What would you do if you were invisible for a day?
March 23, 2012 7:27 AM   Subscribe

I video our kids on their birthday while I ask them random questions. I am looking for more questions to ask them and record (on paper or video). Questions like "will you get married?", "What do you want to be when you grow up?", "what was the best day of your life so far?".

Can you thing of any great questions? other samples : "what was it like in the old days?" "what will it be like in the future"

I try to do a fair amount of questions about marriage and future, thinking I will make the embarrassing video to play at their weddings.
(at last report my 4 year old boy is going to have 6 kids with him very fun husband).
posted by beccaj to Human Relations (21 answers total) 77 users marked this as a favorite
I think some of the childhood basics are good: What's your favorite song? What's your favorite game? What's your favorite pokemon? Fill in the blank with whatever your kids are into. (My son, at 9, now refuses to acknowledge how much he once adored Mr. Rogers so I sort of wish I had it on tape!)
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:31 AM on March 23, 2012

Yeah, "what's your favorite [ ____ ]" questions work well. An old roommate had a job in a talent agency for a while, and he said that the little kids always warmed up to him when he asked "who's your favorite Power Ranger?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:32 AM on March 23, 2012

Time to bust out the Proust Questionnaire!
Your idea of happiness!
Your favorite color and flower!
Your favorite heroes/heroines in fiction!
Your favorite food and drink!

posted by hellomina at 7:33 AM on March 23, 2012 [4 favorites]

Best answer: This is a nice idea. I have a brief cassette recording of myself at 4, and it's a real trip to listen to now. I would suggest:

1. Remember to include more "mundane" or everyday questions too. What's going on in school, what do you want for dinner, what do you want for your birthday, what's on your mind, etc.

2. Get them to talk about friends and family, especially siblings or cousins their age. This will also maximize the future wedding potential...
posted by pete_22 at 7:34 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Table Topics are great for this stuff! They have a bazillion types of questions...there's a section here and also here with some sample questions from each different cube or set.
posted by PeppahCat at 7:34 AM on March 23, 2012

I love this idea! Someone linked to this on FB the other day Real or Not which I thought was really sweet. Maybe something along those lines, especially if it's a topic that your kid is interested in around their birthday -- tooth fairy, batman, mermaids. I remember reading a study a long time ago about what kids believed in and a not insignificant number weren't so sure about the existence of the garbage man! I find that both adorable and fascinating.
posted by amanda at 7:38 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you had a pet monster what would it look like?
If you could be a super hero who would you be?
Where do you want to go on vacation?
What's your favorite toy?
What's your favorite TV show?
What is your favorite outfit?
If you had a puppy what would you name it?
What's your favorite animal?
posted by TooFewShoes at 7:45 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

Following TooFewShoes's suggestion, just ask the kids a whole bunch of login "security questions."

Following your own future/olden days idea, why not ask who the kids would vote for in whatever election is imminent. I have a distinct memory of my seven-year-old self telling my dad that I would vote for Nixon. (I was a provoking little shit.)
posted by scratch at 7:52 AM on March 23, 2012

Oh, pop culture current events is good too. When Alien Vs. Predator was in theaters, I was working on a show that had a 7-year-old kid in the cast; we somehow got to talking about it during one of our breaks, and that turned into a whole fifteen-minute dissertation about his assessment of who the victor would be.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:55 AM on March 23, 2012

(Ms. Veg)
My brother-in-law has a tape of himself filling in well-known proverbs; he was around age 6. Example: his dad started with "a bird in the hand", and my BIL answered with "poops on you!"
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:59 AM on March 23, 2012 [5 favorites]

Best answer: "Tell me a little bit about your sister/brother/mom/dad. What kind of person are they?"

We used that and it was both hilarious and touching and incredibly revealing. I was dismayed to hear my 3 year old (at the time) describe me as -- a full-time mother with a lot of, um, pride in my role -- "really pretty but she hates when I hang on her leg." We still laugh about that being her big take-away about me!
posted by thinkpiece at 8:06 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

These are interviewing skills: Big key is avoid yes/no questions. Go for questions that also leave room for follow ups, if necessary.
Tell me what your daddy does for work. Mommy.
If your birthday was tomorrow, what would you want, if you could only have one gift.
Can you tell me your favorite joke?
What does your sister/brother do that's gross?

The more opinionated the question, the more you may get a reaction (and a great moment on camera.)
posted by filmgeek at 9:47 AM on March 23, 2012

Don't forget the followups to these basic questions. Asking what you want to be is fun, but asking why they want to be that can have hilarious results. Just did this this morning with my almost 4 year old.
posted by Big_B at 9:48 AM on March 23, 2012

What makes you happy?
Tell me a joke.
What is your favorite thing to wear?
What is your favorite cereal?
What is your favorite thing about mom?
What is your favorite thing about dad?
Who is your favorite person?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is your favorite game?
What did you do yesterday?
What are you going to do tomorrow?
posted by dpx.mfx at 9:55 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would look at some of the things the kids in the documentary 7-Up talk about. They don't show the questions asked, but you can infer. There are a lot of open-ended talking points that easily link to things they talk about later.

Ask them to sing a song, or tell a story.

What's going on currently: What did they do yesterday, what was good and bad about yesterday? Where do they live? Who are the people in their family? What kinds of things are in their room?

Theoretical: What would the best day ever be like? What would the most delicious dinner be? What kinds of things would make a party really fun?
posted by tchemgrrl at 10:04 AM on March 23, 2012

I currently do this and got some good ideas from when I asked :)


One thing I've learned is to allow time for them to talk/ramble - prepared questions are good, but where they can take conversations is even better.
posted by Twicketface at 12:14 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Twicketface. Funny thing is I started about 3 years ago. I thought the idea was my own. Then I clicked on your link and I had favorited it! Awesome thanks for the reminder.
posted by beccaj at 12:28 PM on March 23, 2012

Listening to Science Friday today, I thought of another line of questions: explanations of science or how things work. What makes trains go? What happened to the dinosaurs? What is the moon made of? What makes it snow? When the mythical fairy garbageman comes and picks up our garbage -- where does it go? How do birds fly? What are clouds?

Definitely depends on what your kid is into but it's always intriguing how kids use their own frame of reference to put things in order.
posted by amanda at 1:27 PM on March 23, 2012

What have you learned this year?
Can you tell me a good joke?
What's the best surprise you ever got?
What's the farthest place you can walk to?
If you could visit any place, where would you go?
This year, you had your first [airplane ride, sleepover, day of school, whatever] - what was it like?
Who are your best friends and why do you like them?
Who is someone you really admire and why?
What is a mistake you will never make?
Who's going to win the World Series this year? (or whatever sport you're fans of)
What are you going to do to celebrate the day you graduate from high school?
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:56 PM on March 23, 2012

Since you're making a video of this: beforehand, ask the kid to pick out and dress up in their favorite outfit! Then maybe you can ask questions about the outfit: what are you wearing, why do you like that, what's your favorite color?
posted by easily confused at 5:13 PM on March 23, 2012

what is your favorite cat video on youtube
posted by BEE-EATING CAT-EATER at 7:08 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

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