would it be and why?
  • If you could be an animal, what animal would it be?
  • If you could take three things with you on a desert island, what items would you choose?
  • If you could be cast in any movie, what movie would you want to be in?
  • What makes you feel really loved?
  • What are you thankful for?
  • Would you rather play in the sand or play in the snow?
  • What is something that you would like to learn still?
  • Describe your perfect day!
  • What is your favorite thing to do?

Grandparents have priceless wisdom and life experiences to share, encourage multi-generational conversations at your next family gathering.  At Aegis Living, we hope your conversation is meaningful, and new memories are made.

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