Playing this game will get your kid to answer ‘How was your day?’

If you're failing to crack the after-school mystery called "How was your day," try this mom's trick.

Katya Hosler of Phoenix, Arizona, plays a game with her 6-year-old son, Keegan, and her 4-year-old daughter, Kamryn, to learn about their school days in more than four letters (i.e. good, fine).

It's so clever.

"When Keegan was born, I read a bunch of parenting books about how important it is to talk to children about their feelings with open-ended questions or by starting a sentence and letting them finish it," Hosler tells

In an Instagram video, Hosler turns that advice into a game, which yielded revealing answers.

"My teacher treats me ...." Hosler in the video. "Good," answered Keegan.

"My friends at school?" she asked. "Are nice," said Keegan.

Additional questions and answers from the video: "More than anything at school, I love ..." ("Making crafts"), "I'm sad when my friends ..." ("Don't play with me"), "I am happy when my classmates ..." ("Work together"), "At school I'd like to ..." ("Dance ... I mean play soccer") and "At school, I don't like it when ..." ("We have to do work").

Hosler says the game has encouraged authentic answers from her son.

"The first answer that comes to mind is usually what they're actually thinking or feeling," she says. "There's no time for kids to wonder what parents want to hear."

Sheryl Ziegler, a psychologist and author of “Mommy Burnout," says the game is playful for younger children and lazy enough for teens.

"In therapy, we might ask kids to describe an experience with one word, for example, 'Going to my dad's house is ....'" as a starting point, says Ziegler.

Mad Libs (Katya Hosler via Instagram)
Mad Libs (Katya Hosler via Instagram)

Ziegler also suggests silly prompts like, "Describe your day in a news report" or a "GRWM" ("Get Ready With Me") so kids can narrate more in their own words.

The goal should be that kids talk — but also communicate, says Ziegler, which can be done nonverbally with a hug or by pointing to an emoji or color chart.

"Kids can also describe their days with temperatures or seasons," she adds, such as, "My morning was stormy and my afternoon breezy."

"Sometimes, all parents need to hear is one word other than 'good' or 'fine,'" says Ziegler. "At the end of the day, parents just want to know if their children are happy, hurting or need help with anything."

This article was originally published on