Creative Writing Ideas For 7 And 8 Year Olds

We are finally turning a huge corner in our homeschool when it comes to writing! This year, my 1st and 2nd grader (pretty equal in their writing abilities) are starting to write more on their own. I’m excited to share some creative writing project ideas we’ve been doing that don’t feel like school! They’ve actually improved their writing and I can see their confidence growing.

Below you’ll find short, natural, unschooly (just made that a word…) ways we’ve snuck in more writing this year. Some of these are so easy the kids don’t seem to think I’m checking that mental handwriting box off their daily to do list!

If you have a late writer, a sloppy writer, or a kid who avoids writing in the early elementary stages…this post is for you! Be sure to check out my homeschool resource page too! And if you are new to homeschooling, be sure to check out how to start homeschooling for the total beginner .

A handful of writing projects including mad libs, book bingo, a spinner, and mini books created by a 1st and 2nd grader.

My goal for 1st and 2nd grade writing

It’s been hard for me as a homeschool mom to trust the process…to believe they will write more when they are ready.

I’ve seen a huge leap in ability this year for both kids. My 7 year old has more stamina and desire to write, but lacks the spelling intuition because she’s a new reader. My 8.5 year old can spell quite a few things (or get close) because he is older and an avid reader. But he lacks the desire to write.

My goal for our homeschool writing at this stage:

  • Know what they have to say is important and can be put on paper!
  • Not worry so much about spelling perfection that they don’t write at all. (This is very hard for one of my kids.)
  • Find writing useful.
  • Write something every day , either in our handwriting books or creative writing projects.

This is largely inspired by Julie Bogart, author of Brave Learner .

What we’ve done to strengthen their hands up to this point

Before I tell you how I’ve seen my kids start to do more creative writing, I want to mention how they’ve learned to physically write letters.

Around preschool or kindergarten age we begin to do some letter tracing . (My oldest son was 5.5 and my daughter was 4). Totally different kids.

We had to back off of any pencil work with my son for a while and just encourage hand strengthening play like Legos, Play Doh, etc till he didn’t struggle so much.

My 3rd child just turned 5 and I’m going to hold off till he’s about 6 as well. So he’ll technically be in kindergarten when he learns to write his letters. It’s just SO much easier to wait.

Handwriting Without Tears as the foundation before writing projects

At the start of my kids 1st and 2nd grade year , I decided to have them start a formal handwriting curriculum (Handwriting Without Tears). I felt we needed a refresher on carefully writing letters. They were getting sloppy.

You can watch my YouTube video here on picking a level and what’s different about the kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade handwriting levels.

Levels we have:

  • 1st grade (My Printing Book)
  • 2nd grade (Printing Power)

Here’s a mid year update of how 1st and 2nd grade year has been going for all subjects if you want to read.

I love having a workbook so I can send them to do one page a day. I only have them do this if we don’t do any other writing for the day.

handwriting without tears copywork.

Copywork daily, except the days we do any other kind of writing

Handwriting Without Tears actually contains most of the copywork we do. We also copy 1-2 sentences from whatever book we are reading through the Brave Writer Darts , and we skip Handwriting Without Tears on those days.

As they’ve trained their hand to do the motions neatly, through copywork, it’s made writing on their own easier. They don’t have to think so hard about how to form an e, how to spell “the”, or how to space their words apart just right. It’s becoming automatic.

We don’t usually draw a picture with our copywork, but if you provide them with a space for it, like the one pictured below, I’m sure they’ll draw a picture more often!

Ok, onto writing projects I’ve asked them to do this year that don’t feel overwhelming!

copywork from Trumpet of the Swan plus pictures above.

Creative Writing Ideas for 7 And 8 Year Olds

1. making lists.

We’ve asked our 1st and 2nd grader to make a lot of lists this year. Christmas lists, birthday lists, lists of things to bring to the ocean, etc. You get the idea!

Lists are short, easy, and help them to group items.

a 1st grader writing a list

2. Scavenger Hunts

My husband made a short little scavenger hunt for the kids outside, with a piece of candy hidden with the last clue. They LOVED it. (Yes, he’s so fun like that!)

Anyways, it got their creative juices going because they’ve made their own too.

We’ve done it two ways.

  • One, they tell me what clues to write on strips of paper and I write it word for word.
  • They write the clues down and make up their own spelling or ask me here and there how to spell something.

I’ve learned from our Jot It Down curriculum by Brave Writer, that it’s ok to write for them if it’s their voice I’m writing. Contrary to what I’d believed, that they wouldn’t ever write if I do it for them, they have actually started writing their own with no coercion from me.

3. Book bingo from the library

Our library does this genius thing and makes a book bingo card every 3 months. The kids can fill in book titles they’ve read and turn it in for a change to win $50. Have we ever won? Nope. Are my kids motivated to fill theirs out? Yes!

Since my kids CAN write, I ask them to write the book titles in. It’s things like “Name of a book you read under a tree” or “Name of a book based on a true story”. Things like that.

book bingo papers written on by kids with book titles in the bingo squares.

4. Mini books

These are SO cute and the small size makes them less scary to the kids. We take a piece of printer paper, fold it in half and half again. Then cut the folds, stack, staple, and ta-da, you have a mini book.

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

My 2nd grader made a bug book, and my 1st grader made an animal book! We did this project maybe once a week, twice if I could remember.

Each time they’d pick ONE creature. They’d draw it (or cut it out of a magazine), and write something interesting about it from our Golden Books or from memory.

Whatever they wanted. No rules. Except sometimes I’d make them write a little more or add some color to the page. This will probably be the highlight keepsake for their homeschool records I keep this year!

BTW, I LOVE our Golden Guide Books for things like this, and also nature study. We have older ones, but the newer ones are very similar with updated covers. Here’s a few:

  • Reptiles and Amphibians
  • Butterflys and Moths
  • Rocks, Gems, and Minerals

5. Making a spinner

It’s super easy to make a spinner! To make this a writing project, your kids can be in charge of writing down what’s on the spaces.

We did this randomly one day when my son needed a prize for his sister for a game he made up. (I didn’t have any candy to his disappointment). So he made a spinner with cool prizes she could get. It melted my heart, not gonna’ lie.

a homemade paper spinner with a brad in the middle.This is a creative writing project perfect for 7 and 8 year olds!

How to make a spinner:

Trace something round on thick cardstock paper, (we used a bowl). Then, using a ruler draw your lines making as many sections as you like. Put a brad through the middle, with a paperclip (not pictured below) on the brad as the spinner.

What else could you make a spinner for? Here’s a few ideas:

  • Activities for a game like Simon Says.
  • Physical activity spinner where there’s actions on it like “10 jumping jacks” or “run around the house once”.
  • An “I’m bored” spinner with things to do on it.
  • Shows they like to watch but seem to argue over choosing…hmmm….this could be a good one!

6. Writing letters to family

Writing grandma or a cousin a letter is the perfect way to practice handwriting. I wish we did this more regularly.

Think of all they are learning here, while finding a PURPOSE in writing!

  • Caring about someone
  • Handwriting
  • Where the stamp goes
  • Their address
  • Drawing a picture

It’s also fun to put a little flat surprise in a letter if you can. The kids love it! A piece of gum, a sticker, a picture, origami, a photo, or even a dollar bill if it’s to another kid.

a handwritten letter by a 1st grader as a creative writing project idea for 7 and 8 year olds.

7. Labeling pictures

If you keep a nature journal, have your kids learn and label what they draw. Plus the date, and where they found it! These are short, small bursts of writing but they can do it and it has a purpose!

You could also trace their body outline on a long paper roll and have them label things like arms, legs, hair, etc.

Feel free to let them sound it out and guess spelling, help them spell it as they ask, or just write words down for them on a scratch piece of paper that they can copy onto their project.

A picture hand drawn by a small child and labeled in child's handwriting.

8. Mad Libs

We do this 2 ways.

  • I write while they practice thinking of verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc.
  • They write while I answer what verbs, nouns, adjectives which is where handwriting comes in.

This is SO fun. They ask to do this because it’s funny, doesn’t feel like school, and I love that it practices language arts and handwriting in such a natural way.

mad libs written by a 2nd grader for creative writing

9. Birthday cards

I have the kids make homemade birthday cards for any friend’s party they go to. I’ve found it’s easiest to write something they can copy so I don’t have to sit around.

Do I correct their spelling? Not unless they ask…here’s why.

There was a ton of “Mom, how do you spell —” for all these projects.

I used to stress over if I should do this or not. Would I create a dependence on me by helping them spell so much? Meh. For these projects…If they ask, I tell them. If they don’t ask and do creative spelling…I let them.

What I’ve found is they ask less as they get more familiar with common words . Also, the more they read, the better they get at spelling . Someday I may even do that teacher-y thing and get a poster up with a bunch of common words they can reference.

My oldest spells much better as he’s read TONS of books. He was an early reader, and can see the word’s spelling in his head often times. My 7 year old is just starting to read more, so spelling is farther off for her.

How I help them with spelling when they ask

With these creative writing projects for 7 and 8 year olds, I’m NOT concerned with perfection. I do want them to think about the sounds they know a word makes, like “black”.

If they write it on their own and spell it “blak” I’m ok with that for now. I’m also ok asking them, “How do you think you spell the sound bl in black?” They can often get that. Then I’ll help them finish the word if needed.

If I absolutely don’t want to be available to help with their spelling, I’ll tell them to write it how they think it sounds, and we can edit later if they want to. This *usually* satisfies them.

More homeschool posts and videos!

  • Pros and cons of homeschooling
  • First Grade Math With Confidence review
  • Switching to Singapore Math from Masterbooks
  • Singapore Math Primary 2022 Vs Math With Confidence comparison for 1st grade
  • Lily and Thistle Free Watercolor Birds Tutorials we use

If you enjoy video reviews and homeschooling tips, come on over and subscribe to my YouTube channel! Also check out my homeschool printables on Etsy . Thanks for supporting my blog by reading and sharing this post!

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Creative writing techniques for kids: a step-by-step guide to writing a story

Girl writing in notebook

The way literacy is taught in primary schools has changed radically in the last couple of decades; when I was at school in the 80s we copied from blackboards, had whole hours of handwriting practice and sweated over spellings without any formal teaching of phonics whatsoever. While I think the more structured approach to literacy teaching we see in classrooms today makes learning more fun and accessible, my one worry is that there’s little time left for writing creatively.

When I was at school I adored writing stories – even stories with chapters and illustrations. I know my author brother did too – we found some of his old stories a few years back, and I felt so pleased he’d had the time to write these endless pages of action, adventure, characterisation and twisting plotlines.

As a primary teacher I ensured I would have a week each term when, during literacy sessions, we would focus solely on creating stories. I wasn’t deviating from the curriculum – far from it. During this week children would be consolidating their learning of phonics and  be ‘writing for purpose’, considering carefully the aspects of story and who their audience might be.

It may very well be that your children write stories at home regardless of whether they’re required to for school, because most children have a seemingly natural urge to want to do so from time to time. This is just a little guidance on how you can support them and encourage a more structured approach to their story writing.

Plot planning

Firstly, ask your child where the story is going to take place . It could be somewhere fictional or real, it could be a planet, a country, a town or a house – anywhere! 

Then, ask when the story is taking place – now? In the future? In the past? 

Finally ask what they think is going to happen . Remember that this doesn’t have to be accurate and they don’t have to stick to what they say; many of the best writers say that their plots develop organically as they write. If they do have a firm idea of where they want to go with the plot, though, they can create an outline by completing a story planner, which could look something like this:  

  • And finally….

Download a FREE Creative Writing toolkit!

  • KS1 & KS2 workbooks
  • Bursting with fill-in prompt sheets and inspiring ideas
  • Story structure tips, style guides and editing suggestions

Characterisation

Ask your child who is going to be in the story. How do they want their readers to feel about each character? Again, they may want to jot some ideas down. You could make a table for them to help them organise their thoughts, with these headings:  

  • Name of character
  • Relationship to other characters
  • What he/she looks like

Story language

Ask your child to think of some fabulous words to use in their story writing . They might be long words or simple ones, or they might be great descriptive words or words that help create pace and tension. Encourage them to jot these down and refer to the list as they write their story.

Story starters

All writers know that you’ve got to capture the attention of your readers right from the start; you want to make them desperate to read on. Ask your child to think of some good story openers that’ll entice people to find out more. Here are a few examples:

First sentences that are mysterious… Molly had no sense of the day that lay ahead.

Story starters that use language tricks like alliteration… It was damp, dark and dreadfully dusty when Molly entered the house.

Story openers that create tension… Molly could hear her heart beating faster than ever before. Could this really be happening?

Stories that go straight into dialogue… “But I don’t want to go to school, Mummy,” groaned Molly.

Encourage your child to look at some of the books they like to read and see how they begin in order to offer inspiration.

Get writing!

Once they’ve got all of these ideas in place, they can start writing. They could do a draft in the first instance and then a neat, polished version later. They may wish to write in short chapters, use illustrations, or make their own book to write in – let them use their imagination and creativity when it comes to presentation, and make sure you show how much you value the end product by keeping it to read again with the other books in your house.

If your child finds writing a story a little daunting, start with something small from our list of 9 fun writing projects to do with your children .

We also recommend the free art and creative writing challenges on the Night Zookeeper website ; your child will be contributing to a co-created animated television show.

You could also try a great story-making app and get your child writing fiction on their tablet!

Plus, find out how to support storytelling skills for children in EYFS , KS1 , KS2 and KS3 to get them thinking about story elements, plot and character development.

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300 Fun Writing Prompts for Kids: Story Starters, Journal Prompts & Ideas

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Are you a parent or teacher? Here are 300 fun and creative writing prompts for kids to spark the imagination of young writers everywhere. Use these kids writing ideas as journaling prompts, story starters or just for fun!

