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As C.S. Lewis once said, “You can make anything by writing.” Young minds are constantly brewing with new ideas and a creativity that can be hard to recreate when you’re older. It’s incredibly important to help foster and encourage that creativity in your children from a young age.
Whether they enjoy building, drawing, painting, or writing, finding a way to connect with them on a creative level can help you understand them more deeply than you may have been able to before.
For those little ones that know how to find their way around a pencil and paper, providing them with fun and exciting new writing prompts can be a great way to keep their creative gears turning.
And, if you want to turn the activity into a family bonding experience, sit down with them and write a story of your own using the same writing prompt! Encourage them to use colorful and descriptive language, with no limitations on ideas or stories. By giving them the freedom to write the most fantastical stories they can come up with, you’re also giving them the tools to become creative, innovative real-world thinkers as they grow older.
Here are some fun, creative writing prompts to help encourage your little writer!
Level 1: Beginner
For those little ones just entering the world of writing who may know how to create complicated storylines or diverse sentence structures, these are a few easy, beginner-level writing prompts that can help them begin to grasp the basics of writing.
Push them to think outside the box and have fun with their stories, even if they make grammatical mistakes along the way.
1. Fiction: Describe your dream house – what’s it made of and what does it look like? What kind of rooms does it have? Where is your house located – is it on a cloud, in the forest, inside a volcano, or somewhere else? Can it do something interesting, like fly or float? Who all would live there and what would they do in the house?
2. Fantasy: Tell a story about what it would be like to meet your hero – it can be your favorite musician/writer/athlete/actor/etc, or maybe someone you know personally who has helped you somehow. Who is your hero and what are they like? What do you and your hero do together? Would you go see a movie or go to the amusement park? What does your hero look like and what would they wear? What would you and your hero talk about?
3. Science Fiction: Create a new type of animal. What do they look like? What can they do? Are they big or small? What do they eat? Where would they live, and would they get along with other animals or would they live alone? What makes your animal special?
Level 2: Intermediate
For young writers who are a little older and may want some more challenging writing prompts, we also have some fun prompts that allow them to begin their journey deeper into character and world-building.
With these writing prompts, you can either work with them to help guide them through the world-building process, or you can work alongside them and build a world of your own! By writing a story that you can share with them once you’re both finished, you can help encourage them to keep writing even if the process becomes frustrating or stressful.
Helping your child embrace their creativity is a definite “monkey see, monkey do” situation, so don’t be afraid to get a little wild and silly with your own stories.
1. Science Fiction: You’ve flown into space and landed on a new planet. What are the planet’s inhabitants like? What do they look like and what is their society like? How do they treat you? Are you able to fit in quickly, or do you choose to go back to Earth? How do you get back home?
2. Fantasy: An ancient book of prophecies is discovered in the ruins of an ancient civilization. Only you can read the prophecies and the long-forgotten language. What is the language called and how do you know it? What do the prophecies say? Do you tell anyone about what you read? How do they handle these new prophecies and discoveries?
3. Mystery: Your best friend is in the hospital for a small surgery and when you go to visit them, they say that there’s another kid in the hospital that comes to play with them sometimes. You don’t know of any other kids in the hospital, so you decide to stay and meet this new friend. Who is this mystery playmate and what do they say to you? Are they mean or nice? What do you and your friend do with the other child?
Level 3: Advanced
For older writers who are more confident in their storytelling and world-building skills, here are some level-three writing prompts to challenge and inspire them. Encourage your young writer to really experiment with sentence structure, vocabulary, and fleshing out their fictional universe so it has a background and history.
Together, you and your young writer can write stories with interesting characters, innovative universes, and complex plot lines.
1. Adventure: A famous painting has been stolen from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and you, a famous detective, are called upon to recover it. Where is the painting and who took it? Why? How do you get it back? Describe how you find out the truth and the adventure you go on to get the painting back.
2. Fantasy: You hear strange voices coming from the attic of your great grandmother’s house the first time you visit, so you go to check it out and find a hidden room. In the room are a bunch of doors, and the strange voices are coming from the other side. A few of the doors are locked, but you find three that you can open. Do you go through the doors? What do you find on the other side? What happens while you’re exploring? Why are the other doors locked, and can you figure out how to unlock them? And who keeps trying to talk to you from behind the doors?
3. Romance: You receive a random text message with a countdown for when you’re meant to meet your soulmate. Where did the message come from, and who sent it? What do you do with it? Do you really meet your soulmate – and if so, what are they like? Does everyone get this message or is it just you?
Level 4: Expert
If your young writer feels confident in their writing skills, challenge them to these more expert writing prompts. Encourage them to write longer stories with more intricate plotlines and characters with complicated backstories.
Have them vary their sentence structures and writing style to create a more dynamic narrative. Write your own expert-level story alongside them and come together at the end to share your amazing, inspiring, and creative works of fiction!
1. Mystery: Your aunt went missing when you were very young, but when you’re 18, you receive a postcard from a place you’ve never heard of with a random address written on the back in your aunt’s handwriting. What do you do? Do you go searching for the sender? Where do you go and what do you find?
2. Romance: You’re visited by a person dressed in Regency period clothing. They tell you that you’re their first love, and call you by a name that isn’t yours. They show you an incredibly old picture of a person that looks just like you, but you have no idea who it is. What do you do next? Who is the person at your door, and who is the person in the picture?
3. Spooky: Your grandma gives you a secondhand locket she bought from a thrift store. Inside is an incredibly old picture of a girl neither of you knows, but the girl suddenly starts showing up everywhere – including in your dreams. Who is she? What does she want? And what do you do?
Do you have more writing prompts to help inspire young writers? Tell us in the comments!
About Draven Jackson
Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.
To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.