As a BoyMom, I'm really aware of the fact that I need to get my boys to be able to embrace and understand their feelings and learn to discuss hard or difficult things with us. (It seems all the studies show that females do more talking and thus have an easier time discussing things like that.) I don't want my boys growing up thinking mad, sad, glad are the only emotions that exist! In one of those naive thoughts before I had kids, I was adamant that they wouldn't just say "fine" "nothing" "ok" to questions we would ask about school. And then I had kids and guess what they say when I ask how school was that day! "Fine."
The boys are currently only 7m, 3 and 5, so I don't expect the big two to say a whole lot of super in-depth stuff, but I definitely found that asking pointed questions helps. If I ask who they sat by at lunch, I can get a whole paragraph out of them about who they sat with, who they actually wanted to sit with, do I think they could ask the teacher to let them sit where they want to, etc. But I can't just ask about their lunch partner every day, so I was looking for some other questions to ask them.
And then someone posted a link on Facebook to this blog with free, printable After School Question Cards and I didn't hesitate to take a look, print, and make our own jar of them! The questions are all really good, and they even include a few blank ones for you to write your own questions. I mostly added things incorporating our faith into them, so "Who should we be praying for? Why?" was the first one I thought to include. After printing, writing, and cutting, I had them laminated. (It's a lot of work cutting all those little things out, so I wanted them to last!) Then I stuck them in a jar I already had sitting in the closet and voila! easy-peasy way to get the boys to talk more about their day at school. (I'm so thankful that people know how to create things like this and then leave them on the internet for us to get for free!!!)