Are your homeschoolers ready to unleash their creative potential? But, unfortunately suffering from writer’s block! We’ve got some fun ideas and strategies to help your kids of all ages overcome this hurdle. Using these creative writing prompts they can unlock their imagination, relight their storytelling fires and help inspire a love of writing.
As home educators, we know that writing can be a challenge for young kids especially if they have deregistered from school and the structure of writing taught in formal education. Finding their creative voice can be a real uphill struggle. Whether it’s creative characters, building worlds with their words or sitting staring at blank pages for hours not knowing what to write we have got some ideas to help you out. This collection of creative writing prompts is designed to spark their creativity and help them to break free from writer’s block.
Creative Writing Prompts for Writer’s Block
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We’ve chosen a wide selection of different writing blocks to help your kids to motivate themselves to start writing creatively. From different genres to writing skills, like descriptions, dialogues and new ideas these prompts for homeschoolers will equip them and you with some tools to transform writer’s block into a distant memory.
By implementing the strategies below, and using our prompts once a week your kids will start to overcome writer’s block and discover their own writing prowess. They will have a real confidence boost and discover the joy of the written word.
I promise that these will work, when we deregistered our youngest from school writing was something that was dreaded. They never wanted to pick up a pen, hated writing and were so focused on the SPAG she had had to do in school that creative writing was something alien to them! By using prompts whether written or picture prompts and focusing on it once a week they’re now in high school and their teacher has expressed how wonderful their creative writing skills are.
Strategies to Help Your Kids Overcome Writer’s Block
Helping your child to overcome writer’s block or develop a love of creative writing isn’t stressful, there are a few easy ways to help them. Here are the strategies that I used with my youngest to help their love of creative writing.
A Writing Environment
I remember reading Playful Learning by Mariah Bruehl when my kids were young and the ideas for playful writing influenced our early years at home before school. When we deregistered the kids I returned to some of these ideas but adapted them for our older kids.
Mainly it was establishing a comfortable and inspiring space for them to write. I equipped them with everything they could want, notebooks, pens, coloured pens, different types of paper, paints and more that they could use. Because one of both kids’ favourite types of books was non-fiction with lots of pictures and illustrations they had access to a printer, as well as paper with both white space and lines to write on. I didn’t want the materials being not available to be part of the block for them.
Realistic Writing Goals
I love writing now, but I struggled like my kids and still struggle to this day with writer’s block on occasion. One of the big things I’ve discovered that helps me is breaking my writing down into manageable blocks. When my kids were younger we worked together to break up writing into smaller goals – instead of writing a story, it was what this story needs, now how can we set a goal for that section to complete now?
It may be a number of paragraphs, sentences or words depending on the age of your child. But work with them to set realistic goals that you know they will easily achieve. When they easily bypass them it will help them reduce the feeling of the overwhelm and build their writing confidence.
Brainstorming is one of my favourite ways to overcome writer’s block as a blogger. I sit and just braindump all of my ideas! I remember when I first started doing it I tried to do fancy spider diagrams etc… but for me what worked best wasn’t anything like I had been told. It was one idea – that I then followed…. then a new piece of paper and followed. So many ideas that I could then use as ideas and starting points.
The first time I said to my kids to do it both started spider diagrams… and got blocked – overwhelmed with ideas…. So I introduced my List to Lists and more lists idea… they loved it. But we now have multiple notebooks and Word docs with lists and more lists.
What is freewriting I hear you ask! Well, it’s just writing, not worrying about all of the stuff about writing but just going with the flow. I started this when I was a teen and hated writing, my mum, an English teacher suggested I write stories. None that I would go back and read – in fact, she suggested I delete or rip them up when I had got to the point I couldn’t write any more.
When I did this with my kids they wanted me to check them (thank you schools – please note the sarcasm there!). Instead, I said this is for you to write your stories. I don’t want to read them if they aren’t for me or for a piece of work. Instead, these are for your writing pleasure.
It was a changing point. My youngest writes for pleasure. When they are ready I’m sure I will read their stories. Until then, much like my own, they will probably be deleted and never read.
Provide Writing Prompts
I never had the problem with writer’s block that I had no ideas, but my oldest never had a starting point. So I started to offer them creative writing prompts that I knew they would enjoy writing about. They inspired their imagination and I’m sharing just some of them here with you today after these strategies.
