Storytelling is an essential part of every culture: it’s something our ancestors did since the beginning of time.
Some of your earliest memories are probably of your parents telling you fairy tales or stories about when they were young.
Because children enjoy hearing stories, it also comes natural for them to tell stories. Do you remember the last time a child told you all about his latest trip to the zoo or an amusement park? Can you remember the excitement in his voice, and the details that went into the telling?
Writing Prompts for Kids
By harnessing this natural inclination to communicate, we can help children develop the necessary skills to become a good writer and effective communicator.
Or, if you yourself are a child wanting to practice writing, this post is for you too. We understand it’s not always easy to think up new ideas, but this list should help you get started!
Journal and Personal Writing Prompts
For children interested in journaling or writing about personal experiences, try writing about:
- Your most embarrassing experience
- Your most memorable time outdoors: what animals, insects, or plants did you see?
- Three things you are grateful for this week
- A really terrifying nightmare
- A very wonderful dream you had one night
- Something new you learned this week
- A book you’re reading this week
- A special event that’s coming up
- What you want to be when you grow up
- A time when your feelings were really hurt
- A time when you felt angry
- A present you really enjoyed
- Spending time with someone important to you
Subject Writing Prompts
For subject writing, think about things that you really like. These topics tend to be easier to write about. To help you think of ideas, how about writing:
- A short, information-rich picture book about your favorite animal
- A newspaper feature about your town or city
- A tourist brochure about an amusement park or a national park you enjoy
- The advantages and disadvantages of having siblings, or of being an only child
- A TV news report script telling about the latest happenings in your school or town
- A sports article about your favorite sports team
- A foreign country you would like to visit
Letter Writing Prompts
Although snail-mail letters are practically extinct now, as a writer, you will benefit a lot from learning to write thoughtful letters. Try writing:
- A letter to a grandparent
- A note to a friend who is sick
- A thank-you note for a friend who did something nice to you
- An appreciation letter for a teacher you like
- A welcome note for a new neighbor
- A letter inviting a relative to come visit, describing the things you would like them to see and do
Short Story Writing Prompts
You can also write short stories. Remember that short stories need to have a conflict that is resolved in the end. (We have a separate post on story structure if you want to learn more.) Check out the following ideas to get you started:
- What if you had a twin? How would life be?
- What happens when two best friends compete in a race?
- What if you lived 100 years ago? What character would you be and what would you be doing?
- What if you find out an alien invasion will take place in your town—in 48 hours?
- What if you were a character in your favorite video game?
- What happens when parents divorce?
- Write about the life of a child your age who is in the foster care system.
Picture Book Prompts
The main difference between picture books and short stories is that picture books depend a lot on the images to effectively tell the story. Some details may not have to be described verbally, as long as it’s portrayed in the picture.
Try your hand at these picture book prompts:
- Try writing a “circle story,” or one that starts and ends in the same place. (An example is Laura Numeroff’s If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.)
- Make up a short fable. A fable is a story that teaches a moral lesson, like the Tortoise and the Hare. Fables usually feature animals for characters, so choose animals you like.
- Write a bedtime picture book for a younger child.
- Write and draw your version of a favorite fairy tale.
Writing poetry is another great way to practice writing. Check out these prompts to get started:
- Write a haiku about your favorite scenery or place in nature (such as the beach, mountains, lake, etc.).
- Write about an emotion (joy, sadness, confusion, anger, etc).
- Describe a happy event in your life.
- Try making a shape poem: you write your words inside a shape that you draw. For example, a shape poem about a balloon may be written inside a drawing of a balloon.
- Write a name acrostic poem: this is a poem whose first line starts with the letters of a person’s name. For example, for the name LISA, the first line begins with L, the second begins with I, the third with S, and the last line with A.
While you’re trying your hand at poetry, why not take it a step further and try writing song lyrics? Dip your toes into song writing by writing and singing about:
- A best friend who moved away
- Your dreams in life
- A victory you or your team recently won
- Pride in your city or country
- A painful experience from your past
Fun Writing Prompts for Children
Whether you want to help develop a child’s writing skills, or are simply looking for a fun activity for the afternoon, these writing prompts will inspire young imaginations to start practicing the art of storytelling.
And when they’re in the mood to read a great story, be sure to check out our list of the best sites to find free ebooks for kids!
Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this post, then you might also like:
- 70 Creative Writing Prompts to Inspire You to Write
- 72 Journal Prompts to Boost Your Creative Writing Skills
- Free eBooks for Kids: 16 Sites to Download Free Reads for the Little Ones
- How to Teach Kids to Read: Tips, Resources, and Books for Getting Started
Yen Cabag is the Blog Writer of TCK Publishing. She is also a homeschooling mom, family coach, and speaker for the Charlotte Mason method, an educational philosophy that places great emphasis on classic literature and the masterpieces in art and music. She has also written several books, both fiction and nonfiction. Her passion is to see the next generation of children become lovers of reading and learning in the midst of short attention spans.