The Best Journal Prompts for Kids to Encourage Creativity and Thought

Here are journal prompts for kids that can creatively engage young minds through written reflections at home or in the classroom. 

The Best Journal Prompts for Kids to Encourage Creativity and Thought

When it comes to writing exercises, journal prompts are one of the best ways to encourage kids to think out of the box and develop strong communication skills. 


True, journaling is a useful practice for people of all ages to reflect on thoughts and feelings, but it offers extra benefits for young ones. Journal prompts can help kids improve their literacy and explanation skills, while boosting their emotional intelligence and helping them reflect on both past experiences and future goals. 


Below are some interesting and engaging journal prompts for kids. They can be used at home as a fun activity for parents and siblings, or at school to match specific learning outcomes.

 

Reflecting on Key Experiences


  • What the greatest thing you’ve learned so far this year? 
  •  Write about a time when something funny happened that made you laugh. 
  •  Describe your earliest memory. 
  •  Do you remember your first day of school?  What was it like?
  •  What’s something you did that made you proud?
  •  What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
  •  Describe a time when you did something that you thought you couldn’t do.

These journal prompts are a great way for kids to reflect on special moments in their lives that have brought them joy or helped them grow. Being able to reflect on a moment that made them proud or happy is an important part of developing emotional intelligence, which can start from a young age!


When a child is able to reflect on what they’ve learned during the year, it helps them see the benefit of education. These prompts can also be insightful for a parent or teacher because it helps you discover what subject or part of the curriculum was a highlight for the child. It can also help you plan future activities that you know they will enjoy.

 

Imaginative Journal Prompts for Kids 


  • What would you do if you woke up one morning to find yourself invisible?
  • Describe what would happen if dinosaurs still existed.
  • Imagine that you meet a dragon while walking in the forest. What happens next?
  • If you could be a superhero, what superpower(s) would you have and why?
  • Describe what it would be like if you had an alligator as a pet?
  • Invent and describe a new food.
  • What would you do if you were able to talk to animals?
  • If you could shrink down to the size of a mouse what would you do?
  • If you could grow as large as a building what you would you do and why?

One of the best parts of journaling for kids is the opportunity for them to get creative and use their imagination to generate new ideas. These fun journal prompts are great for helping kids think outside of the box and be playful.


As well as featuring personal reflection, journal prompts can creatively challenge kids to envision what things would be like if certain things in the world were different. These kind of journal prompts are also a great way to introduce kids to creative writing exercises for larger projects.  


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Adulthood from a Child's Perspective 


  • How old is old? 
  • What do you think grown-ups don’t understand?
  • What’s the first thing you want to do when you become an adult?
  • Of all the things you are learning, what do you think will be the most useful when you are an adult?
  • Describe the hardest thing about being your age?
  • Describe the best thing about being a kid?
  • What age are you most excited to reach and why?
  • What do you think your life will be like in 10 years?
  • What job would you like to do when you grow up?


Looking into a child’s perspective on adulthood can be very interesting. These prompts open up discussions about what a young one aspires to do when they get older, as well as what they think it’s like to be an adult. The insights from this exercise can help you understand what your child is struggling with currently, as well as what excites them about the future.  


A great tool with various topics that can be journal prompts for kids is the Little Talk Deck by BestSelf. It’s a pack of 150 prompt cards that are designed to spark insightful conversations with children and young people. The prompt cards encourage young ones to come to terms with their hopes, joys and fears, while learning to express themselves confidently – which a primary goal of journaling.

 

Poetry


  • Write a poem about a day at the beach using the 5 senses.
  • Write a 12 line poem where every line is about a different month of the year.
  • Write a poem about grandmother’s kitchen – it could be your grandmother or someone else’s!
  • Write about happiness – but think of it as a recipe! What ingredients and steps are involved?
  • Write a poem using onomatopoeia, where the words you use are pronounced similar to the sound they make. For example, boom, bang, splash, buzz, pop.
  • Write a poem about your favourite color. Include objects, places or feelings that remind you of that color.
  • Write a poem from the perspective of your favourite animal.

You can use journal prompts to help kids practice poetry and other literacy skills. You could add further to this activity by getting kids to explore techniques such as alliteration and using metaphors and similes. Writing poetry helps in language development, self-expression and the development of natural rhythms. The above prompts are creative and somewhat abstract to encourage kids to think outside the box.

 


Journal Prompts for Kids Based on Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales 


  • Imagine that you are one of the bears from Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Describe how you feel and what you do when you come home and find Goldilocks sitting in your chair, eating your porridge, and sleeping in your bed.


  • Who is your favourite dwarf from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and why? (The names of the dwarves are Dopey, Grumpy, Bashful, Sneezy, Sleepy, Happy and Doc).

