Writing Prompts for Kids

by , posted on May 7th, 2013 in The Reading Nook

How to encourage kids' writing with writing prompts

The ability to write is one of the most important skills that our kids can develop. Better writers are better thinkers and more creative problem solvers. No matter what our kids end up doing for paid work, strong communication skills are a must.

But what if your child is a reluctant writer? And even if they love writing, how can we help them avoid the “summer slide” in writing skills over summer vacation?

I have the solution – it’s a craft and a writing activity all rolled into one: a writing prompt jar.

Ever sat down to write and come up blank? Our kids are no different. Before you write anything, you need an idea. Writing prompts prime the pump of our kids’ creativity.

Getting Ready

Find a jar for your kids to decorate.

Write up some writing prompts and cut them into separate pieces. (I curled them around a pencil but you can fold them up too).

Need some ideas for writing prompts? Here are a few to get you started:

- If my dog could talk…
- Describe your favorite character from a book, a movie, or television.
- If you held a world record, what would it be in?
- For more, google “kids writing prompts”

Fill the jar.

writing prompts for kids

How to Use the Writing Prompts

Set aside 20 minutes and have your child ready with paper, pencil and eraser.

Your child will dig into the jar and pick one writing prompt. They don’t like it? Have them pick another one.

Help them plan how to respond to the prompt: brainstorm with you, act it out, or even draw their ideas. This will only take a few minutes.

Then get them writing. Set a timer so you know when time’s up.

Your Job

Don’t worry too much about the spelling or punctuation – this is about practicing their creative writing skills. Practice makes perfect!

When you read what they have written, find specific things to praise. “I like how you used the words brown and fluffy to describe the puppy” is much better than “good work”.

Writing prompts are all about stretching your kids’ imagination and giving their minds a healthy workout. And it’s a fun way to learn.

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4 Responses to “Writing Prompts for Kids”

  1. Audrey - This Little Street Says:

    May 7th, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Love this idea, thanks for sharing. Just got a few mason jars and planning on doing a series of them, with like ideas for when they are bored, dreams, fun moments of the year….and this one. Xx

  2. Sandra Says:

    May 7th, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Thanks Audrey. Funnily enough, the girl AND her friend picked some the other day during a play date. I’ve left the jar out on the counter.

    I love any idea that’s fun AND gets them writing!

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Did they? I love that. I’m going to do one this summer for the kids. It’s great to get them writing!

    Sandra Reply:

    I think it’s the combination of “fun” (the gamble of what will the prompt be) and “choice” (you can pick another one) that makes it work so well.

    It’s like having the craft supplies out – leave the jar out and it can become part of the week’s activities.

    No matter what your kids are interested in, you can craft the prompts to fit. Especially for reluctant writers – the topics/prompts can be about anything.

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