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Want to keep your children busy while you get some work done of your own? These creative writing prompts for kids can help! Learn how to use creative writing prompts with kids of different ability levels, and find 65 different prompts to keep them engaged!
And if you don’t think creative writing prompts will be a great fit for your kids, here are over 100 other scree-free activities your kids can try!
Finding time to grow a business as a busy mom is hard! One strategy that helps you carve out time is to have a prepopulated list of ideas to engage your kids.
If your kids are busy doing something creative or fun, they’re more likely to focus on that task. That gives you time to focus on your work.
By implementing a Family Writing Time a couple of days a week, you will gain much needed time for your business. And during that time, your kids will be practicing:
- Working quietly
- Working independently
- Using their creativity
- Writing skills
- And more!
Below you’ll find 65 creative writing prompts to help spark your child’s imagination.
But first, I want to share some fun ways to make writing prompts accessible for kids of different ages and abilities, explore the supplies you should have on hand, and help you make Family Writing Time a habit in your home.
Ready? Let’s go!
How to Use Creative Writing Prompts for Kids of Different Ages and Abilities
A typical list of writing prompts for kids is going to have a long list of prompts. And if your kids are at the right age and ability, they can have a lot of fun with it.
But, there are a lot of children who are not yet at that level. They don’t yet have the skills needed to sit down and respond to a prompt on their own.
If you have kids who are struggling writers, or who just aren’t developmentally ready for writing prompts, here are some ways to make this writing time more inclusive. Instead of sitting down and simply writing, you can encourage your child to:
- Draw a picture in response
- Create a skit
- Make a comic strip
- Tell their response to a stuffed animal audience
- Create homemade story cards on index cards and use those to tell the story
- Paint story rocks
- Write a poem
- Decorate a file folder with the setting and create paper characters that can get stored inside
- Use a story creation app
- Create a power point
- Cut pictures out of a magazine or newspaper and glue them down to tell the story
- Use a text-to-speech app or software
There are so many fun ways for kids to engage with creative writing prompts. They don’t just have to sit down and write a story.
Before They Begin…
It’s important to read the prompt aloud with each child and give them a couple of minutes to brainstorm. Be available during this time to help them select how they are going to respond and help them get what they need.
One fun way to keep track of the prompts is to print out the list and cut each one out. Then let your child draw three and pick one to use.
You can also just read a couple of ideas aloud and then let your child pick one.
By offering a choice, you help your child learn to evaluate options and think about what they want to create. That’s an important skill!
Help Your Children See Themselves as Writers
The more that children believe in themselves, the more likely they are to succeed. So make writing time fun, not boring. You want them to see themselves as writers, and believe in their ability.
This means you shouldn’t look at their effort and immediately point out all the flaws. Instead focus on what they did right.
Does their b go the right way? Did they leave spaces between words? Can you tell they worked hard on their coloring to make it look nice?
Find some areas of your child’s work that you can genuinely compliment. And use that as the starting point of your conversation.
If your child already struggles with writing, hearing you nitpick all their errors is sure not going to build their confidence.
Now yes, there is a time and a place for correct spelling and constructive feedback.
But, when you just want your child engaged with an activity so you can get some work done is not that time! Don’t make them feel miserable – celebrate what they did and offer encouragement!
Supplies You Need for Family Writing Time
In order for Family Writing Time to be a success, you need to have the right supplies on hand. You don’t want to ask your kids to go create story cards and then realize you ran out of index cards!
Here are some versatile supplies that my kids are always using during our Family Writing Time. We’ve used them all, and I highly recommend them!
- Reams of copy paper (we buy it by the case since we go through so much!)
- Spiral notebooks (I get one for each child to use during Family Writing Time)
- Quality pencils (out of all the brands we’ve tried, we found these pencils hold up the best)
- Colored pencils (my oldest kids use the expensive kind, I just buy Crayola for the younger ones!)
- File folders
- Index cards
- Pencil sharpener (I finally bought an electric one and I love it!)