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It’s never too early to start writing, and so we’ve created this fun list of 300 creative kids writing prompts for teacher and parents to use.

You’ll love these fun ideas for kids writing prompts to use as creative sparks to get young imaginations writing in no time!

writing prompts for kids

These are perfect to use as kids journal writing prompts, as short story writing prompts, or just for exercises to help students and children of all ages tap into their creativity. Maybe your kids will write an essay, maybe a poem, or maybe even a whole book!

Whether you are a teacher or parent looking to inspire your kids to write, or maybe even an adult who would like to practice writing with a more playful and young-hearted approach, I hope you find these creative writing prompts inspiring!

Buy the Printable Cards!  We will always have this list of 300 kids writing prompts available for free, but I’m very excited to now also offer an  ad-free printable version of these prompts  in my online Etsy shop. Thank you for your support!

The Ultimate List of 300 Fun & Creative Writing Prompts for Kids

#1. Imagine a giant box is delivered to your front doorstep with your name on it. What’s inside and what happens when you open it?

#2. Write a short story about what it might be like if you woke up one morning with a mermaid tail.

#3. Which is better, winter or summer? Write about the reasons why you think winter or summer is better.

#4. Write about what would it be like if you had an alligator as a pet.

#5. If you had $1,000, what would you buy and why?

#6. Write a story using these 5 words: apple, train, elephant, paper, banjo

#7. What do you want be when you grow up and why?

#8. Who is your favorite person on the planet? What do you like most about that person?

#9. If you could have any secret super power, what would you want it to be and why?

#10. Write about 3 places you would like to travel someday. What do these three places have in common?

#11. Write about a time you felt really happy. What happened? What made you feel happy?

#12. Imagine what would happen if someone shrunk you down to be only 1″ tall. How would your life change?

#13. If you were in charge of the whole world, what would you do to make the world a happier place?

#14. Write a story about what it would be like to climb to the very top of the highest mountain in the world.

#15. If you were in charge of planning the school lunch menu, what foods would you serve each day?

#16. What are some of your favorite animals? What do you like about them?

writing prompt card for kids example

#17. Imagine that dogs take over the world. What do they make the humans do?

#18. Write a story about flying to outer space and discovering a new planet.

#19. You are a mad scientist and have invented a new vegetable. What is it called? What does it look like? What does it taste like? Most importantly: Is it safe to eat?

#20. You go to school one morning to discover your best friend has been turned into a frog by an evil witch! How do you help your friend?

#21. Describe what it is like when trees lose all of their leaves in the autumn season.

#22. Write about your favorite sport and why you like it so much.

#23. Imagine what it might be like to live on a boat all the time and write about it.

#24. If you had one wish, what would it be?

#25. Write about what you might do if you have the super power to become invisible.

#26. You are walking through the forest when one of the trees starts talking to you. What does it say? What do you do?

#27. The weather forecast is calling for a blizzard in the middle of the summer. What do you do?

#28. What types of transportation will people have in the future?

#29. What were some of your favorite toys when you very little? Do you still enjoy playing with them?

#30. What would a day in your life be like if you were a movie star?

#31. Imagine you’ve invented a time machine! What year do you travel to?

#32. What are your favorite things to do over summer vacation?

#33. What is your favorite holiday and why?

#34. If you could meet any fictional character from a book, who would it be?

#35. You are writing a travel guide for kids visiting your city. What places do you think they should visit?

#36. What is a food you hate? Write about it!

#37. Imagine what it would be like if there was no electricity. What would be different in your daily routine?

#38. You are building a new city! What types of things do you think your city needs? How will you convince people to move to your new city?

#39. What is your favorite movie? Write your review of the movie and why you think people should watch it.

magic sweater writing prompt for kids

#40. Imagine you get a magic sweater for your birthday. What happens when you wear the sweater? What do you do with these new found magical powers?

#41. You are the security guard at the zoo and someone has stolen a rhinoceros! How do you track down the thief?

#42. You have been invited to have lunch with the queen. What foods do you eat and what topics do you and the queen discuss?

#43. If you could design a school uniform, what types of clothes would you suggest? What colors would they be?

#44. Imagine you are a reporter interviewing a celebrity about their life. What questions do you ask?

#45. You are running a lemonade stand. Describe the steps for how you make lemonade and the types of customers you see during the day.

#46. Write a story about being the ruler of an underwater world.

#47. Write an acrostic poem for the word “treehouse”.

#48. You decide to grow a sunflower, but the sunflower grows so tall it reaches up to the sky! Write about what happens when you decide to climb to the top. What do you discover?

#49. Imagine you look out the window and it is raining popsicles from the sky! Write a story about the experience.

#50. If you could be any animal, which one would you be and why?

#51. If you were on a spaceship, what would you be most excited about seeing?

#52. Do you have any pets at home? Write an essay about how you take care of your pets. If you do not have a pet, what type of pet might you like?

writing prompts for pets

#53. Imagine you are opening a store that only sells items which are blue. What types of items do you sell?

#54. Have you ever lost something that is important to you? Were you able to find it?

#55. Write a story about a kid who is moving to a new school. How do you think they might feel?

#56. Rewrite the ending of your favorite fairy tale. For example, what would have happened if Cinderella never went to the ball?

#57. Have you ever forgotten to do your homework? What happened?

#58. Do you have a favorite song? Write about the type of music you like to listen to.

#59. Imagine your parents wake you up one morning to tell you they will take you to do anything you want to do for the whole day – you don’t even have to go to school or do your chores. What would you choose to do and why?

#60. Do you like amusement parks? What are some of your favorite rides?

#61. Write a story using these three words: detective, piano, and pizza.

#62. Have you ever been to the beach? Write about your favorite things to do. If you have never been to the beach, what would you like to do the first time you visit?

#63. Is there a favorite tv show you like to watch? Write about your favorite character and why they are your favorite.

#64. Write a poem using onomatopoeia , where the words you use are pronounced similar to the sound they make. For example, buzz, bark, sizzle, slam and pop.

#65. Have you ever had to stand in line to wait a long time for something? What did you do while you waited? How did you feel while waiting? How did you feel once the wait was over?

#66. Is it a good idea to keep ALL secrets a secret? Write about examples of when it is okay to spill a secret – and when it isn’t.

#67. Is there something you are good at doing? Write about your best strengths.

#68. What historical time period and location would you go back to live in if you could? Write about it!

#69. Write about 5 things you can do that are important for you to stay healthy and safe.

#70. Do you think thunderstorms are scary? Why or why not?

#71. What would you most like to learn over the next year? Think about things that interest you or questions you might have about the world and make a list!

#72. You are going on a trip to a jungle safari! What items do you pack in your suitcase?

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

#73. Imagine you are sitting at home one day and you hear someone shrieking in the living room they see a mouse in the house! Write a story about what might happen next.

#74. You are writing a letter to someone who is having a hard time making new friends at school. What do you write? What advice do you give them?

#75. Imagine you just met a magician – but their beloved rabbit who they pull out of a hat for all the tricks has been kidnapped! How do you help find the rabbit?

#76. Do you hear what I hear? Set a timer for 5 minutes and write about all of the sounds you hear in those 5 minutes.

#77. Imagine you go to get a haircut and they accidentally shave your head! How do you feel about that and what would you do?

#78. Do you find it easy to talk to people you don’t know? What are some ways you can start up a conversation with someone you have never met before?

#79. Are there any chores you have to do at home? What are they? What do you like – and not like – about each one?

#80. Open up a random book to any page. Write for 5 minutes about the first word you read.

#81. Pretend you are a writer for your city’s newspaper. Who would you like to interview for a news story and why?

#82. There are many fictional characters who live in unusual houses, such as the old woman who lived in a shoe. What kind of unusual house would you like to live in? Write about what it would be like to live in an unusual house!

#83. Write a list of 10 things you can do to practice kindness to others.

#84. Is there a homework subject you dread? Why do you not like getting homework in that subject?

#85. What is your favorite month of the year? Write about why you like it and some of your favorite things to do during that month.

#86. Imagine you are planning a surprise birthday party for someone. How do you keep it a surprise?

#87. Pretend you walked outside to find a sleeping dragon in the grass! Why is the dragon there? Is it a friendly dragon? What do you do? Write about it!

#88. What are you grateful for today and why?

#89. You were on your way to a very important event when you fell into a puddle. Now what?

#90. Have you ever watched a movie and didn’t like how it ended? Write what you think should happen instead.

#91. Can you answer this riddle from Alice in Wonderland ? How is a raven like a writing desk?

#92. Imagine you are the captain of a pirate ship. Write a diary entry for what your day was like.

#93. If you could start any type of business, what kind of business would you start? What types of products or services would you provide?

#94. Write a sequel to one of your favorite fairy tales. For example, what was Goldilocks’s next adventure after she left the bears?

#95. What is something you are afraid of? What helps you to feel less afraid of something? What would you say to a friend who feels scared to help them feel less afraid?

#96. Write a letter to your future self in 20 years.

kids writing prompts and ideas

#97. In addition to basic survival needs such as food, water, air and shelter, what are 3 things you would you need to be happy?

#98. If you could invent a robot of any type who could do anything you imagine, what types of things would you would have the robot to do?

#99. Which do like better? Apples or Oranges? How are they alike? How are they different?

#100. Why did the chicken cross the road? You are a detective and are assigned to the case. How do solve the mystery?

#101. Write instructions for how to make your favorite snack. Be sure you add your favorite tips and suggestions for how to select the best ingredients!

#102. Imagine you borrowed a friend’s favorite lucky pencil to help you pass a math test – but then it snapped in half! How will you ever tell the news to your friend?

#103. Look around the current room you are sitting in and choose 3 random objects that are nearby. Now write a story or poem that includes those three items!

#104. Write a letter to the author of a book you recently read and tell them what you liked most about the book.

#105. Ernest Hemingway is famous for writing a six word story. Can you write a story in just 6 words?

#106. What do you think will be the future for cell phones? Will people still use them in 25 years or will something else take its place?

#107. Do you want to go to college? Why or why not?

#108. Write a story or poem about a kitten who wanders off and gets lost. How does the kitten find its way home?

#109. Currently, it is required by law that kids go to school. Do you think this is a good or bad idea?

#110. If you could invent a new board game, what would it be called? How is it played? What are the rules? What makes it fun to play? Write about it!

#111. Imagine you come home to discover your entire bedroom is covered in ketchup! What on earth happened? What is your reaction? How do you clean everything up?

#112. What is something you learned today?

#113. Would you rather have a goldfish or shark as a pet?

#114. From A-Z: make a list of something for every letter of the alphabet.

#115. Have you ever gone fishing? If you have, did you like it? Why or why not? If you haven’t, do you think you might want to?

#116. What is one of the most important things you do each and every day?

#117. Write a story about Gretchen the Grouch, a girl who is always angry! Will she ever be happy? Why is she so grumpy all of the time?

#118. How do you feel when someone takes something of yours without asking? What is a good way to deal with it when that happens?

#119. Write a poem that starts with the word “if”.

#120. Write a story about a family of rabbits who live in the woods. What are some of the challenges they face?

#121. What clothes do you think are the most comfortable? What kind of clothes do you like to wear the most? What clothes do you NOT like to wear?

#122. Imagine there are no grocery stores and you must get your own food. What are some of the ways you find food? What types of things do you eat?

#123. What are 3 things you can do that are good for the environment?

#124. If you could meet any famous person today, who would you want to meet and why? What questions might you ask them?

#125. A tongue twister is a quick poem where many of the words start with the same letter and are similar in sound. For example, “Peter picked a peck of pickled peppers.” Try writing your own with this fun kids writing prompt!

#126. What is the first thing you think of when you hear or see the word green?

#127. A hero is someone who is admired for their courage and achievements. What do you think makes someone a hero? Who are some of your heroes?

#128. What did you do during summer vacation last year? What do you want to do for summer vacation this year?

#129. Write a story about a super hero dog who saves the day! Who does the dog help and why?

kids journal prompts

#130. Would you rather live somewhere that is always cold, or somewhere that is always hot? Write about which one you would rather choose.

#131. Have you ever volunteered to help a charity? If so, write about the experience! If not, what are some charities you think you might like to volunteer for?

#132. What does the word courage mean to you?

#133. What makes you unique? What are some things about you that make you an individual?

#134. Have you ever been to a museum? What is your favorite thing to look at on display?

#135. What can you do to set a good example for others to be kind?

#136. A Tall Tale is a story that exaggerates something that actually happened. Write a tall tale about something that recently happened to you.

#137. What is one of your favorite toys that you think you might still want to have and play with when you are 22 years old?

#138. Oh no! Everyone around you is sick with a nasty cold! Write a silly poem about how you try to avoid catching their germs!

#139. Personification is when a non-living object takes on human characteristics. Write a story where you personify a common electronic gadget in your house, such as the Television or toaster.

#140. Write a poem using similes, which is when you say an object is like something else. Here is an example of a simile: “Her eyes were as blue as the sky.”

#141. Have you ever read a book written by Dr. Suess? Write your own “Suess-style” story, complete with rhymes and made up words.

#142. Do you have any siblings? Think about what it might mean to be a good brother or sister and write about it!

#143. Make a list of questions to interview your parents or grandparents about what it was like when they were growing up as a kid. Then, ask them the questions and write about their answers!

#144. You are in charge of writing a new radio show just for kids! What topics will you talk about? What music do you play?

#145. What do you usually eat for breakfast every day? What, in your opinion, is the greatest breakfast food ever created? What makes it so great?

#146. Write a 12 line poem where every line is about a different month of the year.

#147. What is something you look forward to doing the most when you are an adult?

