Handwriting prompts, also known as writing prompts, are a great way to inspire kids to write creatively and express themselves through their handwriting. Writing is an essential skill that kids must develop as it helps them to communicate effectively, build their imagination, and develop critical thinking. For kids that struggle with bad handwriting, practicing legibility is often a real challenge. Having a set of writing prompts for kids to use to guide handwriting practice can help, especially if it’s a motivating writing prompt topic that peaks the child’s interest!
Handwriting prompts, also known as writing prompts, provide kids with ideas and topics to write about, encouraging them to explore their thoughts and emotions. There are various types of writing prompts for kids, including journal prompts, writing picture prompts, and fun writing prompts. In this article, we will explore how to write a prompt and introduce some fun journal prompts for kids and picture prompts for kids to spark their creativity and make writing a fun activity for them.
Then, teachers and therapists can use that writing prompt exercise as a handwriting practice or creative writing activity. Occupational therapists often work on letter formation, line awareness, margin use and other parts of writing that impact legibility and efficiency. A kid-friendly writing prompt offers a natural writing opportunity to impact carryover of handwriting skills.
Writing Prompts for Kids
Using a writing prompt or creative writing idea that is fun can be one way to work on legibility and hand writing tips without feeling like kids are fighting the hand writing process. Writing about fun things or areas of interest is one way to work on legibility without rote copying or simply forming letters over and over again.
Here are lists of writing prompts and writing prompt ideas to help kids work on handwriting using their interests in order to improve carryover. The goal with these writing prompts are to work on handwriting practice without the struggle.
Writing prompt ideas
Before getting started with these writing prompts for kids, be sure to encourage kids to create short lists. Writing short lists rather than typical writing prompts offers a chance for kids to practice the specifics of handwriting:
- Line use
- Margin use
- Letter formation
- Size awareness
- Spacing between letters
When writing in small spurts, kids get the chance to work on areas like line awareness, spacing, letter size, and letter formation without fatigue.
Many times, writing prompts are opportunities for kids to write complete sentences and to use creative writing, while practicing the parts of a sentence, use of figurative language, complete thoughts, etc. And creative writing journal prompts are great to use for these learning needs!
Today, however, I am going to share writing prompts in list format so that handwriting tasks can be completed in short spurts, while focusing on the mechanics of handwriting.
When working on handwriting, be sure to use a self-check list so that children can look over their work and self-analyze their written work. A writing posture check can be helpful to use as well. These self-assessment checks improve carryover and learning of skills.
- Here is a free handwriting self-assessment checklist you can print off and use.
- Here is a cursive writing self-assessment checklist.
- Create a handwriting posture self-check list that works for your writing space.
How to Write a Prompt
Creating a writing prompt that focuses on a child’s interests can be a great way to engage them in writing and encourage their creativity. Here are some steps you can follow to create such a prompt:
- Identify the child’s interests: Start by observing the child and identifying what they enjoy. This could be anything from their favorite TV show to their favorite sport or hobby.
- Brainstorm writing topics: Once you know the child’s interests, brainstorm some writing topics that relate to those interests. For example, if the child loves soccer, you could create a prompt about a soccer game they played in or a famous soccer player they admire.
- Use descriptive language: When creating the prompt, use descriptive language to make it more engaging and interesting. For example, instead of simply asking the child to write about their favorite animal, you could ask them to describe the animal’s appearance, habitat, and behavior in detail.
- Make it open-ended: Avoid creating prompts that are too narrow or prescriptive. Instead, make the prompt open-ended so that the child has the freedom to explore their own ideas and imagination.
- Make it age-appropriate: Consider the child’s age and writing level when creating the prompt. Younger children may need simpler prompts that focus on basic writing skills, while older children may be ready for more complex prompts that require critical thinking and analysis.
- Make it fun: Finally, make sure the prompt is fun and engaging for the child. You can use humor, fantasy, or adventure to make the prompt more exciting and enjoyable to write about.
Creative Journal Prompts
Use the writing prompts for kids as creative journal prompt ideas to write either lists of words or creative writing in a journal. Some ideas are open-ended questions and others are lists.
