When we ask a question, we expect an answer. Think about the question, "What color is that carrot?" It requires a very specific answer, usually only one word. What do we learn from our child's answer? At most we are likely to find out if they know their colors. A great way to ask the same "question" is to say, "Tell me about that carrot." This question is open-ended and invites the child to think critically about many elements of that food. They may respond with their feelings about carrots, or they may describe the carrot's shape, texture, temperature, color, or smell. A simple change in our words can open up a deeper conversation about everyday experiences.
Questions are an important part of teaching our children about language and about the world around them. With a few simple changes to our words, we find that our children have a lot to teach us as well!