Use these prompts in your classroom!  Get the  ad-free printable version of these prompts  to inspire your students to write! Thank you for your support!

#148. Do you like to try new things? What is something new you have tried recently or would like to try?

#149. Imagine what it might be like to be alive in Egypt when the pyramids were built. Write about what it was like.

#150. A credo is a statement of personal beliefs. Try writing your own credo for things that you believe in and feel are important.

#151. The circus has come to town but they have no place to perform! How do you help the ringmaster find a place to put on a show?

circus lion

#152. Do you like to act? What are some of your favorite actors or actresses? What do you think makes someone a good actor or actress?

#153. “Practice makes perfect” is a popular saying. What is something you like to practice so you can become better at it? A sport? A musical instrument? A special skill? Do you like to practice?

#154. Write about what it might be like to be water drops freezing and turning into ice.

#155. Do you think it is important to keep your room clean? What do you like about having a clean room?

#156. Imagine your parents are sending you away for a two week summer camp trip. Would you be excited? Why or why not?

#157. What are you currently learning about in history class? Write a fictional story about someone from the past you are learning about.

#158. Many wars have been fought in the past. Instead of going to war, what do you think countries could do to resolve their differences peacefully?

#159. Every year over 8 billion plastic bottles and cans are thrown away. What are some things you can do to help encourage your family and friends to recycle?

#160. Imagine if you were the principal of the school. What might you do differently? What things would you do that are the same? Write about it!

#161. Pretend that one day you are at your neighbor’s house and you notice a strange noise coming from the basement. You go downstairs to investigate to see a large machine running with many lights and buttons. Why is it there?

#162. Write an essay that starts with the line, “Tomorrow, I hope…”

#163. If you could give one thing to every child in the world, what would you want to give them?

#164. Do you have a piggy bank at home? How do you earn money to add to your savings?

writing ideas for kids

#165. What qualities make a house a home? What are 3 things you think every house should have?

#166. Would you rather go scuba diving or rock climbing? Write about which one you think you would like to do more and why.

#167. Do you think it is a good idea for kids to write a daily journal? What are some of the benefits of writing every day?

#168. Do you like watching fireworks or are they too noisy? Write about a time when you saw fireworks in the sky.

#169. Oh no! Your friend has turned into a statue! How did this happen? What do you do? Does your friend ever turn back into a person again?

#170. If you could be any movie character, who would you be and why?

#171. A mysterious message appears in code on your computer screen. What could it mean?

#172. If you could go to work with one of your parents for a day, what do you think the day would be like? What types of things do your parents do at work all day long?

#173. Imagine you are the President and you are creating a new national holiday. What is your holiday about? How is it celebrated? What day of the year do you celebrate? Write about it!

#174. You won a never-ending lifetime supply of spaghetti noodles! What will you do with all of these noodles?

#175. Would you rather be a bunny rabbit or a hawk? Why did you choose the one you chose?

#176. Your teacher has been acting mysterious lately. After school one day, you notice a weird green light shining through underneath the door of your classroom. What do you do? What is happening with your teacher?

#177. Write an article about tips for how kids can be more organized and study well for tests.

#178. Look at any product in your house and read the ingredients labels. Research what each ingredient is. Do you think these ingredients are good or bad for people?

#179. If you were a doctor, what do you think would be the most important part of your job every day?

#180. The school librarian needs your help! A truck just arrived with 2,000 books and she can’t fit all the books onto the shelves! What do you do? How do you find a place to put all these books?

#181. Do you think it would be fun to plant a garden? What types of plants would you want to grow? Write about your garden ideas.

#182. What is a sport or activity you would like to try playing for the first time?

#183. Do you think kids should be allowed to do the same things as adults? What things do you think kids should be able to do that only grown-ups can?

#184. Imagine you and your parents switch places for a day. Your parents are the kids and you are now in charge! What would you do?

#185. Write a get-well letter to someone who has been sick. What can you say to make them feel better?

#186. If you could visit any planet in the solar system, which planet would you like to visit the most and why? Write about what it might be like.

#187. Have you ever been to a farm? What did you like about it? If you haven’t been to a farm, do you think you might like to visit one? Why or why not?

#188. The mayor of the city has a big problem and needs your help! What is the problem and how will you solve it?

#189. Pretend your little sister ate carrots for dinner and the next morning woke up with rabbit ears!  How did this happen? What do you do? Will she be a rabbit forever?

#190. Imagine you wake up in the morning to find out you get to relive any day of your life again for the whole day. What day would you want to experience again and why?

#191. Do you think you might like to be a firefighter? Why or why not?

fire fighter writing prompt

#192. You are a lawyer and your client has been accused of stealing a car. How do you convince the jury your client is innocent?

#193. Think of the four elements: fire, air, earth, and water. Which of these four elements do you like the best?

#194. What would you do if you could be invisible for a whole day? Do you think you would enjoy it or be glad to be back to normal the next day? Write about it!

#195. Imagine you are a meteorologist and people are starting to get angry that your weather predictions are always wrong. What do you do?

#196. If you could create any law, what would it be? Why do you think the law is an important one to have?

#197. You are going incognito and need to hide to your identity so you aren’t recognized or discovered while you walk through the city. What type of disguise do you wear?

#198. Write a persuasive letter to your parents explaining why you should get a new pet. Make sure you provide a convincing argument they won’t be able to refuse!

#199. Your friend wants to do something dangerous. What should you do?

#200. How do you think the world would be different if there were no oceans?

#201. What do you do when someone disagrees with your opinions? Is there a better way to handle conflicting opinions?

#202. What do you think you as a kid could do to help encourage more people to read?

#203. Do you have a good luck charm? What makes this item lucky? When do you use it? How do you use it?

#204. What is at the end of a rainbow? Imagine you follow a rainbow to the end. What do you discover? Is it a pot of gold, or something else?

Use these prompts in your classroom!  Get the  ad-free printable version of these prompts  to inspire your students to write! Thank you for your support!

#205. What do you think the consequences should be for someone who is caught cheating on a test at school?

#206. Imagine you are riding your bike one day when you encounter an older kid who wants to steal your bike. What do you do?

#207. You are the lead singer and star of a famous rock and roll band, but there is one problem – your drummer is jealous of your fame! How do you solve this situation?

#208. If you could help a group of kids in any part of the world, what kids would you want to help the most and why? What are some things you think would help these kids?

#209. Everyone knows the house on the end of the street is haunted. What are some of the strange things that happen there? Why is the house haunted?

#210. You notice at school one day there is a door to a secret passage next to the janitor’s closet and decide to explore. Where does it lead? Why is it there? Do you go alone or bring a friend along?

#211. A bucket list is a list of things you want to accomplish in your lifetime. What are 5 things on your bucket list?

#212. Imagine the perfect treehouse or clubhouse for you and all of your friends as a place to hang out. Describe what it is like inside.

#213. Do you get bored easily? Make a list of things you can do whenever you feel like you are bored and there is nothing fun to do!

#214. Now vs. Then: Think about how today is different from one year ago. How have you changed? What things in your life are different?

#215. Write your autobiography about your life.

#216. It’s a heat wave! What do you do when the weather is hot? What are some of your favorite ways to stay cool?

#217. What are three important safety tips every kid should know to stay safe?

#218. What genre of books do you like to read the most? Write about the characteristics of the genre and list some of your favorite books as examples.

#219. Holiday Traditions: How does your family celebrate the different holidays and events? What are some traditions you do each and every year?

#220. Imagine one day in science class a science experiment goes terribly wrong and now you and all of your classmates have superpowers! What are your superpowers and what do you do with them?

superheroes writing prompts for kids

#221. Who is favorite teacher? Why are they your favorite?

#222. You are baking a cake, but you accidentally put salt in the cake instead of sugar. Nobody will eat it! How do you feel? What will you do next time?

#223. Do you think it is important to have good table manners? What do you think some good manners to practice might be?

#224. Many schools no longer teach cursive handwriting. Do you think this is a good or bad thing? Do you know how to write cursive handwriting? Would you like to learn if you haven’t?

#225. If you were the owner of a theme park, what types of rides and attractions would have? Describe what they would be like and why people would want to visit your park.

#226. Your parents give you $100 to spend at the grocery store. What do you buy and why?

#227. Some people who are alive today grew up without computers or video games. What would you do if you didn’t have a computer or video games? How would life be different?

#228. You walk into your living room and discover there is a giant elephant standing there. How did the elephant get there? What do you do about it? How do you explain the elephant in the living room to your parents?

#229. Have you ever had a weird dream? What happened in the dream? What do you think it means?

#230. Do you like to draw or paint? Write a story inspired by a painting, doodle, or sketch.

#231. You are being sent on a mission to outer space to live in a space station for 5 years. What supplies do you pack and why?

#232. What is the scariest creature alive on earth? Describe in detail what makes it so horrifying.

#233. What do you think your pet might say if they could talk to you?

#234. Imagine your school is putting on a talent show. What act will you perform? What other acts will be in the show?

#235. If you could breathe under water, what would you do?

#236. What time of day do you think school should start? Write a convincing argument on why or why not the time of day school starts should change.

#237. If you were to start your own YouTube video channel, what would the videos on your channel be about?

#238. Do you like to cook? What are some things you like to make and eat?

#239. Your school is having a field day and you are in charge of planning the activities and games. What types of activities and games would you plan for the event?

#240. If you had a remote control drone that takes video of everything it sees from the sky and you could take it anywhere, what would you film? For example, the inside of a volcano or soar it over the plains of Africa.

#241. The Bermuda Triangle is an area of the ocean where many ships and planes have gone missing. Why do you think this could be? Write a story about what it might be like to travel there.

#242. There are 7 great wonders of the world – which one do you think is the most wonderful?

#243. If you could speak any foreign language fluently, which one would you like to speak and why?

#244. You are inventing a new flavor of ice cream! What is the new flavor called and what ingredients do you need to make it?

#245. Would you rather go to a baseball game or read a good book? What reasons do you have for your choice?

#246. You walk outside to get your mail and your mailbox starts talking to you! What does your mailbox have to say?

#247. Imagine you are a famous person. What are you most famous for? What is it like to be famous?

#248. What do you think would be the most fun job in the world to have? Give examples of why you think it would be a fun job to have.

#249. Write a poem about an object that is shiny and dazzling.

#250. Do you like to watch the Olympics? Why or why not? If yes, what is your favorite Olympic sport?

#251. What kind of car do you want to drive when you are older? Do you think learning to drive will be easy or hard?

#252. What do you think would make for a great gift to give someone on their birthday?

#253. Describe a time when you needed help and someone helped you. What did they help you with and how did it make you feel?

#254. If you could be any type of fruit or vegetable, what would you be and why?

Love these prompts?  Get the  ad-free printable version of these prompts  to use at home or in the classroom!

#255. Do you think it is more important to have a good imagination or have all the facts proven?

#256. Do you have a favorite aunt, uncle, or another relative? Write a story about their life and why you like to be with them.

#257. Think of a time you laughed really, really hard. What was so funny? Why were you laughing? Write about it!

#258. Write a poem about an emotion. For example: happy, sad, angry, embarrassed, guilty.

#259. Do you ever have a hard time falling asleep? What are some things that help you feel sleepy?

#260. If you could drive a car, where would you drive and why?

#261. Imagine you are trading places with your friend for a day. What will it be like to be at their house? What will your friend think while they are at your house? Write about it!

#262. If you could break a world record, what would it be? What do you think would be necessary to be able to break the world record?

#263. Imagine you live in Colonial times. What would it be like to grow up as a kid in Colonial America?

#264. You are building a new city. What is the name of your city? What is the weather like? What buildings will you build?

#265. What do you think it would be like to work as a sailor on big ship in the ocean each day?

ocean writing prompt

#266. Imagine you are the teacher for the day. What types of activities do you make the students in the class do?

#267. How would you feel if your parents told you that you would be getting a new baby brother or sister? Write about it!

#268. Do you know any good jokes? What are some of your favorite jokes? What makes them funny? Do you think you could write your own?

#269. Imagine you are floating down a river on a raft. What types of things can you see from the river that you normally wouldn’t see from the land?

#270. You want to start a new hobby collecting something. What kinds of things would you collect and why?

#271. Your mom announces she is having a yard sale. Would you let her sell any of your things? Why or why not?

#272. Imagine you walk out your front door one morning and it is raining popcorn! What do you do?

#273.  You are camping in the woods one night and hear a scary noise. What do you do? What might be the cause?

#274. What do you think might make kids really happy to go to school? What are some things you think schools should do so that it could be more fun?

#275. Today’s lunch at the cafeteria was unusually horrible. You are a detective on the case to investigate. What do you think is the cause?

#276. If you had a tree that grows money, what would you do?

#277. What would you do if you had a unicorn as a pet?

#278. Would you rather go to the zoo or go to the aviary? Which one would you pick and why?

#279. What are some safety tips you should follow when riding a bike?

#280. You are designing the cover of a magazine. What are some of the headlines on the cover?

#281. Are you afraid of the dark? Why or why not?

#282. If you could learn to play any type of musical instrument, which one would you like to learn how to play and why?

#283. Imagine you are playing a sport that involves a ball, such as soccer, baseball or kickball. What would it be like if the ball could talk?

#284. You come home to discover a friendly alien has been living in your closet. What do you do? Why is there an alien in your closet?

#285. Is there something you are afraid of that you wish you weren’t afraid of? Write about it.

#286. Write about the best party you’ve ever been to. What made the day fun and special?

#287. What makes you feel loved and cared about? What are some ways people can show you that they love and care about you?

#288. There is a kite flying competition coming up and you are going to design your own kite. What will your kite look like? What colors will it be? Will it have any certain shape?

#289. You are given the challenge to drop an egg on the floor – without it breaking! What are some things you might try to make sure the egg won’t break?