Animal Writing Prompts for kids
- Write about a favorite animal.
- Write animals in alphabetical order.
- List an animals for each letter of the alphabet.
- What animal is most like you? Why?
- If you could be any animal, it would be…
- Imagine you have a pet tiger. What would your daily routine look like? Describe a day in the life of you and your pet tiger.
- Write a story about a group of penguins who discover a new continent.
- Pretend you are a squirrel preparing for winter. Describe how you would gather and store food for the cold months ahead.
- Write about a day in the life of a dolphin. What do they do all day in the ocean?
- Imagine you are a bird flying south for the winter. Describe the journey and the things you see along the way.
- Write about a mischievous monkey who escapes from the zoo and causes chaos in the city.
- Imagine you are a kangaroo hopping through the Australian outback. What would you see and do?
- Write a story about a group of ants working together to gather food for their colony.
- Imagine you are a lion living in the savanna. Describe a typical day, from hunting to sleeping.
- Write a story about a group of animals who band together to save their habitat from destruction by humans.
Writing Prompts About My Favorite Things
- Your favorite way to spend time on the weekends
- Favorite snacks
- Things that are your favorite color
- Favorite foods
- Favorite shows and movies
- What are your favorite pizza toppings?
- Write about your favorite food. What makes it so delicious to you? What are some memories you have associated with it?
- Describe your favorite place to go on vacation. Why do you enjoy it there? What do you like to do when you visit?
- Write about your favorite hobby. What do you enjoy about it? How did you get started with it?
- Describe your favorite book. What do you like about the story and the characters? What did you learn from reading it?
- Write about your favorite movie. What do you like about it? Who are your favorite characters and why?
- Describe your favorite season. What do you like about it? What activities do you enjoy doing during that season?
- Write about your favorite animal. What do you like about it? What makes it special to you?
- Describe your favorite game to play. Why do you enjoy playing it? Who do you like to play it with?
- Write about your favorite song. What do you like about the lyrics and the melody? What memories do you have associated with it?
- Describe your favorite memory. What happened? Why was it special to you? How did it make you feel?
Writing Prompts about the Perfect Things
- Describe your perfect day.
- Describe your perfect vacation.
- Describe the ultimate ice cream sundae toppings.
- Describe the all-time best sleepover.
- Imagine your perfect day. Write about what you would do, where you would go, and who you would spend time with.
- Describe your ideal job. What would you do, and what would your workplace look like? What skills would you need to succeed in your ideal job?
- Write about your perfect meal. What would you eat, and who would you share it with? Describe the setting and ambiance of your ideal dining experience.
- Imagine your perfect vacation. Write about where you would go, what you would do, and who you would go with. Describe the scenery and the activities you would participate in.
- Describe your perfect weekend. What would you do, and who would you spend time with? What would make your ideal weekend special?
- Write about your ideal home. What would it look like, and where would it be located? What features and amenities would it have?
- Imagine your perfect outfit. Write about what you would wear, and where you would go dressed in your ideal outfit. Describe how you would feel wearing it.
- Write about your ideal relationship. What qualities would your partner have, and what would your relationship look like? What would you do together, and how would you support each other?
- Describe your perfect day off. What would you do to relax, recharge, and enjoy yourself? Who would you spend time with, and where would you go?
- Write about your ideal self. What qualities and traits would you possess, and how would you develop and maintain them? What would your life look like as your ideal self?
“Which is better” writing prompts for kids
- Which is better: summer or winter? Why?
- Which is better: spring or fall? Why?
- Which is better: the mountains or the beach. Why?
- Which is better: the city or the country? Why?
- Which is better: football or soccer? Why?
- Write an argumentative essay on which is better: reading books or watching movies. Support your position with reasons and examples.
- Compare and contrast living in a big city versus living in a small town. Which is better, and why?
- Write about which is better: eating at home or eating out at restaurants. Consider factors such as cost, convenience, and health benefits.
- Compare and contrast online learning versus traditional classroom learning. Which is better, and why?
