20 questions to ask your kids

The 2013 version of Tracy Chappell's annual survey of her daughters’ favourite things.

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Anna and Avery talk about a few of their favourite things. Photo: Tracy Chappell

Follow along as Today’s Parent senior editor Tracy Chappell shares her refreshingly positive take on parenting her two young daughters. She’s been blogging her relatable experiences for our publication since 2005.

Last year, a friend sent me this brilliant, yet simple, way to get a snapshot of your child’s interests in just a few random questions. The idea is that you do it each year around their birthday, and eventually make it into a book for them. I will probably never remember to do that, but I love the idea!

We only did it once last year, around the time of Avery’s birthday, so I’m happy that I’ve now at least remembered to do it twice in a row. It’s always enlightening, and a bit hilarious what your kids are presented with such randomness.

Anna: Age seven-and-a-half
Avery: Age five

1. What is your favourite colour?
Anna: Yellow (she’s so over pink)
Avery: Purple

2. What is your favourite toy?
Anna: My new bunny (from our first-ever trip to Build-a-Bear for Avery’s birthday this month. Her name is Vanessa.)
Avery: Barbie and the doll house (This beautiful doll house I bought them after much deliberation sat largely un-played-with for the last two years. Then, our basement flooded, and we had to pull everything out, and now that the dollhouse is dominating our living room, it’s become a favourite thing.)

3. What is your favourite fruit?
Anna: Pineapple
Avery: Watermelon

4. What is your favourite TV show?
Anna: The Mysteries of Alfred Hedgehog
Avery: Lalaloopsy (I didn’t know this was a show? Clearly there is a lot of unsupervised TV time in my house.)

5. What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch?
Anna: Mini hamburgers (This is our new find for a happy packed lunch for Anna, with little packets of ketchup, of course.)
Avery: Grilled cheese (And I thought it would be soggy, but this is Avery’s favourite packed lunch. Who knew?)

6. What is your favourite outfit?
Anna: My sparkly purple dress
Avery: The dress that is brown with pink flowers (Still not over dresses. In fact, Avery and her new friend have vowed to wear dresses to school every single day.)

7. What is your favourite game?
Anna: Headbanz (Avery just got this for her birthday but, apparently, Anna has played this somewhere around a million times and loves it. I recall playing it this summer and laughing so hard I was crying. Although alcohol was involved — no children.)
Avery: Cut the Rope (She just got it for her birthday — a fun new take on Connect 4.)

8. What is your favourite snack?
Anna: Bear Paws
Avery: Cookies! (Me too!)

9. What is your favourite animal?
Anna: Dog (Anna has always wanted a cat, but her uncle’s awesome dog, Cassie, has converted her to a dog lover.)
Avery: Little baby bunnies (Not that she’s ever really seen one…)

10. What is your favourite song?
Anna: “Trouble” by Taylor Swift
Avery: “Red” by Taylor Swift (No surprises here.)

11. What is your favourite book?
Anna: The Magic Tree House series (And I love that she now reads them all by herself, though now I’ll never know what happens in Camelot!)
Avery: Disney Princess Adventure Stories (I bought this for Avery for her birthday to try to validate her princess adoration with some stories that aren’t about the princesses getting married and living happily ever after.)

Read more: Should little girls play with princess stuff? >

12. Who is your favourite friend to play with?
Anna: Dianne (Anna is bummed that D isn’t in her class this year.)
Avery: Anna (Seriously! This totally shocked me. There’s hope for sister harmony yet.)

13. What is your favourite sport?
Anna: Hockey (Though she says she’s absolutely, positively not playing after this season, which she says every year.)
Avery: Running. Running is really easy. (Maybe we’ll run together soon?)

14. What is your favourite thing to do outside?
Anna: Do things with balls (Like bouncing balls!)
Avery: Jump in the bouncy castle (Sean’s sister gave us a small bouncy castle a few years ago that has pretty much been the central entertainment at our house at any gathering. It is one sturdy castle.)

15. What is your favourite drink?
Anna: Five Alive
Avery: Iced Tea (Last year she said water!)

16. What is your favourite holiday?
Anna: Halloween, of course! (Because Anna is obsessed with candy.)
Avery: Christmas

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?
Anna: My bunny!
Avery: My kitty! (Also from Build-a-Bear. She invented the name Rien for her)

18. What is your favourite thing to eat for breakfast?
Anna: An everything bagel with cream cheese and jam (eww)
Avery: Smoothies (I’m thrilled that my kids want these every morning now, especially since they don’t like a lot of dairy products.)

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?
Anna: Something at East Side Mario’s (Which has become our birthday destination.)
Avery: Pizza (Probably at East Side Mario’s.)

20. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Anna: A teacher and a mom
Avery: A bus driver

(Love my kids!)

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