#290. What are some of the things you can do every day to stay healthy?

#291. Do you think grown-ups are boring? Why do you think they are so boring all of the time? What is something fun that boring grown-ups could do instead of being so boring?

#292. Write a lyrical poem or song about what kids do while they are at school all day long.

#293. What are the first things you like to do when you are done with school each day? What are some of the activities you like when you are not at school?

#294. Imagine dinosaurs were still alive today. How do you think our lives would be different?

#295. Would you rather visit a volcano or a desert? Which one would you choose and why?

#296. Is there a sound you think is annoying? What types of sounds drive you crazy? Write about them!

#297. What do you think it would be like to be the size of an ant for a day? What types of things would you do?

Writing Prompt: What would it be like if your teddy bear came to life?

#298. Imagine one of your stuffed animals comes to life and starts talking to you. What types of things will you talk about? What will you do?

#299. What makes you feel happiest? Write about the things in life that make you feel happy!

#300. Imagine there is no gravity. What kind of things would you do you for fun? How would some of the things you already do for fun be different?

Buy the Printable Cards!  We will always have this list of 300 kids writing prompts available for free, but I’m very excited to now also offer an  ad-free printable version of these prompts  in my online Etsy shop. Thank you for your support!

Parents and teachers, I hope you enjoyed these 300 writing prompts for kids and that you will use them to inspire your children’s creative imaginations.

These prompts of course can be used in a number of different ways and can be adapted for a variety of different styles of writing !

What do you think? Do you think these are good conversation and story starters for kids? Do you have any ideas for writing prompts you would like to share?

And of course, if you’d like to make it super fun and easy to use these prompts at home or in your classroom, be sure to get our ad-free printable version of these kids writing prompt cards now available in my Etsy shop.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on different creative writing ideas and topics for kids to write about! Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Chelle Stein wrote her first embarrassingly bad novel at the age of 14 and hasn't stopped writing since. As the founder of ThinkWritten, she enjoys encouraging writers and creatives of all types.

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48 comments.

These are awesome! I feel like answering the questions myself! Thanks a million!

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed them! 🙂

Lovely and amazing help

I wrote all 300! but my fingers hurt badly now. :l But i got to admit these are exellent questions!

Hi. Thanks for this list. So many great ideas. I will definitely use some of them for my Language Arts class.

hi people THIS WAS SO LONG but so worth it for my class thx mate

This was great for homework

Thank you for the topics. It was really helpful

Your writing prompts are awesome

These are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing. I will definitely be using it with my kids.

Thank you! I hope they enjoy the writing prompts!

I love these, they are awesome and very helpful too. Thank you very much.

these questions hooked me on easily thanks your the best!

They are all good prompts

This is always good and improves the brain.

These are very useful and very enjoyable topics, i enjoy by giving these to my students , their creations are marvelous

It’s was very long but worth it

This is good. I love it. It helps me in my studies. I share it with my friends children that likes the writing. We love it. Please, think of another writing.

Thanks! Worth printing and providing for my middle school students as a first week of the year activity. Must have taken you ages to come up with all 300 of these!

I’m glad to hear you can use them for your students! It did take some time, but it’s well worth it knowing it might inspire kids to write! 🙂

You need a printable version of this!!

Hi Katelyn, we have one! https://gumroad.com/UBnsO Hope you enjoy!

The link doesn’t seem to be working for me… Could you send me a copy of the list, please?

Hi Tori, the printable version of this post is available as an ad-free paid upgrade – you can purchase it through my Gumroad store: https://gum.co/UBnsO

I quite liked your ideas, I’ll try a few, surely!

How long did it take for you guys to make 300 ideas?

Definitely took some time Vilenti, but it was definitely worth writing all of them! Our prompts reach over a million people a year and are used in literacy, poverty, and mental health programs worldwide. 🙂

These were awesome, thanks a TON

i have school work and this is one thing i do.

i do this for school work to

i do this for school work

Hello Chelle, thanks a lot for this. During these tough Covid times, I find your list to be a great idea to engage kids. Have got them started on some today. Hopefully this will be a long term engagement for them.

The prompts are grrrreat

This was really helpful i have looked for a lot of these, that have a lot of topics and only found one other good one and finished it all, i got to 17 and was like are they all this good! And they all are so thanks!

Glad you enjoyed them!

These are awesome

These are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing.

I loved looking at these prompts!! They were very helpful. I am loving writing and supporting my claims with these prompts. You should post more ideas!! Thanks for sharing the prompts.

Do you have any more?

This really was think written

I’d like to use a few of your questions in a journal for adults that I am creating for sale. I will absolutely credit you at the beginning of the book. Is that okay with you or not? I don’t want to infringe on any copyright laws. I think I used about ten of them.

Hi Kristen, you cannot use these prompts for products for sale, that would definitely be an infringement on copyright. These prompts can only be used for non-commercial use.

this is the greatest app ever

I like all the questions

thank you for all the ideas they are so good

OMG These are all very good and many questions i like all these Thankyou soooooooooooo much for these

I’m in class doing this and it is so fun yes every body is doing this

I LOVE these! My daughter and I stumbled across a post full of fun writing prompts on another website but they were more geared for adults. This list is HUGE and perfect for us to tackle together. Thank you! ❤️

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7 great ways to encourage kids’ writing

by: The GreatSchools Editorial Team | Updated: December 7, 2023

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7 great ways to encourage kids’ writing

It’s natural for young children to bubble over with ideas, schemes, and jokes. Unfortunately, capturing those ideas on paper does not always come as easily. Here’s how you can help your child get in the flow and learn to enjoy writing.

Help your reluctant writer at home

If your child struggles with writing, practicing at home will help, but you don’t want to make it seem like another school chore. The answer is to sneak writing into play — and vice versa.

As Joseph Pearce says in The Magical Child , “The child can never learn to play without the parent playing with the child. Play … is a huge creative potential built within the child, which never develops unless it is stimulated by the adult model, the parent.”

Remember that your role as a home writing coach is to have fun and to honor your child’s imagination. You don’t have to be the drill sergeant in charge of spelling. In fact, research shows us that in the long run, it’s far more important to encourage the communication of ideas than to hamper a child’s style for the sake of correct spelling.

Here are three key lessons from research that help back up the ideas shared here. “ Three lessons from the science on how to teach writing ,” a 2014 meta-analysis in The Hechinger Report , provides suggestions based on hundreds of studies. First, they advise trying to encourage all kids to write for 15 minutes a day, with extra time beyond that being even more helpful for maximizing writing skills. Poland raised their PISA scores after they implemented a rule requiring kids to spend four hours reading and writing each week.

“Write on a computer” is the second lesson. Why? Using software with spelling and grammar correction relieves kids from these distracting and demoralizing burdens, allowing them to focus on the substance of what they are trying to communicate. The third and final tip, “Grammar instruction doesn’t work” backs up the second lesson. According to the report, six different studies showed that writing quality deteriorates when kids are taught traditional grammar rules. Their essay grades drop below those of students spared the tedium of memorizing the functions of irregular verbs, conjugations, indirect objects, future perfect tense, and the like.

The root of the word “communication” is “to commune” — in other words, to coax the ideas in your child’s brain down through the paper and up into your brain. You can help by:

  • Saying, “Let’s play a game.” There’s no need to mention “writing game” if your child is a reluctant writer
  • Choosing subjects your child loves, like brontosauruses or monster movies or soccer or TV shows.
  • Talking through ideas, asking questions, and listening carefully to answers.
  • Making drawings, notes, and story maps together, if your child can’t remember ideas.
  • Taking dictation or having your child use a computer.
  • Praising honestly and liberally.
  • Keeping games short.
  • Sharing the work! Post written work on the wall or refrigerator, or sending it to family members and friends. Writing is meant to be shared.
  • Quitting if it isn’t fun for your child or for you.

Try these writing games for grades K-2

Eat your words.

The reluctant writer of any age often needs to return to the word level. Make it fun by baking dinner rolls or cookies in the shape of words that mean something to your child. For example, if your child loves comic books, bend purchased dough into “Pow!” or “Shazam!” If it’s their birthday, bake their wish, like “Gameboy II.” (And if all this is too messy, use PlayDough or craft clay for words — but don’t eat it.)

Pretend you are stranded on an island somewhere in your apartment, house, garage, or local park. You need to write “Help!” so you will be rescued by planes that are searching for you. You don’t have a pencil or paper (and if you did, the writing would be too tiny to be read from the air). Tie towels around your head and take water (it’s hot on the island). You and your child must survey your surroundings and invent non-pencil ways to write HELP! If you’re in the bathroom, you might make giant letters out of toilet paper (and hope there’s no wind). If you’re in the garage, you might find paint and brushes. If you’re in the park, you can always write with your toe in the sand box. Suggest as little as possible, unless your child needs prompting. This game allows the child who balks at writing to experience the power of a single word when it is used for a reason. And if your child’s imagination is fertile, don’t stop at the first idea. Find as many ways as possible in each room or location.

Flying messages

You’ll need a ball or Frisbee, some tape, and paper cut into six 1-1/2 – 2″- wide strips the long way. Both you and your child should write three commands, one on each strip of paper, that tell the other person to do something physical. For example, you might write, “Hop on your left foot six times” or “Squeak like a mouse.” Try not to see each other’s commands. Go outside and stand as far apart as your child can toss the ball or Frisbee. You start the game by taping your first strip to the ball or Frisbee. Toss it to your child. They read the message and follow the instructions. Then they tape their first strip to the ball or Frisbee and return a flying message. If you don’t have a place to play outside or the weather won’t cooperate, you can stuff the message in a sock, ball it up, and toss it inside. (Hint: Don’t play this game on a day when you’re pooped.) In school, a child with learning problems may not connect why ideas in their head need to land on paper and be read. But when messages fly through the air, affect the other person’s behavior (and especially make them look silly), writing makes sense to the child.

Try these writing games for grades 3-5

Fortunately/unfortunately.

The writer Remy Charlip wrote a classic children’s book called Fortunately , in which one good event happens, followed by its unfortunate opposite. The book opens with, “Fortunately one day, Ned got a letter that said, ‘Please Come to a Surprise Party.’ But unfortunately the party was in Florida and he was in New York.” You do not need the book to play this game, but it’s more fun if you first read it together. (If your local public library doesn’t have the book, they can find it for you through interlibrary loan.) Each person playing the game receives one sheet of paper. Write in large letters at the top of a sheet of paper “Fortunately.” On the reverse side, write “Unfortunately.” Talk with your child about a trip they have always wanted to take. To Disney World? Across the United States by bicycle? To the moon? Help your child think of a first sentence about the trip, starting with something like “Fortunately, we won the lottery. Our whole family decided to buy bicycles and ride across the United States. Mother quit her job.” Write the “Fortunately” sentences. Then pass each paper to the other player. Turn it over and write the “Unfortunately” part. For example, “Unfortunately, it rained every day, and our bicycles rusted.” If your child wants to play more, you can either make new Fortunately/Unfortunately sheets or you can draw a line under the first part and continue the story. Number each part on the front and back, so you can read the finished stories out loud more easily. Remember, this is not the time to fuss about spelling. If it’s easier for your child with LD, let them dictate to you. Your role is to help your reluctant writer communicate their ideas to the world.

A day in the life

Photographer Rick Smolan has published a series of books called A Day in the Life… showing 24 hours in the life of an astronaut, a country, a state. Now it’s your child’s turn to create a similar book. Buy your child a disposable camera or let your child use your phone. Page through one of the Smolan books and explain the concept. Then talk about documenting one day in your child’s life (or the pet’s or sister’s or friend’s or whomever your child wants). Start the day by photographing your child asleep just before you wake them. Then let your child take a photo every hour of the entire day. (A timer set to an hour will help you remember.) Finish by taking a last shot of your child, asleep. Print the photos and paste each one on a piece of construction paper. Help your child write the details that explain each picture — why your child picked the subject, why it is important to their day, and who was nearby but not shown. Make a title page by writing “A Day in the Life of [your child],” with the date of the photographs. Punch three holes in the left margin and tie the pages together with yarn or dental floss. Keep the book forever, and show it to everyone. Talking about your child’s ideas is a crucial part of writing. It helps your reluctant writer capture those elusive details that sometimes scramble in their brain.

Family time capsule

Start by gathering a shoebox, paper and writing tools, and an envelope for each person in the family. Tell the family that you will be making a Family Time Capsule, to be opened in one or five or 10 years (or for whatever length of time you and the family vote for). It is to be a record of who you were, who you are today, and who you want to be. Have each member of the family write a private letter, telling the world about their life. Where were you born? How old are you today? What do you look like? What are your favorite activities? Foods? Books? Movies? Colors? Vacations? What’s going on in the world today? Where do you want to be in one or five or 10 years? If you have pets in the family, have the children write letters for the pets and take pawprints. When each person is finished, seal the letter in the envelope and write the person’s name and date on it. Then add more items to the Family Time Capsule, like baby and current photos, tapes of children singing and talking, postcards from vacations, and drawings. Also include the front page of today’s newspaper. Have everyone help seal the box with tape. Then write on the outside “Do NOT open until [date]!” Stash the box somewhere and forget it until Opening Day.