- Write about which is better: having a big family or a small family. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of each.
- Compare and contrast public transportation versus driving a car. Which is better, and why?
- Write about which is better: exercising outdoors or at the gym. Consider factors such as convenience, social interaction, and exposure to nature.
- Compare and contrast working for a large corporation versus a small startup. Which is better, and why?
- Write about which is better: owning a pet or not owning a pet. Consider the benefits and responsibilities of pet ownership.
- Compare and contrast traveling alone versus traveling with a group. Which is better, and why?
List Writing Prompts for kids
- Days of the week
- Months of the year
- Kinds of fruit
- Hamburger toppings
- Animals at the zoo
- Sports played with a ball
- Write a list of 10 things you want to accomplish in the next year. Be specific and set measurable goals.
- Make a list of your favorite books of all time. Write a brief summary of each book and explain why you love it.
- Write a list of your favorite songs for different moods or occasions, such as songs for working out, relaxing, or partying.
- Make a list of 10 things that inspire you, whether it’s nature, art, or people you admire.
- Write a list of your favorite quotes and explain why they resonate with you.
- Make a list of 10 things you’re grateful for, whether it’s people, experiences, or personal qualities.
- Write a list of your favorite foods from different cultures. Explain what you love about each dish and how you discovered it.
- Make a list of 10 things you do to take care of your mental health, such as meditation, exercise, or talking to a friend.
- Write a list of 10 things you would do if you had unlimited time and resources. Dream big and be creative!
- Make a list of 10 ways you can make a positive impact on your community, whether it’s through volunteering, activism, or simply spreading kindness.
Sports Writing Prompts for Kids
- Write about your favorite sport and why you love it.
- Describe the most exciting game you have ever watched or played.
- Write about your favorite athlete and why they inspire you.
- Describe the equipment and gear you need to play your favorite sport.
- Write about the history of your favorite sport, including how it originated and how it has evolved over time.
- Describe the rules of your favorite sport and explain how they are enforced.
- Write about the benefits of playing sports, including physical fitness, teamwork, and sportsmanship.
- Describe the different positions in your favorite sport and the roles each player has.
- Write about your favorite sports moment, either from your own experience or from watching a professional game.
- Describe the training and preparation you need to do to play your favorite sport.
- Write about the importance of warm-up exercises and stretching before playing sports.
- Describe the different types of exercises you can do to improve your athletic performance.
- Write about the role of coaches and how they help players improve.
- Describe the different types of competitions and tournaments in your favorite sport.
- Write about the challenges and obstacles you face when playing sports, and how you overcome them.
- Describe the different types of sportsmanship and fair play, and why they are important in sports.
Mermaid writing Prompts
- Write a story about a mermaid who falls in love with a human. What challenges do they face in their relationship?
- Describe a day in the life of a mermaid, from swimming through the ocean to interacting with other sea creatures.
- Write about a mermaid who discovers a lost treasure on the ocean floor. What is the treasure, and why is it important?
- Describe a mermaid’s favorite underwater hiding spot. What does she do there, and why does she enjoy it?
- Write a story about a mermaid who goes on a quest to find a rare and valuable sea plant. What obstacles does she face, and what does she learn along the way?
- Describe a mermaid’s home in detail, including its structure, decor, and furnishings.
- Write about a mermaid who becomes friends with a sea turtle. What adventures do they have together?
- Imagine a world where mermaids and humans coexist. Write a story about a mermaid who must navigate this new world.
- Describe a mermaid’s magical powers, such as the ability to control the ocean’s tides or communicate with sea creatures.
- Write about a mermaid who discovers an underwater city. Who lives there, and what secrets does it hold?
Unicorn Writing Prompts
- Write a story about a young girl who discovers a unicorn in her backyard. What adventures do they have together?
- Describe the appearance and personality of your ideal unicorn. What qualities do you value most in this mythical creature?
- Write about a unicorn who goes on a journey to find a lost member of their herd. What obstacles do they face along the way?
- Imagine a world where unicorns are real and humans can communicate with them. Write about a human who becomes friends with a unicorn and what they learn from each other.
