Getting lost in a great story is a thrilling way for kids to pass the time—especially if the story is in their own minds. Making up stories or simply recording their thoughts in a journal builds learners’ self-awareness, self-esteem, creativity, and writing skills. Creative writing can also lay the groundwork for a lifelong habit that can help them process their emotions and observations about the world. If your child would love to write a story but needs a boost, try these journaling ideas and writing prompts for kids.
25 writing prompts for learners ages 5–10
- Write a story about a character who has a secret power—but no one knows about it.
- Imagine a city that existed long ago but has now been destroyed. What did it look like? Who lived there? How did it all end?
- Write a story about a planet that hasn’t been discovered yet.
- Imagine you’re a mermaid. Describe your under-the-sea home. Who are your friends? What does your house look like?
- What if your pet could talk? What would you two discuss?
- Create a daily schedule for a person who is as small as a snail.
- If you had to choose one of the following biomes to live in, which would you choose, and why: desert, rainforest, deep sea, arctic, mountains, tropics
- If you could become invisible, where would you go first? What would you do there?
- Why do you think your parents chose your name? Does it suit you? Why or why not?
- Imagine you live on a deserted island and there’s a big storm coming.
- What is your earliest memory?
- What would you do if you found a magic compass on the sidewalk that showed you how to get to wherever you wanted to go in under 3 minutes?
- If you were the ruler of a kingdom, what would its laws be? Write a constitution for your society.
- What would life be like if you were your favorite animal?
- Is sweet or salty better? Write persuasively to defend your choice as if you had the chance to win a million dollars for making the best argument.
- Write a step-by-step guide to being you.
- Imagine you were the ONE person alive in the age of the dinosaurs. How would you spend your time?
- Would you rather always be hot or always be cold? Decide, then write a story where the character is always too hot or always too cold. What are they going to do about it?
- If there were a secret passageway in your house, where would you find it, and where would it lead?
- If an alien landed in your backyard, what would happen?
- What will life be like in the year 3000?
- Are you most like an ocean, a gust of wind, a fire, or a tree? Why?
- Write a letter to your current self from the future.
- Imagine you lived in the mall.
- Write a poem about one of your family members.
25 writing prompts for learners ages 11–13
- In the movie of your life, who would you cast to play you, your family members, and your friends?
- Write a scientific essay about your pet. Use language that is objective, rather than subjective.
- Write an itinerary for your dream vacation.
- Write a story from the perspective of your favorite Star Wars character.
- Write a letter to your younger self.
- Would you rather have farts people can see or burp glitter? Defend your choice.
- Create an original superhero—like Spiderman or Batman.
- If you became president, what’s the first thing you’d do?
- What was life like for your great-great-grandparent at your age?
- What would your life be like if you lived underground? Describe a typical day from the moment you wake up to when you get to sleep.
- Imagine you’re a star athlete in your favorite sport. Describe a day in your life.
- You’re living in ancient Egypt. Describe a day in your life.
- Rewrite a classic fairy tale like Little Red Riding Hood, but set it in modern times.
- Describe a day in your life to an alien from another planet. Remember, they don’t know ANYTHING about Earth!
- Imagine you live inside your favorite video game—and you have to figure out how to get back to real life.
- Invent a new sport. Describe the rules, equipment needed, and traditions surrounding games.
- If you had a robot as a friend, what would you do together? What conflicts might arise?
- Imagine you were in the zoo like an animal, and no one thought that was weird at all.
- Write a letter to yourself in the future. Describe what life is like today—what technology do you use? Who are your friends? What are your favorite things to do?
- Write a story where the characters can only ask questions.
- Write a song that you’d perform if you got a record deal.
- What would happen in the first episode of your favorite TV show with you as a starring character?
- Write a text conversation between you and a ghost that lives in your attic.
- Think of yourself as a character in a book. In the book's story, you're living your normal life until one day, everything changes. What is your normal life like? How do you interact with the people in your life? What changes? How do you respond?
- Write a story that will scare your readers.
Writing skills to practice via creative prompts
Help your learner develop these crucial writing skills with Outschool’s live online classes:
- Writing persuasively
- Writing complete, correct sentences (versus run-ons or fragments)
- Writing complete paragraphs
- Developing character and plot
- Personal narrative writing
- Creating suspense
- Constructing a five-paragraph essay
- Writing poetry
Outschool is a marketplace of live online classes for kids (ages 3-18). Learners can safely learn and connect with teachers over live video chat. From math and music to filmmaking, coding, writing, and baking, the small-group online format supports all learner types at any level. Classes start at $10.