If I ruled the world

Your child has been elected to rule the world. They will need to give an acceptance speech on TV to their adoring subjects, but must supply the text of this speech to the person (you) who types it for the TelePrompTer. Other members of the campaign (i.e., the family) can also help with all steps leading to the final speech — proper costumes for Sibling Subjects, setting up the TV studio, and typing the speech. First, choose the props. What hat or crown should the Ruler of the World wear? What outfit? Does your child have a personal symbol of greatness, such as a favorite stuffed toy, blanket, item of clothing, or sports equipment? Set up the TV studio. You will need something to function as a camera (it can be pretend), lights turned on the Ruler, a microphone-like object, and something to serve as a podium. You can take a video on your phone. Now plan the speech. If your child has trouble with handwriting or sequencing, talk first about their ideas for ruling the world. What needs to be changed in the world? What would make it fun for their subjects to live in his world? Is there anybody your child wants to thank for helping them reach this important position? What are their plans for the future? If your child’s learning difficulties prevent them from handwriting comfortably, you can audiotape the brainstorming, jot down the key ideas, or take dictation. Then enter it into a computer or print by hand. Tape the papers together so that they form one long sheet. Have another child or friend hold up the paper next to the “camera” and let the Ruler deliver their speech. Share the video with family, especially at a gathering if you can, for the rest of your kid’s life.

Make writing a game, not a chore

Writing has many stages before it reaches paper — generating ideas, noticing likenesses, deciding on one main idea, eliminating other ideas, choosing appropriate words, and putting them in an order that readers can follow — and these stages can all be fun!

Your child may not always love to sit down and write. But if they can learn to enjoy the creative process and write for a reason and an audience, half the battle is won. Incorporate writing naturally into play and it need not be a chore for your child or for you. Let those ideas flow into print and sparkle.

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How to Improve Your Child's Creative Writing Skills

Last Updated: February 17, 2024 Approved

This article was co-authored by Kathy Slattengren, M.Ed. . Kathy Slattengren is a Parent Educator and Coach and the Founder of Priceless Parenting. With over two decades of experience, Kathy specializes in helping parents build strong, loving relationships with their children. She has helped thousands of parents around the world through Priceless Parenting's online classes, presentations, coaching, and books. Kathy holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Psychology from The University of Minnesota and a Masters degree in Education and Instructional Design from The University of Washington. Kathy is a member of the National Parenting Education Network, the US Alliance to End the Hitting of Children, the International Society for Technology in Education, and a founding member of Parent Learning Link. Priceless Parenting has been featured on ABC News, Komo News, King 5 News, National PTA, Parent Map, and Inspire Me Today. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 254,732 times.

The ability to write well is vitally important to your child's success in life. Writing well can help your child succeed academically and professionally. Moreover, creative writing can be an important therapeutic outlet for your child to imagine new worlds and to express his or her feelings. Help your child improve their creative writing skills by supporting creativity, by playing word games, and sparking their imagination with clever writing prompts.

Encouraging Your Child to Love Writing

Step 1 Read to your child every night.

  • In addition to reading to your child, have your child read to you if they are old enough.
  • Ask your child questions about their favorite books. Why do they like some books and not others? Help them to develop their tastes as a reader and to be thoughtful about words, characters, settings, and plots. [2] X Research source
  • If your child has a favorite author or book series, you might also consider taking your child to see the author speak or to a book signing in order to inspire your child to write.

Step 2 Create time for reading and writing.

  • A notebook or journal
  • Pens, pencils, and erasers
  • A bookshelf to keep inspiration nearby
  • An age-appropriate dictionary
  • A thesaurus. A thesaurus isn't necessary for very young children, but it can be helpful for older children who wish to expand their vocabularies.

Step 4 Focus on creativity, not grammar.

  • You can also work with your child to make a special "book" out of their stories, including homemade illustrations and decorations. Stitch the book together with ribbon or yarn to create a special archive of their creativity. [12] X Trustworthy Source Reading Rockets Online resource supported by PBS providing research-based strategies for assisting children to become confident readers Go to source

Step 7 Play stenographer.

Playing Creative Writing Games

Step 1 Incorporate writing activity into imaginative play.

  • Encourage them to write a letter from the perspective of a character that they like to play
  • Suggest that they write about "a day in the life" of their imaginary friend
  • Help your child invent an imaginary country and ask them to write about what people do there
  • Ask your child to create a "mashup" story that includes their favorite characters from completely different worlds [17] X Research source

Step 2 Play word games.

  • Magnetic poetry
  • Catchphrase

Step 3 Play a collaborative story-writing game.

  • Write a story by switching after each sentence. First you write a sentence, then your child continues with the next sentence, then you take over again, etc. Try to add unexpected surprises and goofy twists to keep the story fun and exciting. [19] X Research source
  • Draw a picture and ask your child to imagine a story behind the picture. [20] X Research source
  • Make a list of words by having you and your child point to random words in a dictionary. Then brainstorm a way to use all of those words in a single story.

Step 4 Keep the games short.

Helping Your Child Find Things to Write About

Step 1 Ask questions about the world around you.

  • Ask your child to look out a car window and think about where people on the sidewalk are headed
  • Point out animals while you're walking and ask your child to think about what the lives of these animals are like
  • Ask your child to come up with a new name for their favorite park
  • Ask your child what their favorite building is and why they like it so much

Step 2 Ask your child to rewrite a famous story.

Building Essential Writing Skills

Step 1 Encourage daily writing.

  • Recognize, however, that sometimes children will be reluctant to write. Let them take some time away from writing if they need to (unless they have to complete a school assignment). [29] X Research source

Step 2 Encourage your child to keep a journal.

  • For example, you could underline the words they have misspelled without giving them the correct spelling. Ask them to look up the correct spelling in the dictionary.
  • Be sure that you provide your child with positive feedback as well as gentle suggestions for improvements.

Step 5 Provide fun opportunities for revision.

Expert Q&A

Kathy Slattengren, M.Ed.

  • Be aware of your child's writing training in school. Many schools provide excellent writing coaching. You can have a better sense of your own role in your child's writing skills if you know what your child's teachers are focusing on in class. [36] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Remember that, as a parent, you are a creative writing helper: not a coach or a teacher. Do not act as though creative writing is a chore or obligation. If your child is going to be an effective creative writer, they must be passionate about it. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Stay positive. You can point out where your child has made grammatical errors, but you should keep most of your commentary positive and enthusiastic. Be honest with your compliments, but try to emphasize what your child is doing well more than where they needs to improve. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Don't force a particular form of writing on your child (short story, poetry, etc) if your child shows no interest in it. Encourage your child in the areas of writing they show an interest in. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
  • Some children show little interest in writing because they happen to enjoy other activities more. However, some children are nervous about writing because of an underlying learning disability. If your child is consistently behind her peers on spelling, writing, and vocabulary, talk to your child's teachers and learning specialists to see if perhaps a learning disability is at the root of these problems. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1

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  • ↑ http://www.readingrockets.org/article/launching-young-writers
  • ↑ http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/pages/encouraging-writing
  • ↑ Kathy Slattengren, M.Ed.. Parent Educator & Coach. Expert Interview. 23 June 2021.
  • ↑ http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/howtohelpenglish
  • ↑ http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/seven-ways-to-encourage-kids-writing/
  • ↑ http://www.education.com/reference/article/ways-encourage-child-creativity/
  • ↑ http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/writing-activities/prompt-your-child-to-be-better-writer
  • ↑ http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/your-teen-and-writing/

About this article

Kathy Slattengren, M.Ed.

The ability to write well can help your child academically and professionally as well as offer an outlet for their feelings and imagination. To help improve your child’s creative writing skills, encourage them to love writing by reading to them every day so they can experience a variety of styles and subjects. Ask them about their favorite books to help them think about what kinds of writing they enjoy. You'll also want to give your child the tools to create their own stories, like a journal, pens, an age-appropriate dictionary, and a thesaurus. Encourage your child’s creativity by focusing on their ideas, not their spelling, grammar, or handwriting. If your child has a hard time starting a story, spark their imagination by asking them to write a letter from the point of view of a favorite character, or help them invent a new country and ask them to write about what people do there. To learn how to help your child revise their writing, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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10 Ways Kids Can Learn Creative Writing

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

It’s not like these parents are pushing their kids into creative writing. Far from it. Their kid is writing stories at nighttime, under the covers with flashlight, and filling notebooks with pages of words which they call their “book.” Their kid is practically begging them to teach them how to write creatively, but the parents often don’t know what to do.

This is where I come in.

Over the years I’ve perfected an email I send to these parents, and now, for the first time, I’m sharing the contents of that email online.

Here are the 10 best things you can do to teach creative writing to kids:

1. Subscribe them to kid’s writing magazines

CK-Summer-2011

Even better, many of these magazines accept submissions from children. I can’t emphasize how important this is. The most important thing for a writer, of any age, is to feel like they have an audience. And you, Mom or Dad, are a good audience, but if they could publish what they’ve written between the pages of a magazine they love, you will give them a thrill and a confidence boost they will never forget.

Even if they don’t publish in a magazine, it gives them something to aspire to. It makes them realize that other kids are publishing in magazines, which makes them feel like writing is something alive and vibrant, not something dead on a page.

These are 4 magazines of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction published by Cricket media:

  • LADYBUG, ages 3-6
  • SPIDER, ages 6-9
  • CRICKET, ages 9-14
  • CICADA, ages 14 and up

Highlights is another good one, for kids up to age 12, and you can check out their submission policies.

Humpty Dumpty (ages 2 – 6)

Jack and Jill (ages 6 – 12)

Creative Kids is written ENTIRELY by other kids, kids from all over the world, so this is a great one to read and to submit to. It’s a little bit older, though, aiming at ages 8 – 16.

Stone Soup , a bi-monthly magazine, is another one written entirely by kids. They have a long list of guidelines for how children under 14 can send them work.

2. Set Up A Special Place to Write

A place is one of the most important things to a writer. I myself only write in two places: at my desk or at the coffeeshop. Place is a trigger that tells my brain it’s time to write, and if you set aside a special place for your child, it will encourage them to write more regularly.

They don’t need a desk. Try a corner and put some pillows and a blanket in it, and add a sign on the wall that says, “[Child’s Name]’s Writing Nook.”

Or set up a small table in their fort, or in the garage. Anything they can call their own.

Also, buy them a few notebooks of different shapes and sizes. A big one with lines for when they’re feeling ambitious, and a small one for jotting little notes (I like Moleskins).

Buy them (or let them buy) a special pencil or pen. It’ll make a big difference when they have all their own materials.

3. Check out Local Writing Workshops

Many cities have creative writing seminars for children. Check your local listings. See if your library has one, and if they don’t, ask if they could start one.

A great one is called 826 National , set up by Dave Eggers. The stores are themed wildly, with pirate or astronaut gear, and they have regular creative writing lessons taught for accomplished writers (I know a lot of creative writing graduate students getting their MFAs and Ph.D.s who taught at 826).

4. Don’t Praise the Wrong Way

It’s natural your child wants you to read their work. And of course you’ll listen to them read, or read it yourself. But how you praise their work makes all the difference.

The biggest mistake parents make is to praise in general terms.

  • “I loved your story.”
  • “That was so wonderful!”
  • “You’re very talented.”

That is the worst thing you can do to your children’s writing.

Let me tell you what will happen: they will become addicted to the praise and seek that rather than the reward of creative work. They will also be disappointed by general praise because it seems like you didn’t read their story at all, and you’re praising them as a person rather than the work itself.

When you praise their story, praise specific elements:

  • “I love the way that dragon was both fierce and kind.”
  • “The witch was so scary!”
  • “I could really picture the dog, with his sharp teeth and dirty fur.”

And ask them questions:

  • “Why did you have the jewel in the cupboard?”
  • “Was the old man in the story inspired by grandpa?”
  • “What happens next?”

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

They should take my children’s book course!

  • Taught by a children’s book editor
  • Practice quizzes, bonus PDFs, and writing exercises

5. Connect them with a Writing Mentor

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

So find some living breathing writers! Someone you know must write for magazines or newspapers or be a fiction writer or write a regular blog. Have your child draw up a list of questions and interview this writer. It will thrill them.

Now, maybe the mentoring will be pretty low key — maybe they’ll ask them one question once a year — but the point is that it will get your child excited about writing!

6. Encourage Reading

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

I mean have them read multiple books a day.

When I was nine or ten, I remember going to the library with my mother, checking out eighteen books (that was the limit), and reading eleven books that day.

Yeah, that’s right. I read eleven books in a day .

Eleven is still my record.

Now true, they were small books. But that’s beside the point. The point is that I read until my eyes went blurry. I only took breaks to go to the bathroom and to eat. I was a maniac. I probably spent ten hours reading that day.

Of all the formative experiences in my life, I think that was the one I look back at and say, “I became a writer that day.”

Because you don’t become a writer by writing. You become a writer by reading. Writing always happens after the reading. If you feed your child’s desire to read, they will have the foundation and creativity that will feed their writing.

Since so many of my best emotional experiences came from books, I wanted to become a writer.

One last very very very important tip: The only way to have them become a reader is to limit screen time. 

If you have the television on, if they are on their phone or playing videos games, they will never become a reader. Have strict limits on screen time, and they will explore reading and love it.

7. Self-Publish Your Child’s Story or Book

One of the best things that ever happened to me was that my father was my teacher in 5th grade. He was an elementary school teacher, and for one of his activities, he had the entire class write fiction stories. Then he self-published them all in a hardback book.

I still have that book. My story is about flying a bi-plane into space with my best friend to stop a laser from shooting and destroying earth.

It might be the best story I’ve ever written.

Try to replicate that in your kid’s school. Ask your kids teacher whether a day can be designated when students can read their stories out loud in front of their class. Then suggest taking those stories and compiling them in a book. Self-publishing is very easy these days. If you send a file to anyone, they should be able to print it without too much cost. Or you could go to Fed-Ex and get a bound copy for even cheaper.

By having your child read their story in front of their peers, they are getting an audience even closer to them than publishing in a magazine. Their peers can tell them what they think of the story, can praise them for how good of a storyteller they are. They will really feel like a writer.

8. Supply them with Writing Prompts

51EPsFGb+GL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

But if they get in a funk, give them some writing prompts for kids .

