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With schools being canceled across the country, I know many of you are wondering, “What in the world am I doing with my kids at home for weeks on end!?” Well, here’s one simple idea to get them writing each day in a creative way.
Promote creative thinking, attention span, and writing skills using these original 30+ Journal Writing Prompts for Kids that are written by an award-winning elementary teacher, Shelli Thelen (who gave us permission to share). They are especially geared towards younger elementary children but many will work for a wide range of ages.
Not only are the journal writing prompts creative and fun but some encourage your child to respond to what he/she is reading, some support writing, and some relate to math.
How to Use Journal Writing Prompts
Dig around and find a notebook or staple together loose leaf paper. Have your child decorate the front cover.
Then, simply download and print our free 30+ Journal Writing Prompts printable (or scroll to the bottom of this post to see all the prompts in one place, if you don’t have a printer).
You can either hang it on your fridge or try this idea…
Let the kids cut up the different prompts and place them in a bowl. Each day, your child can draw out a prompt to work on for that day.
Please pass this freebie along to any other parents in your lives. We hope this resource gets utilized in homes all over the nation to inspire more writing in kids’ lives.
30+ Journal Writing Prompts for Kids
Ways to use a journal to support your child’s reading:
1) Record the title of the book and have your child write about their favorite part. Illustrate that part of the story.
2) Record the title of the book. Which character was your favorite? Why?
3) Record the title of the book. What did the story make you think of? What did it remind you of?
4) Record the title of the book. Find one new vocabulary word that you did not know. Write the word and the definition. Illustrate the meaning of that word.
5) Record the title of the book. Make a list of the new information you learned after reading the book.
6) Check out a series of books on the same character (like Splat the Cat). Which book was your favorite or why? Which parts of the book help you know that character? Find that part in the book, record it and explain it.
7) Check out a series of books on one author (Jan Brett, Steve Jenkins, Gail Gibbons, Donald Crews, Margery Cuyler, etc…) What do you notice about how their books are structured? What is their “signature”? What things are repeating across a variety of their books?
8) Check out some Poetry books. Find a poem. Copy it into your journal. Circle words that are fun or meaningful.
9) Check out books on a place that is far, far away. Write down the place and what you learned about it.
10) Check out a children’s magazine. Find your favorite article and write about what you learned or questions you have.
Ways to use the journal to support your child’s writing:
11) Go outside, sit and be quiet. Write down what you hear, see, smell and feel.
12) Go outside, find one cool thing. Sketch it and label it. What questions do you have?
13) Go outside, look up at the sky on a cloudy day. Find a cloud that makes a picture. Sketch it and write about what your shape looks like. Where did it go?
14) Go on a walk. Use your eyes, ears and body to see, smell, hear and feel the outdoors. What did you see? Smell? Hear? Feel?
15) If you went on a day trip to the zoo, museum, or special outing, write about it.
16) Did you visit someone special? What did you do first? Next? Last?
17) Find a recipe with an adult and make something special. Write about it!
18) Get two socks out of the drawer. Put them on your hands and pretend they are characters. Make up who they are and tell a story. Write down what they would say to each other.
19) Put some music on, what is your favorite song? What is your favorite part from the song to sing? How does it make you feel?
20) Dream of a far, far away place. What kind of place is it? Who lives there? What do you get to do?
21) Plan out a relay race for your family. Make a list of three things they have to do to “win” and cross the finish line.
22) What is something that you have learned to do this summer? Write “how to” do it. What comes first, next, last?
23) Write a letter to a family member. Tear out the page and mail it to them.
24) Have you discovered a new learning game on a device? What is it? What do you do? Why is it fun?
25) Did you travel on vacation somewhere? Where did you go? What did you do? Who did you see? What foods did you try?
26) Make a grocery list of things you need to make a special treat.
Ways to use the journal to support your child’s math: (These prompts are geared mostly towards Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st grade)
27) Draw a large shape on the driveway with sidewalk chalk. Fill it with objects. How many objects did it take to fill it? Draw the shape and show how many things were inside the shape. Write the number that represents the total.
28) Count to 100!
29) Write the numbers backwards from 20.
30) Go on a Number hunt. Look around the house and record all of the places that you see numbers. Draw the item and circle the numbers that are on it.
31) Write your numbers to 100.
32) If you are going out and about, keep track of how many steps you count at each destination. Can you add them up to get a total? How did you figure it out? Show your work.
33) Have your parent give you a number, write down what would be one more. Do this several times. Then, repeat but write down a number that is one less.
34) Look around the house for shapes. Record five different shapes and label what they are.
35) Count how many stuffed animals you have. Write down how many there are all together? How can you sort them?
36) Look at the addition doubles to 10 (0+0, 1+1, 2+2, 3+3, etc…) try and write out the equations. Draw a picture to solve. Repeat, but this time, add one more/one less.
37) Write down all the names of the people in your family. Collect Data! Count how many letters are in each person’s name. Who has the most letters? Who has the least?
38) Find a recipe, write down all of the numbers that you used to create your masterpiece! Do you see fractions? What does that mean? (Ask your parent.)