Feedback is important, but not every time. One of the things that I did was that I would set a writing prompt that I would look at, but also set writing prompts for them to do and if they wanted to share that was brilliant, if not no problem.
When they did ask for feedback or it was set as a piece of writing I always gave constructive feedback and encouragement. I focused on the positives and offered suggestions to improve further. Did it matter that there were spelling mistakes now – NO! It was a start that was most important.
Creating this nurturing environment really supported their love of writing.
I firmly believe that as parents an educators we set an expectation for our kids by modelling behaviour. When it comes to writing, I’ve always sat and written alongside the kids, this means that they have witnessed my writer’s block, seen me type out and journal at speed when an idea hits and edit the words I’ve written.
We can show our kids that writing is a natural not forced process, by making it part of our lives, writing in journals, creating stories, writing a blog etc… Modelling the writing process helps kids understand that it is all around them and not just based on assignments but something that we all can do for pleasure.
Using Visuals and Media
Prompts like I’m sharing below are fantastic, but they aren’t the only way and I will be sharing some more prompts in the future that aren’t just writing.
Pictures, illustrations, music, audio and videos are great starts for prompts as well as these sentences. They can spark ideas as they active different areas of the brain and your child will start to visualise their stories quicker.
This is one of the reasons that we really loved Night Zookeeper. The prompts and writing exercises there were all visual. It really engaged my kids’ writing and then the feedback (see above) helped them improve time and time again.
Please encourage your children to take breaks, nothing is worse than sitting there looking at a blank page and getting stressed. Take a walk, stretch, deep breathe it’s amazing what that little break from the writing can do.
It’s the Process, not the Product
This is something that annoys me so much about schools and how that mental shift has taken over all education. The end product is not necessarily important. We’re not aiming for perfection. It’s all about the process, every step is a process that needs to be acknowledged.
None of us start out as Best Selling Authors or Award Winning Bloggers, we have to shift the focus from achieving perfection to enjoying the process. Write the first story and then you know what delete it, screw up the paper and throw it in the bin. Now start again.
Emphasize the Process, Not Just the Product: Shift the focus from solely aiming for a perfect final product to valuing the writing process itself. Encourage your children to enjoy the act of writing, embrace experimentation, and view writing as a form of self-expression and personal growth.
Why do Kids Get Writer’s Block?
Kids can experience writer’s block for a variety of reasons.
Often, it’s a pressure they feel to produce a perfect piece of writing. Combine this with a fear of making mistakes, self-doubt, lack of inspiration or even being not clear about what they need to write or how to organise their thoughts in a way to start. It all comes together and causes the problem.
By following the tips above and using some of the creative writing prompts in our subscriber library (which includes these ones for overcoming writer’s block) you can help your kids to unleash their full potential and become happy writers.
Creative Writing Prompts for Kids
So here are just a few of our favourite creative writing prompts we’ve used to get over our writer’s block.
- Write the bio of a character who has the power to control the weather, describe their abilities and how they will help humanity or destroy it in detail.
- Create a conversation between two sea animals that have just been attacked by a shark, what would they say?
- Write a journal entry as if you were an explorer discovering a new land for the first time.
- Write a story from the perspective of a household object (e.g., a pencil, a lamp, a chair).
- Choose two famous people from the same period in history and write a dialogue between them. They may never have met but you can imagine it.
- Write a short story starting with the sentence, “As I opened the door, I couldn’t believe what I saw!”
- Imagine you are a superhero. Describe your powers and your costume.
- Imagine you wake up one morning being able to fly. Describe what you would do and how it would feel.
- Travel back in time and write a journal entry about your experiences.
- Imagine you have a personal robot. Describe what it does and how it helps you every day.
Want to know more about using creative writing prompts with your kids? Then check out our Guide for Using Creative Writing Prompts in your Homeschool.
FREE Printable Creative Writing Prompts for Kids
Would you like access to our ever-growing library of writing prompts for kids, from seasonal packs to themes and more? Then subscribe to our Rainy Day Homeschooling Newsletter today for access to the library with both US Letter Sized and A4 Paper Packs as well as information, tips and ideas for home-educating families.
When you subscribe you will be sent an email with the link for the subscriber library and the password to enter to access the prompts and more. Just fill in your details below and then check your inbox.