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

9. Send them to Writing Camp

If you’re more excited than your kid about creative writing, then sending them to a camp sounds like torture. But if they cheer when you suggest it, by all means send them.

Google to find Writing Camps in your area. I live in Orange County, and found one in Los Angeles.

For a national organization, check out  Writopia . They have workshops for kids aged 6 to 18.

If you have a daughter, send them to Writegirl .

10. Buy them Writing Board Games

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

But I have a confession: I own a lot of them.

Not only that, but I’ve used them to teach kids how to write before, too. They’re awesome.

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

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10 comments

I just shared this on Twitter. I have a five-year-old son who’s just starting to pay attention to his journal where he never did before. Pictures mostly but some words….this is a great list of ways to encourage kids to write. I especially like your suggestion to be very specific with praise when you’re pointing out how much you enjoy the child’s writing. I have my son subscribed to National Geographic for Kids but had no idea that writing magazines even existed for kids like the ones you mentioned above. I’ll have to check them out.

Will I start writing creatively.

awesome i liked it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is great! A Friend sent me the link for your article coz i asked her about how to help my child start creative writing. I love all your tips and i think they are gonna be very helpful not just for kids but for any age beginner writer as well. Thanks for sharing!

Do you have any advise and where publish short stories in Spanish?

Thank you for sharing this valuable tips with us!

Thank you for this helpful post. We are based in India and like most of the world are homebound for the foreseeable future. Do you have any recommendations for online creative writing courses? I have two children aged 8 and 10 who have a lot of time on their hands and would like to try one.

Loved the great tips especially about the praise and the limit screen time. Look forward to trying these with my 11 year old daughter. Thank you.

Hi yes I am taking Creative Writing classes in Delhi both offline & online.

This article was super! Such wonderful tips. Thank you 🙂

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

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how to help 8 year old with creative writing

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How to Teach Creative Writing | 7 Steps to Get Students Wordsmithing

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

“I don’t have any ideas!”

“I can’t think of anything!”

While we see creative writing as a world of limitless imagination, our students often see an overwhelming desert of “no idea.”

But when you teach creative writing effectively, you’ll notice that  every  student is brimming over with ideas that just have to get out.

So what does teaching creative writing effectively look like?

We’ve outlined a  seven-step method  that will  scaffold your students through each phase of the creative process  from idea generation through to final edits.

7. Create inspiring and original prompts

Use the following formats to generate prompts that get students inspired:

  • personal memories (“Write about a person who taught you an important lesson”)
  • imaginative scenarios
  • prompts based on a familiar mentor text (e.g. “Write an alternative ending to your favorite book”). These are especially useful for giving struggling students an easy starting point.
  • lead-in sentences (“I looked in the mirror and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Somehow overnight I…”).
  • fascinating or thought-provoking images with a directive (“Who do you think lives in this mountain cabin? Tell their story”).

student writing prompts for kids

Don’t have the time or stuck for ideas? Check out our list of 100 student writing prompts

6. unpack the prompts together.

Explicitly teach your students how to dig deeper into the prompt for engaging and original ideas.

Probing questions are an effective strategy for digging into a prompt. Take this one for example:

“I looked in the mirror and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Somehow overnight I…”

Ask “What questions need answering here?” The first thing students will want to know is:

What happened overnight?

No doubt they’ll be able to come up with plenty of zany answers to that question, but there’s another one they could ask to make things much more interesting:

Who might “I” be?

In this way, you subtly push students to go beyond the obvious and into more original and thoughtful territory. It’s even more useful with a deep prompt:

“Write a story where the main character starts to question something they’ve always believed.”

Here students could ask:

  • What sorts of beliefs do people take for granted?
  • What might make us question those beliefs?
  • What happens when we question something we’ve always thought is true?
  • How do we feel when we discover that something isn’t true?

Try splitting students into groups, having each group come up with probing questions for a prompt, and then discussing potential “answers” to these questions as a class.

The most important lesson at this point should be that good ideas take time to generate. So don’t rush this step!

5. Warm-up for writing

A quick warm-up activity will:

  • allow students to see what their discussed ideas look like on paper
  • help fix the “I don’t know how to start” problem
  • warm up writing muscles quite literally (especially important for young learners who are still developing handwriting and fine motor skills).

Freewriting  is a particularly effective warm-up. Give students 5–10 minutes to “dump” all their ideas for a prompt onto the page for without worrying about structure, spelling, or grammar.

After about five minutes you’ll notice them starting to get into the groove, and when you call time, they’ll have a better idea of what captures their interest.

Did you know? The Story Factory in Reading Eggs allows your students to write and publish their own storybooks using an easy step-by-step guide.

The Story factory in Reading Eggs

4. Start planning

Now it’s time for students to piece all these raw ideas together and generate a plan. This will synthesize disjointed ideas and give them a roadmap for the writing process.

Note:  at this stage your strong writers might be more than ready to get started on a creative piece. If so, let them go for it – use planning for students who are still puzzling things out.

Here are four ideas for planning:

Graphic organisers

A graphic organiser will allow your students to plan out the overall structure of their writing. They’re also particularly useful in “chunking” the writing process, so students don’t see it as one big wall of text.

Storyboards and illustrations

These will engage your artistically-minded students and give greater depth to settings and characters. Just make sure that drawing doesn’t overshadow the writing process.

Voice recordings

If you have students who are hesitant to commit words to paper, tell them to think out loud and record it on their device. Often they’ll be surprised at how well their spoken words translate to the page.

Write a blurb

This takes a bit more explicit teaching, but it gets students to concisely summarize all their main ideas (without giving away spoilers). Look at some blurbs on the back of published books before getting them to write their own. Afterward they could test it out on a friend – based on the blurb, would they borrow it from the library?

3. Produce rough drafts

Warmed up and with a plan at the ready, your students are now ready to start wordsmithing. But before they start on a draft, remind them of what a draft is supposed to be:

  • a work in progress.

Remind them that  if they wait for the perfect words to come, they’ll end up with blank pages .

Instead, it’s time to take some writing risks and get messy. Encourage this by:

  • demonstrating the writing process to students yourself
  • taking the focus off spelling and grammar (during the drafting stage)
  • providing meaningful and in-depth feedback (using words, not ticks!).

Reading Eggs Library New Books

Reading Eggs also gives you access to an ever-expanding collection of over 3,500 online books!

2. share drafts for peer feedback.

Don’t saddle yourself with 30 drafts for marking. Peer assessment is a better (and less exhausting) way to ensure everyone receives the feedback they need.

Why? Because for something as personal as creative writing, feedback often translates better when it’s in the familiar and friendly language that only a peer can produce. Looking at each other’s work will also give students more ideas about how they can improve their own.

Scaffold peer feedback to ensure it’s constructive. The following methods work well:

Student rubrics

A simple rubric allows students to deliver more in-depth feedback than “It was pretty good.” The criteria will depend on what you are ultimately looking for, but students could assess each other’s:

  • use of language.

Whatever you opt for, just make sure the language you use in the rubric is student-friendly.

Two positives and a focus area

Have students identify two things their peer did well, and one area that they could focus on further, then turn this into written feedback. Model the process for creating specific comments so you get something more constructive than “It was pretty good.” It helps to use stems such as:

I really liked this character because…

I found this idea interesting because it made me think…

I was a bit confused by…

I wonder why you… Maybe you could… instead.

1. The editing stage

Now that students have a draft and feedback, here’s where we teachers often tell them to “go over it” or “give it some final touches.”

But our students don’t always know how to edit.

Scaffold the process with questions that encourage students to think critically about their writing, such as:

  • Are there any parts that would be confusing if I wasn’t there to explain them?
  • Are there any parts that seem irrelevant to the rest?
  • Which parts am I most uncertain about?
  • Does the whole thing flow together, or are there parts that seem out of place?
  • Are there places where I could have used a better word?
  • Are there any grammatical or spelling errors I notice?

Key to this process is getting students to  read their creative writing from start to finish .

Important note:  if your students are using a word processor, show them where the spell-check is and how to use it. Sounds obvious, but in the age of autocorrect, many students simply don’t know.

A final word on teaching creative writing

Remember that the best writers write regularly.

Incorporate them into your lessons as often as possible, and soon enough, you’ll have just as much fun  marking  your students’ creative writing as they do producing it.

Need more help supporting your students’ writing?

Read up on  how to get reluctant writers writing , strategies for  supporting struggling secondary writers , or check out our huge list of writing prompts for kids .

reading-eggs-story-factory-comp-header

Watch your students get excited about writing and publishing their own storybooks in the Story Factory

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How to Teach Creative Writing

Last Updated: March 13, 2024 References

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 116,640 times.

Creative writing is one of the most enjoyable types of writing for students. Not only does it allow students to explore their imaginations, but it helps them to structure their ideas and produce writing that they can be proud of. However, creative writing is a relatively difficult type of writing to teach and offers challenges to both new and seasoned teachers alike. Fortunately, though, with some work of their own, teachers can better develop their own abilities to teach creative writing.

Providing Students with the Fundamentals

Step 1 Introduce the important elements of storytelling.

  • Theme. The theme of a story is its message or the main idea behind it.
  • Setting. The setting of a story is the location or time it takes place in.
  • Plot. The plot is the overall story, narrative, or sequence of events.
  • Characterization. Characterization is how a character or person in a story is explained or presented to the reader.
  • Conflict and dramatic action. Conflict and dramatic action are the main events of focus in the story. These events are often tense or exciting and are used to lure the reader in. [1] X Research source

Step 2 Encourage students to engage the reader.

  • Explain how your students, as writers, can appeal to the humanity of their readers. One great way to do this is to ask them to explore character development. By developing the characters in their story, readers will become invested in the story.
  • Discuss the triggers that engage readers in an effective story. Most great stories start with a problem, which is solved with the resolution, or conclusion of the story. Encourage students to create an engaging problem that will hook the readers in the first few pages of a short story or novel. [2] X Research source

Step 3 Explain the importance of tone and atmosphere.

  • By setting the tone and atmosphere of a story, the author will establish his or her attitude to the subject and the feel of the story.
  • Tone can be positive, neutral, or negative. [3] X Research source
  • Atmosphere can be dark, happy, or neither.
  • Descriptive words like “darkness” or “sunshine” can help set both the tone and atmosphere. [4] X Research source

Step 4 Promote the use of active verbs.

  • Active verbs are used to show action in the story.
  • Active verbs are very often a better alternative to passive voice, as it keeps your writing clear and concise for your readers. [5] X Research source
  • For example, instead of writing “The cat was chased by the dog” your student can write “The dog chased the cat.”

Guiding Students through the Process

Step 1 Allow students to pick their topic.

  • Tell your students to brainstorm about ideas they are truly interested in.
  • If you must restrict the general topic, make sure that your students have a good amount of wiggle room within the broad topic of the assignment.
  • Never assign specific topics and force students to write. This will undermine the entire process. [6] X Research source

Step 2 Have your students write a flexible outline.

  • Letting your students know that the outline is non-binding. They don’t have to follow it in later steps of the writing process.
  • Telling your students that the parts of their outline should be written very generally.
  • Recommending that your students create several outlines, or outlines that go in different directions (in terms of plot and other elements of storytelling). The more avenues your students explore, the better. [7] X Research source

Step 3 Avoid teaching a story “formula.”

  • Tell students that there is no “right” way to write a story.
  • Let students know that their imaginations should guide their way.
  • Show students examples of famous writing that breaks normal patterns, like the works of E.E. Cummings, William Faulkner, Charles Dickens, and William Shakespeare.
  • Ask students to forget about any expectations they think you have for how a story should be written. [8] X Research source

Step 4 Provide feedback on rough drafts.

  • Gather the first drafts and comment on the student's work. For first drafts, you want to check on the overall structure of the draft, proper word use, punctuation, spelling, and overall cohesion of the piece. [9] X Research source
  • Remind them that great writers usually wrote several drafts before they were happy with their stories.
  • Avoid grading drafts for anything other than completion.

Step 5 Organize editing groups.

  • Let students pair off to edit each others' papers.
  • Have your students join groups of 3 or 4 and ask them to go edit and provide feedback on each member’s story.
  • Provide guidance so students contribute constructively to the group discussion. [10] X Research source

Step 6 Evaluate your students based on their creativity.

  • Reward your students if they are innovative or do something unique and truly creative.
  • Avoid evaluating your students based on a formula.
  • Assess and review your own standards as often as you can. Remember that the point is to encourage your students' creativity. [11] X Research source

Spurring Creativity

Step 1 Inspire students with an appreciation of literature.

  • Teach your students about a variety of writers and genres.
  • Have your students read examples of different genres.
  • Promote a discussion within your class of the importance of studying literature.
  • Ask students to consider the many ways literature improves the world and asks individuals to think about their own lives. [12] X Research source

Step 2 Provide your students with a large number of resources.

  • Make sure your room is stocked with a wide variety of fiction stories.
  • Make sure your room is stocked with plenty of paper for your students to write on.
  • Line up other writing teachers or bring in writers from the community to talk to and encourage your students.

Step 3 Have your students write practice stories based on random photos or pictures you provide.

  • Cut out pictures and photographs from magazines, comic books, and newspapers.
  • Have your students cut out photographs and pictures and contribute them to your bank.
  • Consider having your students randomly draw a given number of photos and pictures and writing a short story based on what they draw.
  • This technique can help students overcome writer's block and inspire students who think that they're "not creative." [13] X Research source

Step 4 Arrange an audience.

  • Pair your students with students from another grade in your school.
  • Allow your students to write stories that younger students in your school would like to read.
  • Pair your students with another student in the class and have them evaluate each others' work. [14] X Research source

Step 5 Create a writing space.

