The one thing most freelance writers have in common is that they’ve been writing since the time they were a child in school. Just about every school curriculum includes some form of writing as a regular part of elementary, middle, and secondary education programs. In most cases, the older you are, the higher level writing you are asked to do.
One way to encourage a love of all things creative is to use writing prompts for kids. Kids writing prompts are plentiful on the Internet and many of them will work just as well for adults who are taking a renewed interest in writing. Writing prompt exercises can be timed or untimed.
Those of us who write know that the more you write, the easier it becomes to write. It’s as if regular contact with your muse somehow magically makes it easier to call her out of hiding. Or maybe writing is like exercising. The more you work your writing muscles the less painful it is the next time you need to use them.
Reasons Writing Benefits Kids:
- Enhances imagination
- Keeps their mind busy
- Improves spelling and grammar
- Records childhood memories
- Helps them sort through emotions
- Promotes self-expression
- Encourages independent thought
The rules for writing prompts for kids are pretty easy. First, just keep writing until the end. There’s no need for editing of any kind on the first draft. Writing prompts can be done using a timer or can be untimed, depending on your preference. In a more formal educational setting, tell kids what type of writing prompt they are using and give them some instruction on any criteria you want in the response. But my favorite way is to just give them the prompt, set a timer, and let them write whatever comes to mind.
Types of Writing Prompts for Kids
- Narrative Writing Prompts tell a story and are commonly used in personal essays because the story is usually a real-life experience.
- Descriptive Writing Prompts encourage your child to share their vision of a place, a person, or an idea. Encourage kids to get down the details and paint a picture with their words so someone else can see what they see, taste, feel, or think about the topic.
- Expository or Explanatory Writing Prompts encourage kids to stick to the facts in their writing. These writing prompts for kids can include definitions or directions. This can be done at any age but is typically higher level writing and may involve research prior to writing.
- Persuasive Writing Prompts come into play toward the end of the Elementary grades, typically around 4th or 5th grade. The idea is for the student to support their view of a topic while disproving the other side. It’s like having a debate with someone over a topic only you have to argue for both sides. The goal is to convince your reader that one side or view of a topic is “better” than the other.
Examples of Writing Prompts for Kids
- How did your parents come up with your name? Do you like it? Why or Why not?
- If you could wake up one morning with one special skill for a week, what would it be?
- What scares you?
- What makes you happy?
- Name something you used to think you couldn’t live without.
- What do you think it means when someone says, “look for the silver lining in the rain cloud”?
- What is the best present you’ve ever given to someone and why?
- If you woke up one morning and you were an adult, what would you do first?
- What is the best gift you ever received and why was it so special?
- Did your parents ever punish you for something you didn’t do?
- What is a typical day like for you during summer vacation?
- Which of your toys, now, or in the past, is the most special to you? Why?
- The one thing about myself I will never change is…
- What does a cloud taste like?
- The best decision I’ve made in my life so far is…
- If you could spend the night in the zoo, which animals would you spend the most time with and why?
- Write about your favorite place to visit
- What would it be like to live in a land like the Chutes and Ladders game?
- Which of the four seasons is your favorite and why?
- Choose one thing that happened to you this year and write about it.
- Where is one place in the world that you would love to visit?
- Do you think it’s better to live in the city or the country? Why?
- If you were the President what is one thing you would change?
- What game do you or have you played that is your favorite and why?
- What is the best day of the week and why?
- If you could have your own wildly successful YouTube channel, what would it be like?
- Have you ever been lost or separated from your parents unexpectedly? How did that feel?
- Why aren’t sidewalks made of chocolate?
- I can remember as far back as the time…
- What does the number six sound like?
A Final Word on Writing Prompt for Kids
Keep in mind that the purpose of writing prompts for kids, just like with adults, is not to get the “right” answer but to just write on the topic. Using a writing prompt can inspire and encourage kids to write. And the more kids practice writing, the better they will write and the better they will be able to organize their thoughts and express themselves.
There’s no better way to start your child on the literary path than to use writing prompts for kids to introduce them to a love of writing. Use some of those above, make up your own, or check out any of the hundreds of writing prompts available on the Internet.