- Old magazines/newspapers that can be cut up
- Crayons (always Crayola – they last so much longer than the cheap ones! I just stock up when they’re $0.50/box at Walmart in late summer…)
- Paint pens (for painting rocks!)
- Smooth rocks (I make my kids find their own outside and wash them. But you can also buy them…)
- Glue sticks
- Construction paper
Definitely don’t go stock up on all of these right now. You know what supplies will be a good match for your kids – but do make it a point to have the supplies they will use on hand. You want to make this easy on everyone!
How to Make Family Writing Time a Habit
If you’re looking to make Family Writing Time with creative writing prompts a new part of your routine, here are some tips for making it work.
Do It Regularly
Are you going to do Family Writing Time once a week? Or three times a week?
There is no right or wrong answer here. But, if you do want to make it a habit, it needs to be a regular part of your family’s schedule.
Use a Timer
Don’t just let everyone write until chaos erupts. Because kids who are working hard on a project will go from perfectly fine to upset in no time flat.
Instead, make it a point to stop everyone while it’s still going well. You want to end on a positive note and have them want to keep going. Then they can have something to look forward to the next time you announce it’s Family Writing Time.
To make this happen, use a timer! I started at just a few minutes with my younger kids. We’re now up to everyone working for 30 minutes.
Any more than that is too long for my littles. I do have several who could go for a full hour, but I purposefully keep it short.
Do what works for your family. But do set a timer and stop when it’s done.
Write During This Time
Kids like it when we lead by example and they can mimic us. Use this time to write and not scroll mindlessly on social media. If you have a business, you can:
- Write a post for your blog
- Research for an upcoming post
- Pitch a new freelance writing client
- Work on writing a book
- Update your resume
- Create a lesson for a course
- Write out a week’s worth of social media posts
- Creatively free write to get rid of writer’s block
Whatever you do, spend this time wisely. Your kids won’t be engaged happily forever, so make the most of it when it happens! 😀
Integrate a Sharing Time
When everyone is done, work together to clean up. Then, have a quick time to share.
Let everyone share or tell something about what they worked on. Make sure you share as well.
This is the part my kids love best. Even my toddler loves showing off his latest picture and pointing to his favorite parts. It’s so much fun for everyone to show off and tell about their work.
And during this time…listen to the kids. Don’t be on your phone!
65 Creative Writing Prompts for Kids
Now that you have a better understanding of how to use these prompts and how they can help you free up time for your business, it’s time to dive into the creative writing prompts for kids!
- You were just given a key to your dream house. What do you see when you walk through the front door?
- You’re enjoying a nice afternoon on the beach when suddenly a huge wave comes out of nowhere. When it rolls back, you are shocked to see…
- Today you are going to a cloud castle. You can’t believe your luck! You are going to…
- Your favorite television character just hopped out of the TV and announced that you get to spend the day together. What happens?
- One night you go to bed with a strange feeling. The next morning you awake to discover that you can now…
- You just got sucked into the book you are currently reading. Where are you and what do you do?
- Someone just gave you $100 and the only rule is that you can’t spend it on yourself. What do you do with it?
- You’re going to be spending 8 hours in the car with your family. What do you pack in your survival bag?
- You look out the window and discover the seasons are all mixed up! What is happening out there?
- You’ve been asked to throw a surprise party for your best friend. What does the event look like?
- You’re now the main character in a fairy tale. Which one do you choose and how do you change what happens?
- It’s your turn to cook dinner! What’s on the menu and what do you need to make it?
- Yikes! A huge snowstorm is approaching and your house will lose power for 24 hours. What do you need to do to prepare?
- You walk outside and notice a large hole in your backyard. Why is it there and where does it lead?
- For two whole days, you can only eat one single food. Whenever you’re hungry, that’s all you get. What are you going to pick and why?
- You just left the room. What are your toys going to do now?
- You wake up and realize you’ve gone back in time! When is it and what are you going to do?
- For today only, you can talk with animals. Which ones will you talk to and what will you ask or say?
- You and someone in your family have to switch places for the day. Who are you going to switch with and what will your day be like?
- If you had the power to make any toy come to life for a week, which one would you choose and what would you do?