  • If you just have a typical classroom to work with, make sure to put inspirational posters or other pictures on the walls.
  • Open any curtains so students can see outside.
  • If you have the luxury of having an extra classroom or subdividing your own classroom, create a comfortable space with a lot of inspirational visuals.
  • Writing spaces can help break writer's block and inspire students who think that they're "not creative." [15] X Research source

Step 6 Publish your students’ work.

  • Involve students in the printing process.
  • Publication does not have to be expensive or glossy.
  • Copies can be made in the school workroom if possible or each student might provide a copy for the others in the group.
  • A collection of the stories can be bound with a simple stapler or brads.
  • Seek out other opportunities for your students to publish their stories.

Expert Q&A

Christopher Taylor, PhD

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Teach Storytelling

  • ↑ https://www.writersonlineworkshops.com/courses/creative-writing-101
  • ↑ https://kobowritinglife.com/2012/10/14/six-tips-for-engaging-readers-within-two-seconds-the-hook-in-fiction-and-memoir/
  • ↑ https://www.dailywritingtips.com/in-writing-tone-is-the-author%E2%80%99s-attitude/
  • ↑ http://ourenglishclass.net/class-notes/writing/the-writing-process/craft/tone-and-mood/
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/539/02/
  • ↑ http://www.alfiekohn.org/article/choices-children/
  • ↑ https://www.writersdigest.com/write-better-fiction/7-steps-to-creating-a-flexible-outline-for-any-story
  • ↑ http://thewritepractice.com/the-formula-to-write-a-novel/
  • ↑ https://student.unsw.edu.au/editing-your-essay
  • ↑ http://orelt.col.org/module/unit/5-promoting-creative-writing
  • ↑ http://education.seattlepi.com/grade-creative-writing-paper-3698.html
  • ↑ http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/04/educating-teenagers-emotions-through-literature/476790/
  • ↑ http://www.wrightingwords.com/for-teachers/5-tips-for-teaching-creative-writing/

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

To teach creative writing, start by introducing your students to the core elements of storytelling, like theme, setting, and plot, while reminding them that there’s no formula for combining these elements to create a story. Additionally, explain how important it is to use tone and atmosphere, along with active verbs, to write compelling stories that come alive. When your students have chosen their topics, have them create story outlines before they begin writing. Then, read their rough drafts and provide feedback to keep them on the right path to storytelling success. For tips from our English reviewer on how to spur creativity in your students, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Activity: Story mountain

Complete the story mountain to plan your story with a beginning, middle, and end.

Perform a poem activity

Activity: Perform a poem

Read a poem, talk about what it means, and perform it to an audience.

5. Find story inspiration

You can find fun story ideas anywhere! Why not raid your kitchen cupboards or hunt through the attic to find lost treasures? Anything from an old hat to a telescope will do the trick. What could the object be used for? Who might be looking for it? What secrets could it hold? Suggest different genres such as mystery or science fiction and discuss how the item might be used in this kind of story.

Real-world facts can also be a great source of inspiration. For example, did you know a jumping flea can accelerate faster than a space rocket taking off into orbit? What crazy story can your child make out of this fact? Newspapers and news websites can be great for finding these sorts of ideas.

For more storytelling ideas, download our free Story idea generator  or our Character profile activity sheet .

Activity: Story idea generator

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

Activity: Character profile

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

6. Draw your ideas first

If your child isn’t sure where to start with a story or even a piece of non-fiction, it can sometimes be helpful to sketch out their ideas first. For instance, can they draw a picture of a dastardly villain or a brave hero? How about a scary woodland or an enchanted castle?

Your child might also find it useful to draw maps or diagrams. What are all the different areas of their fantasy landscape called? How is the baddie’s base organised?

Some children might enjoy taking this idea a step further and drawing their own comics. This is great practice – it stretches your child’s creativity, gets them thinking about plot, character, and dialogue, and is a big confidence boost once they’ve finished and have an amazing story to look back on.

What your child will learn

In Year 4 (age 8–9), your child will be aiming to build upon the goals and expectations they were first set in Year 3. They will be expected to:

  • Discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar
  • Discussing and recording their ideas.
  • Composing and rehearsing sentences orally (including dialogue), progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures
  • Organising paragraphs around a theme
  • In narratives, creating settings, characters and plot
  • In non-narrative material, using simple organisational devices (for example, headings and sub-headings).
  • Assessing the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggesting improvements
  • Proposing changes to grammar and vocabulary to improve consistency, including the accurate use of pronouns in sentences .
  • Proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors.

Handwriting, spelling, grammar, and punctuation are all important aspects of writing too. You can find out more about them on our dedicated pages:

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Handwriting in Year 4 (age 8-9)

Find out more about handwriting in Year 4 at Primary School.

Find out more

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Spelling in Year 4 (age 8-9)

Find out more about spelling in Year 4 at Primary School.

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Grammar and punctuation in Year 4 (age 8-9)

Find out more about grammar and punctuation in Year 4 at Primary School.

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The Best Writing Apps for at Home and in the Classroom

Writer’s block, you’ve met your match!

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

Some kids love to pour out their thoughts, feelings, and souls on paper. For others, it’s a challenge from the first time they pick up a pencil. Fortunately, these writing apps for kids can help—from the first shaky crayon-written “A” to polished college entrance essays and creative writing.

Some writing apps help kids form their letters or work to perfect their handwriting. Then there are writing apps for kids and teens who need help organizing their thoughts. Other apps give a little push to get creative juices flowing. No matter what your kids are working on, these are the writing apps students will want in their digital toolbox.

  • Best Apps for Practicing Writing Skills
  • Best Apps for Writing Inspiration

Writing Skills Apps

These are the writing apps for kids that help them practice handwriting, grammar, punctuation, and composition.

Writing Apps for Kids

Why We Love It: iTrace gives young learners the practice they need writing letters and numbers. Customization options include letter style and the ability to specify right or left-handed, while fun animations and prizes keep kids motivated.

Cost: $3.99

Available On: Apple App Store: iTrace

LetterSchool

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

Why We Love It: LetterSchool teaches printing and cursive with beautiful graphics and animations. Kids will be so captivated, they might forget they’re learning.

Cost: School licenses are $4.99 per student per year. For individual use, prices vary and start at $4.99 per month.

Available On: Apple App Store: Letter School , Google Play Store: Letter School

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iWrite Words

Writing Apps for Kids

Why We Love It: This writing app helps kids practice counting as they learn. Little ones drag a crab across the screen, following the numbered path to write letters. Once the word is complete, they’re rewarded with a cute drawing.

Cost: $2.99

Available On: Apple App Store: iWrite Words

Grammaropolis

Writing Apps for Kids

Why We Love It: Grammaropolis teaches the parts of speech in a fun and engaging way. Animated shorts and music videos capture kids’ attention, and quizzes help track their progress. Some call this Schoolhouse Rock for the 21st century.

Cost: $5.99

Available On: Apple App Store: Grammaropolis

Grammar Pop

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

Cost: $1.99. Volume pricing is available for schools.

Available On: Apple App Store: Grammar Pop

Grammar Smash

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

Why We Love It:  This no-frills app is excellent for older learners, especially ESL students. Review grammar guides and lessons, then play games to practice your skills

Cost: FREE. Unlock more features and remove ads for $2.99.

Available On: Google Play Store: Grammar Smash

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

Why We Love It: Everything you love about Mad Libs, in an app! Prompts ask you to fill in parts of speech to create a funny new story each time. If you’re stuck, you can ask for a definition or examples. This is a classic way to work on parts of speech and vocabulary.

Cost: The FREE edition comes with 21 stories. Additional story packs are available for $1.99 each.

Available On: Apple App Store: Mad Libs , Google Play Store: Mad Libs

Dictionary.com

Writing Apps for Kids

Why We Love It: This app is everything you love about Dictionary.com, but it’s also available offline. That’s great for keeping students focused while they’re working; they can look words up without the temptation of checking social media or other distractions. You can switch between dictionary and thesaurus mode, too, making this app a real must-have.

Cost: FREE (with ads), upgrade to no ads for $1.99

Available On: Apple App Store: Dictionary.com , Google Play Store: Dictionary.com

The Grammarly Keyboard

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

Why We Love It: Grammarly is a beloved program that helps people of any age produce stronger, cleaner writing. The mobile apps work for anything you type on your phone, including social media and messaging. Premium features include analysis of tone and word choice, and a plagiarism detector.

Cost: Basic grammar and spelling checks are free. Premium features start at $29/month.

Available On: Apple App Store: Grammarly , Google Play Store: Grammarly

Essay Launcher

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

Why We Love It: No flashy colors or animations, just a simple and efficient way to help writers organize their thoughts. The app asks questions like “What is your first reason that supports that statement?”, helping you build an essay from the ground up. This app is ideal for older kids who need organizational help to stay on track when they write.

Available On: Apple App Store: Essay Launcher

Writing Apps for Kids

Why We Love It: Mind mapping is an excellent method for brainstorming and organizing your thoughts before you begin writing. This app helps you through the process, creating maps that ultimately make your writing clearer and stronger.

Cost: SimpleMind Lite is FREE. SimpleMind Pro offers expanded features for $7.99.

Available On: Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Get links for all versions here.

Writing Inspiration Apps

These writing apps for kids solve the problem of “But I don’t know what to write about!” They provide story starters, writing prompts, and more to break writer’s block wide open.

Story Wheel

Writing Apps for Kids

Why We Love It: This app sparks creativity in pre-writers and helps build their storytelling skills. Spin the wheel and record your voice telling a story about the picture. Spin the wheel again for more prompts. Several kids can play at once, building a story to playback together.

Cost:  $2.99

Available On: Apple App Store: Story Wheel

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

Why We Love It: Every roll of the virtual dice yields pictures that tell a whole new story. Choose one or all of the images to use in your writing. Story Dice 3-D (Apple App Store only) adds the ability to move the dice around, and re-roll some or all of them.

Cost: $1.99

Available On: Multiple devices. Get the links you need for Story Dice here.

Writing Challenge for Kids

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

Why We Love It: This app generates a series of characters, scenarios, and situations to create unique creative writing prompts over and over again. You can choose from several choices to customize each prompt as you go along.

Cost: Varies by device, $1.49-$3.99

Available On: Multiple Devices. Click here for the links you need.

The Brainstormer

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

Why We Love It: This app is terrific for teens and older writers who need to generate new creative ideas. A selection of tools helps you find inspiration for characters, plots, settings, and more. You can even add in your own words to create custom sets.

Cost: $1.99, with additional features for $.99 each.

Available On: Apple App Store: The Brainstormer

Writing Prompts

Writing Apps for Kids

Why We Love It: Get new writing prompts from hundreds of scenarios and ideas. Teachers, this is a nice way to come up with a daily bell-ringer or journal prompt. (This same company also offers Character Prompts , a similar app but for character inspiration.)

Cost: $1.99, with additional prompt packs available for $.99

Available On: Apple App Store: Writing Prompts , Google Play Store: Writing Prompts , Amazon App Store

Lists for Writers

Writing Apps for Kids

Why We Love It: Add variety to your writing and break through writer’s blocks with these lists of, well, pretty much anything! Creating a new character and feeling stuck? Browse lists of names, character traits, physical characteristics, and more. Get the same for settings, plots, and all the other details that even the best writers sometimes draw a blank on.

Available On: Multiple devices. Get all the links you need here.

Toontastic 3D

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

Why We Love It: Kids build their story-telling skills while creating one-minute movies with this surprisingly robust free app. Encourage students to plan and script out their story in advance to work on writing skills, then enjoy the fun movies they create! (Teacher Tip: Try this app for incredibly creative book reports .)

Available On: Apple App Store: Toontastic , Google Play Store: Toontastic

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

Why We Love It: Storybird’s tools give kids the opportunity to write comics, short stories, chapter books, and more. Choose from existing illustrations and add your own text to create unique masterpieces. The professional artwork is wide-ranging, and writing challenges help kids expand their skills and push their creativity to new heights.

Cost:  $8.99/month or $59.99/year. Schools can receive bulk discounts up to 50% off.

Available On: Apple App Store: Storybird , Google Play Store: Storybird

How do you use writing apps for kids and teens in your classroom? Come share your ideas and find inspiration in the WeAreTeachers Chat group on Facebook .

Looking for more writing prompts? Get 100 Creative Writing Prompts for Grades 4-8 , and 10 Fresh Writing Prompts for High School .

The Best Writing Apps for Kids and Teens, at Home and in the Classroom

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Last Modified on November 26, 2023 By Lisa Tanner

25 Gifts for Kids to Inspire a Love of Writing

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Are you looking for the perfect gift to give the young writers in your life? Here are 25 writing gifts for kids that can help inspire their love for writing.  

I love giving gifts, and planning the perfect present for each person is something I genuinely enjoy.

But I’m not fond of clutter. With 11 kids to buy for, stuff piles up quickly!

So I try to think of gifts for kids and adults alike that don’t just take up space. I like things that have a purpose. And the 25 items below do just that.

They’re all items that I’ve either used or seen in use that are perfect gifts for young writers. You’ll find some items that work better for younger kids (pre-writers) and others that are great for older kids (or teens). Most work for a wide age range.

And no matter which one you go with, they’re all a great addition to your Family Writing Time routine. Then you can get some of your work done while your child explores the art of writing.

If you’re looking for a fun (but educational!) gift, give one of these a try. They are all items I highly recommend.

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

1. A cute notebook and a pack of fun pens

Do you know what your child needs to write? Paper and pens (or pencils.) That’s it. And sometimes, the simplest gifts are the best. If you want your child to write, make sure they always have access to a journal or notebook of their own and have pens or pencils to write with.

