Tips for parents: How to get your kids talking about the things that really interest them

Tips for parents: How to get your kids talking about the things that really interest them

How was school? Fine. We’ve all been there!

Sometimes kids (and adults) need a little help to open up and start talking. The Top 10s book series provides an awesome opportunity to have great conversations with your kids about the things that really interest them. Coming up with an amazing topic for a Top 10s book is a great way to get started, and it can be about absolutely anything...

The Top 10 Flying Machines, The Top 10 Ice-Cream Flavours, The Top 10 Aztec Inventions! Whatever interests them the most.

Here are some useful tips and conversation starters to help you get the ideas flowing.


Set the right tone to get kids talking

  1. Create a comfortable environment: Foster an open and welcoming atmosphere, where kids feel safe expressing themselves without fear of judgment. Encourage open dialogue. Never laugh at, or dismiss, their ideas.
  2. Use Active Listening: Show genuine interest in what they have to say. Listen attentively, ask follow-up questions, and make them feel valued. This demonstrates that their thoughts and feelings matter.
  3. Share your interests too: Lead by example and talk about your own interests. This can inspire children to share their passions with you.
  4. Ask open-ended questions: Instead of closed-ended questions that result in one-word answers, ask open-ended questions that require more detailed responses. For example, "What is it that interests you most about unicorns?” rather than "Do you like unicorns?"
  5. Be patient: Sometimes, kids may take time to warm up and share their thoughts. Avoid pushing them too hard; let the conversation flow naturally.


Conversation starters, discuss their favourite…

  • Books: What were they about? Who were the characters? E.g. if they love Harry Potter then what about ‘The Top 10 Wizards’
  • TV shows: Where are they set? How do they relate to real life? If they love Dexter's Laboratory, what about the ‘The Top 10 Home Science Experiments’
  • Sports and activities: What do they love doing/watching? Who are their heroes?
  • Music: What kind of music do they like? Who are their favourite artists or instruments?
  • Museums and trips: Have you been anywhere recently that got them excited? A trip to a local museum or a day at the beach? What did they like about it?
  • Toys: What do they like to play with? Do they role-play? This could inspire so many interesting topics.
  • History: How often do they think about the Roman Empire?! Do they like knights and castles or maybe Vikings with long hair and warpaint. If they could go back to any time, when and where would they go?
  • Heroes: Who do they look up to (apart from you obviously). Who inspires them and why?


Hopefully, these tips and conversations starters will help you have a fun conversation where you learn more about your child’s interests. And if you come up with a great idea for a Top 10s book – then it’s a double win!


How to submit your ideas?

To submit a Top 10s idea your child needs to attend a school that has an active Purple Mash subscription. You may have received a send-home slip from their teacher. If so, write your title idea on the slip and return it to the teacher. Else, you can submit your idea directly from inside Purple Mash (you will need to have a login). If your child’s school doesn’t subscribe to Purple Mash, you can signup as a home user (it costs £35 a year).

Submissions are open from 01/11/2023 to 30/11/2023.


How is the winning topic idea going to be chosen?

Children will get to vote for their favourite ideas from a collection of 10 finalists, selected by us (the publisher). There are no hard and fast rules, but we’re looking out for topic ideas that:

  • Are unique and creative
  • Are interesting and inspiring
  • Have education value
  • Fit the list format well

Ideas must not be inappropriate (e.g. reference adult content) or have major copyright implications (e.g. Disney characters).

This is not a competition, it is expected that lots of children will submit the same ideas. Children who submit the winning idea will have their name printed in the book and their school will receive a free copy of the book. 


What is a Top 10s book?

Top 10s books are packed with fun facts, funny jokes, engaging games and loads more. Think Guiness World Records meets Weird but True, but with loads of extras. As well as the authors top 10 list, children will also have the chance to submit their own lists, with some being published in the book.




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