  • Using your own twist, describe the carriage and driver that take Cinderella to the ball. In the original version the carriage is a pumpkin, but choose another object that turns into a carriage. The driver of the carriage can be a human, an animal, whatever you want!

  • When Jasmine and Aladdin fly on the magic carpet, what do they see? Describe their experience and what it feels like to fly up high in the sky on the carpet.

  • Write a story about the Tortoise and the Hare, but instead of the Hare taking a nap during the race, he does something else, and the tortoise stills ends up winning. What does the Hare do instead of running ahead of the tortoise, and what is the moral of the story?


These journal prompts features stories that most kids are likely familiar with. However, they put a twist on the traditional tales and encourage kids to be imaginative and engage in deep thinking.


These exercises provide kids with an opportunity to expand on some of their favourite nursery rhymes and fairy tales or change an element of the story. It’s a great way to improve their creative writing skills while learning to view narratives from multiple perspectives.

 

Gratitude 


  • What does gratitude mean?
  • What are you thankful for today?
  • What is the best gift that you have ever received?
  • What’s your favourite school subject and why?
  • Which room in your house is your favourite and why?
  • What is your favourite game or sport and why?
  • Who do you like to spend time with?
  • Where is your favourite place to go?
  • Name one person you want to show appreciation for today and how you will do it.


A few simple journal exercises can encourage kids to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. This activity can help a child reflect on the concept of gratitude and see that there are many things to be grateful for in life. If you haven’t done this before, why not try it out and notice how it motivates your child to think positively. For parents and kids, this activity can even lead to a conversation about happy memories you’ve shared together.

 

Family and Friends 


  • Write about two things that your family has taught you.
  • Who is the funniest member of your family and why?
  • How did your parents choose your name?
  • Describe a time when you had a problem and a friend helped you.
  • Think about one of your friends or a family member. What do you admire about them?
  • Write down three ways you could help a friend or family member today.
  • Pretend you are writing a letter to someone who is having a hard time making friends at school. What would you say to them?
  • Write about someone close to you that is a friend but feels like family.


Journaling is a way to help young ones reflect on their family relationships and friendships. Journal prompts can help kids develop a sense of identity through thinking about topics such as their name, members of their family, and close friends. Journaling can also encourage kids to notice positive qualities in people around them, while finding helpful ways to contribute to their community.

 

Problem Solving


  • Imagine there no grocery stores and you must get your own food. How do you find food and what types of things do you eat?


  • A truck just arrived at your house with 5,000 books for you and your family as a gift from someone. But you can’t fit all the books onto the shelves in your home. What do you do? How do you find a place to put all the books?

  • You notice that someone in the playground is getting bullied and no one else is there. You don’t know the kid that’s getting bullied. What do you do?

  • Your principal comes to you and asks you to be in charge of planning the school lunch menu. What foods do you serve each day?

  • You are the security guard at the zoo, and you discover that someone has released all snakes and lions. What do you do?

  • You are a detective and you are assigned to find out how the chicken crossed the road. How do you solve the mystery?

  • There is a new kid in your class who is a bit shy and struggling to make friends. What do you do to help them?

  • Imagine you are planning a surprise party for someone and you want to invite some of their friends too. How do you keep it a surprise?


These prompts engage kids in problem solving, whether it’s reflecting on a problem they could face in real life, or an imaginary scenario. As kids analyze a hypothetical situation and try and identify a solution, it helps with their social and emotional development. Problem-solving is a key skill for kids to learn early because it teaches them to persevere with difficult tasks instead of giving up easily.


The journal exercises sharpen practical skills that are needed in everyday life, such as in navigating conflict with peers, solving tough math questions or learning how to handle peer pressure. Problem-solving journal exercises also encourage kids to take responsibility for themselves and the needs and feelings of others.

 


The Little Talk Deck by BestSelf - A Tool for Bigger Conversations with Children

Alternatively...


An alternative to the above journal prompts for kids is simply to ask the child what they would like their new journal to be about. This gives kids the freedom to brainstorm topics that they would enjoying journaling about. 


Of course, if you make journaling a routine practice, you could always switch things up, and have some days where you do the above journal prompts and other days where the child chooses their own topics. 


Final Thoughts 


Journaling can be a fun activity that helps kids improve their literacy skills while engaging in self-discovery. It's also a great activity for when kids are stuck at home and you're looking for something to engage them as supposed to just watching TV or playing video games. 


It can be beneficial to schedule a regular time for kids to journal in their notebooks. In this way, you can add structure to a day spent at home and give them something to look forward to. Journaling can be a stress-relieving activity for both adults and kids so it's good to encourage them to feel comfortable and write for as little or as long as it takes for them to respond to their writing prompt for that day. 


I hope you find the above journal prompts for kids useful. Feel free to adapt them to best suit your classroom activity or family needs! 


Related Post: Creative Writing Journal Prompts 


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