Here are a few of the writing supplies my kids love:

  • And So the Adventure Begins notebook
  • Unicorn notebooks (my 6-year-old daughter really likes hers!)
  • Minecraft notebook (a favorite of my 8-year-old son who enjoys writing about Minecraft in his…)
  • Color-changing Scented Pens   (a stocking stuffer for my kids this year…)
  • Smencils (we buy a large pack of these scented pencils to split up at the beginning of each school year)

You might notice a theme…I like to give my kids notebooks that are themed by their current interests. It helps to make it more fun for them, and since a notebook doesn’t last too long I don’t worry about them outgrowing their interest in it before they fill all the pages…

What does your child enjoy? See if there are any notebooks or pens/pencils with that theme.

2. A Boogie Board

I was introduced to these awesome boards back when I was a teacher at a local parent partnership program. Several of my students were raving about them.

They seriously remind me of something I enjoyed as a kid–sort of like a MagnaDoodle, but in a pad with a pen attached. Then, you could lift the page and magically erase what you wrote. (Do you remember those?)

But the Boogie Board is that toy from my past with a fantastic facelift. It’s seriously cool and feels high-tech.

Can you see your young kids practicing writing their letters and names on this thing?

How about your middles playing Tic-Tac-Toe and creating lists?

It’s useful and fun for writing of all sorts. We have several and often bring them to church for our younger kids to doodle on to help them sit quietly. I highly recommend them!

3. The Game In a Pickle

So creative writing needs creative thinking. And this game delivers on that front! It’s one of the many in my massive board game collections.

Each of the many cards in the game features one word. Your goal is to show how your card is bigger or smaller than the other cards on the table. You want to complete a set to get points.

But it’s not as easy as it sounds. When you have words like “nothing” and “tornado,” and you’re trying to fit them into the words already on the table, you’ll have to flex your creative muscles.

This game is for older kids (it’s recommended 10+ though I have had 8-year-olds successfully play), and is one that won’t drive adults crazy!

4. LeapFrog ABC Backpack

If you’re looking for a toy to help your pre-writers spend more time learning about letters and how to write them, check this awesome gift out!

It’s from LeapFrog and it’ll help make writing fun for your little ones. There are activities your child can do, such as learning how to make letters into animals, or they can just play on their own.

I like that it closes securely and then your child can wear it as a backpack. It’s a fun one to bring along on road trips – if your little one won’t toss the letters everywhere.

A couple of my daughters have really enjoyed diaries over the years. They make a fun place to write stories, personal reflections, or anything else that comes to mind.

And while you can use any old notebook to write these things in, special diaries make the process more enjoyable. Diaries come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors, so see what you can find that your kids enjoy.

We’ve had fuzzy unicorn diaries like this one:

Character-themed diaries like this:

And simple, locking diaries like this:

Pick one up and encourage your child to write without worrying too much about grammar, spelling, and all those other rules. After all, it’s a personal, “kid-friendly” form of writing!

6. Create a Story Cards

This is my go-to gift for preschoolers and early elementary kiddos. It’s so much fun! And boy, does it engage the reading and writing portion of the brain.

Here’s a post I wrote a while back on my homeschooling blog showing 15 different ways to inspire literacy with Tell Me a Story. (Please note that the game has changed names since then. It used to be Tell Me a Story…) Whatever you call it, it’s fun!

This game makes an excellent addition to a family game collection. Best of all, there are multiple versions you can choose from, so pick out your favorite or get them all.

7. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

Writers are often inspired by others. And this book by Mo Willems offers the perfect springboard for creating your own version. I used this book to teach writing workshops to students in grades K-6. Almost all of the kids loved it!

Pair this present with some drawing paper and a pack of markers. Then, your child will everything needed to create a sequel to this book.

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

8. Lettering Books

I’ve enjoyed doodling with letters ever since fourth grade when our first day of school assignment was to come up with a unique way to write our name. My teacher gave us a quick overview of bubble letters, script letters, and a variety of others.

A couple of my kids enjoy making “fancy writing” too. While they aren’t quite old enough for a calligraphy book, this kid friendly Book of Hand Lettering is the perfect way for them to learn more and practice.

Writing practice is writing practice, and if the kids are inspired to create beautiful letters, let them!

9. Stationary

Who doesn’t enjoy receiving a good old-fashioned letter in the mail? I know I do! And so do my kids. It’s just different than emails.

While you can get out a sheet of plain paper to write on, my kids prefer something like this:

There’s something special about beautiful paper! And writing by hand is a different skill than typing. You really have to think about what you’re going to say before you jump in.

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

You can find this fancy writing paper in many different styles. Characters, animals, floral patterns, and more are available. So find something that you know your child would love and go with that.

Then get them Grandma’s address (or a friend who moved away, or someone else …) and encourage them to write. You might even take a trip to the post office together to mail it.

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

10. Blog Hosting

Do you have teens? Hook them up with blog hosting and a blog all their own.

I switched to FastComet at the beginning of 2018, and have been super impressed! My site speed is faster, their customer service is superb, and my traffic is growing.  When I first started out, I used BlueHost , and it worked well at first. However, as my traffic grew, it started having some problems.

Since you’ll want your teen to have a say in the domain , a gift certificate or card will probably be the best way to present this gift. Then you can sit down together and fill in all the details before purchasing.

Encouraging your child to blog now will help her understand that what is published online will be seen by others. It’s a good way to teach internet safety while still allowing some freedom to create.

Just be sure to subscribe to your teen’s blog. That way you know what’s being published!

And if you need more ideas for Christmas gifts for teens , be sure to check out Miranda’s great list of ideas!

11. Mad Libs Books

I like Mad Libs! Back in high school, when my husband was just my boyfriend, he created a Mad Libs-style game on my graphing calculator. He also programmed it with some helpful math programs that made calculus a breeze, but let’s not talk about that okay?

That Mad Libs game helped me get through the long bus ride I had every day.

And now our kids enjoy the book form of these. They’re a fun way to practice parts of speech and create super silly stories.

Mad Libs make a great gift before a road trip!

12. A Stop Motion Movie Kit

My oldest loves animation and creating videos. She’ll spend hours working on getting her storyboard figured out and deciding how to tell her story.

If your child is into movie-making, there’s a ton of writing involved! You can’t tell a good story without actually telling a story, after all. So, a Stop-Motion movie kit is a good gift.

Here’s a fun kit for a beginner. Using familiar characters helps get the inspiration going:

Here’s a more in-depth review I wrote on my other blog:

My Review of the Stop Motion Animation Kit from Stopmotion Explosion

And here’s a pic of one of my daughters using it when she was younger:

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

13.  A Stamp Set

Do you remember the stories that use pictures instead of some words? They’re called rebus stories.

Let your child create his own with fun stamp sets.

We enjoy these wooden stamp sets from Melissa & Doug. The stamps are very durable!

Also, adding colored pencils allows your kids to design backgrounds for the story so they can create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

14. Spy Codes

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

Secret messages have been used throughout history and are so much fun to create!

15. A Book Making Kit

My fifth-grade teacher implemented a Writing Workshop. Back then, it was a very new trend.

Several times a week, we wrote. Once we had the text written and edited, we had to “publish” it. This meant we got to pick out wallpaper to create a cover with. Then, we typed the story and printed it out.

We actually used scissors and glue to cut out paragraphs and arrange them on pages. Then, we illustrated.

At the end of the school year, I had a dozen or so finished books. I still have one of them. In it,  my older sister went off to space to join the Star Trek crew after getting sucked into the TV. It’s definitely goofy, but my kids liked looking at it.

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

This one allows you to either mail in your child’s words and illustrations or complete them online. Once you submit them, you’ll get back a printed version of your child’s book. What a great gift!

16.  Story Starters

With a good supply of story starters, your child will be inspired to create many new stories. But don’t feel like your child has actually to write stories for each one.

They can create:

  • A comic book
  • A scrapbook of pictures and captions

For the younger crowd (beginning writers and up), I recommend this book:

It’s geared for kids in the 1st-3rd grade. For older kids, there’s another version:

17. Man Bites Dog

In case you haven’t noticed by now, I really love board games (and card games!) They really are a fun way to practice all sorts of skills.

This is one I gave to my little sister one year. We bought our own copy since it’s so much fun. This game is best for older kids (it’s rated 8+, but I think slightly older is probably better, just because they’ll have more exposure to the concept of headlines.)

Your goal is to create the best, most outrageous headline from the word cards you have. Each card has a specific point value assigned, so you want to earn the most points you can from each headline.

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

You can also modify it for single player fun. Just let your child pull out the cards and start building headlines. 

The best gifts for kids who love to write

18. The Game of Life Goals Card Game

Might as well keep going with the games–there are so many to inspire a love of writing! (Here’s a different post with the top 10 Writing Board Games for Kids !)

This game isn’t like the traditional Game of Life we all know. There’s no little tiny blue and pink people to shove into  a station wagon and drive around the board. No buildings or bridges to awkwardly shove into slots. An easy game. Let’s all breathe a sigh of relief!

It’s just cards. And fun.

While you CAN play the game like the rules recommend, I don’t usually. I use it mainly as a solo activity.

I let my kids pick through each type of card to create an amazing life story. They can use as many cards as they want, but they have to connect to each other in a fluid story.

This makes them apply some critical thinking skills, make decisions, and create a story.

When they’re done, they get to tell me the story they created.

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

19. Telestrations

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

Basically, this is the telephone game on paper. You take turns drawing and writing captions. Then when the pages are full, you look back over the entire chain to see what went wrong.

Like when your 8 year old thinks that the dinosaur you drew was a flying dog. It was clearly not a flying dog, for the record! So much fun, and it requires writing.

20. Comic Book Creator Kit

I loved reading Uncle Scrooge comic books as a kid! And Mickey Mouse. Oh yeah, I can’t forget Donald Duck. I liked all of the Disney comics really.

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

21. The Pictello App

I first heard about this from a fellow Angelman Syndrome mom. So I promptly installed the Pictello app on both my phone and my son’s iPad.

He isn’t yet able to create stories, but he enjoys listening to the ones that are preinstalled. I’ve had the other kids use it to create stories too.

You can import your pictures from your camera roll, record audio, and add text. It’s a fairly easy to use story making app.

22. Lego Duplo Alphabet Train

Have a young pre-writer in your life? Here’s the perfect gift. This Mega Bloks set features a train that carries a block with each letter of the alphabet. With it, your little one can practice:

  • Putting letters in alphabetical order
  • Spelling simple words
  • Letter identification
  • Matching letter blocks to letters they see in a book

You can even hide a couple of the blocks around the room and see if they can find each letter that’s missing. There are so many possibilities with this alphabet train!

23. Paint Your Own Story Stones

Does your child enjoy painting? They can put their love of art to work with these story stones . The set comes with some rocks for your child to paint. Then, they can use those to inspire a story for them to tell.

Your child can create their own characters and settings to paint, or use some familiar classics. Then they can mix and match the stones to tell one unique story after another.

And if you want a cute story to go with it, try Scribble Stones!

24.  Puppet Theater

Your child can create their own puppet shows with this adorable set. It’s made from wood and holds up fairly well to frequent use. However, make sure you check the dimensions, especially if you’re planning on having more than one kid use it.

It’s smaller than I originally thought and is definitely meant to sit up on a tabletop or something. Someday I’ll have my husband make us a bigger one maybe.

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

Of course, you’ll want to get some puppets to go along with this gift. Here are a few fun options from Melissa and Doug:

  • Safari Set 
  • Palace Pals 
  • Farm Friends

25.  Writing for Minecrafters Book

I never imagined I’d be buying Minecraft themed grammar and writing book, but here we are. My kids absolutely love Minecraft. And, this writing book is actually pretty well done. You can get a sample of what it’s like with the Look Inside, so definitely check it out.

It has some basic instruction in it to help kids learn more about grammar and sentence structure. Then they can use what they learn to improve their writing. There are plenty of Minecraft themed pictures throughout.

One of my sons really liked the reading one when he was younger

There are plenty of other options too, so pick a couple and make a Minecraft Learning bundle for your kids. Add a couple of Minecraft themed pencils and you’ve got a wonderful gift that your child can take along on a trip or use to fill some free time.

What are your favorite gifts for young writers?

Have you used any products with your kids this year that made you stop and go, “Wow!”? I’d love for you to share them with me in the comments.

how to help 8 year old with creative writing

Lisa Tanner

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.

Reader Interactions

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December 6, 2016 at 7:04 pm

Great list, Lisa! My 15 yr old actually just bought a domain name and blog hosting for himself. But for Christmas we might buy him a theme through Genesis. His blog is all about rock n roll since that is what he’s in to right now. He’ll do lists like “Top 50 Beatles Songs of All Time”. These lists take him quite a bit of time to compose. When I went to his site and read his posts I was really impressed with the quality and creativity of his writing. Blogging really is a wonderful way to improve your writing skills. What also amazed me was how fast he was able to navigate the WordPress dashboard (without ever having seen it before). It took him about 5 minutes to learn something that would take me hours to figure out…lol!

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December 6, 2016 at 7:10 pm

Thanks Carrie. Sounds like your son is off to a great blogging start! A theme is a great way to encourage him.

Those long list posts are definitely time consuming, so he’ll be getting some great writing practice. And it won’t even feel like work to him because it’s something he loves. That’s awesome!

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December 17, 2016 at 2:26 am

I think all of the things are great ideas. I wish I had these when my daughter was growing up. I also started a website http://www.childrenstoystores.com/ it took me almost a year to create. I had help from a friend to build it. These ideas are going to help a lot of kids learn different ways to write.

December 18, 2016 at 5:15 am

Hi Lynn, thanks so much for stopping by. There are some fabulous items in your inventory that can help inspire a love of learning as well.

December 18, 2016 at 5:28 am

I’m so glad you took the time to look at my website. Do you have any suggestions for toys that might be more inspiring to different children? I would love to hear what you think.

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