- Write a poem about a unicorn’s magical powers, such as the ability to heal, fly, or create rainbows.
- Describe the landscape of a magical unicorn kingdom, including its forests, rivers, and mountains.
- Write about a unicorn who befriends a group of woodland animals. What adventures do they have together?
- Imagine a world where unicorns are hunted for their magical horns. Write a story about a group of humans and unicorns who work together to stop the hunters.
- Write about a unicorn who discovers a hidden underground cave. What secrets does the cave hold, and what adventures does the unicorn have inside?
- Describe a day in the life of a unicorn, from grazing on grassy fields to exploring enchanted forests. What do unicorns do all day?
Space Writing Prompts
- Write about what it would be like to live on a planet other than Earth. What kind of environment would it have, and how would people adapt to living there?
- Imagine that you are an astronaut on a mission to explore a distant planet. Write about what you see and discover on your journey.
- Write about the history of space exploration, including famous missions and the people who made them happen.
- Describe the different planets in our solar system and their unique features. Which planet would you most like to visit, and why?
- Write about the challenges of living and working in space, such as zero gravity, radiation, and isolation.
- Imagine that you are traveling through a black hole. What do you experience, and what do you discover on the other side?
- Write about the possibility of life on other planets. What kind of life forms could exist, and how might they be different from those on Earth?
- Describe the different types of stars and galaxies in the universe. What makes each one unique?
- Write about the different ways that humans have used space technology, such as communication satellites, weather monitoring, and GPS.
- Imagine that you are a space tourist, traveling to different planets and galaxies for fun. What sights do you see, and what adventures do you have?
- Write about the future of space exploration. What kind of missions might be possible in the coming years, and how might they benefit humanity?
- Describe the role of space agencies such as NASA and ESA in exploring space. What challenges do they face, and how do they work to overcome them?
- Write about the mysteries of space, such as dark matter, black holes, and the origins of the universe. What do scientists know about these phenomena, and what questions still need to be answered?
Hopefully, these writing prompt ideas give you some ideas to get started on working on handwriting skills!
Want more motivating writing prompts to work on handwriting practice, and get that pencil to paper? Grab your copy of the Interest Lists Writing Prompts. You’ll get 150 interest-based lists that can be printed off and used to work on handwriting skills.
Each writing list is provided on bold lined paper. Use these lists as a data collection tool, a morning work activity, or for early finishers. Great for virtual therapy or home programs, too.
Print off these writing lists and use them over and over again.
Meaningful HandWriting Prompts
Handwriting is a fundamental skill that children need to develop for academic success and lifelong communication. However, as occupational therapy practitioners who many times focus mainly on handwriting, especially in the school-based OT setting, we know that many children who struggle with handwriting and may find it frustrating or boring. This is where meaningful handwriting prompts can be a powerful tool to motivate and engage children in handwriting practice. Here are some reasons why:
- Relevance: Meaningful handwriting prompts are related to the child’s interests and experiences, making the practice more relevant and engaging. When children write about topics they care about, they are more likely to put in the effort to improve their handwriting.
- Creativity: Handwriting prompts that encourage creativity and imagination can be a fun and exciting way to practice writing. Children can use their creativity to come up with interesting ideas and stories, and then use their handwriting skills to bring them to life on the page.
- Motivation: Handwriting prompts that are challenging but achievable can boost children’s motivation and self-esteem. When children see that they are making progress and achieving their goals, they are more likely to continue practicing and improving their handwriting.
- Practice: Handwriting prompts provide a structured way for children to practice their handwriting skills. By providing a specific topic or task to write about, children can focus on the mechanics of writing without getting distracted or bored.
- Confidence: Meaningful handwriting prompts can also build children’s confidence in their writing abilities. By providing positive feedback and encouragement, parents and teachers can help children feel proud of their progress and motivated to continue practicing.
Overall, meaningful handwriting prompts can be a valuable tool for improving children’s handwriting skills. By making the practice more engaging, creative, and relevant, children are more likely to enjoy writing and develop the skills they need for academic and personal success.
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.