- Where would you go if you could pick your family’s next vacation destination?
- You’re opening a new restaurant! What’s on the menu?
- What new rule would you add to your favorite board game? How would that change things?
- You get to pick one book to get turned into a movie. Which one is it going to be? Share some details about the film…
- Good news! You’ve just been asked to guest star on your favorite television show! Which one are you on and what are you going to do?
- A TV show you loved when you were little needs a rebooted theme song. How is it going to go?
- Imagine the setting changed for your favorite book. Where does it now take place and how does that change the plot?
- You just discovered a new creature in the jungle. It appears to be a combination of two common animals. What is it and what do you call it? Describe its habitat and what it does.
- Your favorite car company wants you to design their new car. What’s going to make it special? What features will it have?
- What is something that many people are scared of that you are not? Why aren’t you scared of it? Why do you think other people are scared?
- You want to try something new, so you decide to go pull out your sled in the middle of the summer. What are you going to do with it that’s fun?
- It’s time to invent a new holiday! Why should people celebrate this day with you?
- You’re visiting the farm and notice something strange. The cows are…
- You get to design a robot to do one chore for you. What do you program it to do and how does it work?
- Your friend just got an unusual new pet. What did they get? Tell all about it!
- When you found that egg underneath the tree, you had no idea this would be inside…
- You just traveled 100 years into the future. What is life like?
- Zap! You’ve just been shrunk and are now the size of a mouse. What are you going to do now?
- In the forest you discover a magical stone that will let you relive any day from your past. Which day would you want to live all over again and why?
- You’re on a walk with your family and suddenly discover a little cottage made out of candy and sweets. What happens next?
- What does your dream playground look like?
- If you got the chance to audition for a national talent show, would you? Why or why not? What act would you perform?
- You find yourself alone on an island. How do you survive while you wait for help?
- If you could lead a tour of your city for a group of new children, where would you take them?
- It started off just like any Saturday. But then…
- You have to listen to one song on repeat for an entire 24-hour period. Which one would you like the most? Which one would you like the least? Why?
- The next thing you build out of LEGOs is going to magically turn life-sized. What do you build? What happens when you’re finished?
- NASA just selected you to name a new planet discovered way out in the edge of the solar system. What do you name it and why?
- You’ve been asked to teach a child two years younger than you to do something. What are you going to teach and how will you do it?
- What’s the best part about being your age?
- You discover a secret door in a tree that can instantly transport you to any one place in the world. Where are you going?
- You’ve been given 100 plastic bags and asked to upcycle them. How are you going to use them?
- If you could change one thing about today, what would it be? Why?
- You just found some seeds and planted them. You never imagined that this would grow…
- There are 15 kids coming over to your house tomorrow. What activities are you going to do? What should you serve for a snack?
- What book should all students in your grade read? Why?
- What makes you unique?
- What is inside the picnic basket for your perfect afternoon picnic?
- An awful villain has just invaded two of your favorite television shows and now the characters must work together to save the day. Who is involved and what happens?
- If you could decorate your room anyway you wanted, what would it look like?
- What is a book or movie that really needed a sequel? What should have happened in it?
- You’ve been asked to take pictures of your favorite snack for a food blog. What are you photographing and how will you stage your shots?
- You and your friends just created a YouTube channel for kids. What are your videos going to be about?
- What is your favorite treat and how is it prepared?
- You’re supposed to be cleaning your room. But, when you open your closet door you are instantly transported to…
Enjoy These Creative Writing Prompts for Kids
What’d you think of these creative writing prompts for kids? Are there any that you know your kids will love writing about?
If you’re looking for even more ways to keep your kids engaged while you get some work done, check out these resources:
- The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Family Writing Time (my eBook that helps you create the habit and offers dozens of creative ideas)
- 9 Fall Activities to Keep Your Kids Busy While You Write a Blog Post
- 50 Fun Activities for Kids
- 25 My Little Pony Activities for Kids
- Unlocking Kids’ Brain Power: Semi-Weekly Writing Prompts to Expand Young Minds
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Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.