Journaling/Writing Prompts for Kids

These journal topic suggestions can get you to thinking!
By John Daum
April 2, 2020

Journaling isn’t just for school. It can help your kids in a variety of personal ways that can also help you as a parent tune into your kids. Sometimes your kids will be willing to share their thoughts with you, but they will often put something into writing that they might not say to you. 

Let’s be honest — even with school and everything else that’s going on, your kids probably need some constructive things to do. Journaling can fire their imagination, improve their writing skills, and cultivate self-awareness. Plus it can be fun and give you something to start a conversation! Make it part of their daily routine — maybe the first thing they do after breakfast or the last thing they do before bed.

So, take a look around the house — is there an empty composition book or notebook you can put together? Kids love their electronic devices, but I would only use them as an absolute last resort. You can make up the topics, but try to make them as open-ended as possible or add a “Why?” at the end. Of course, keep topics appropriate for your child’s age and interests. Below are a bunch of journal topic suggestions to get you thinking! But to review just a few of the benefits of journaling for your child…

Journaling can:

  • Clarify their thoughts and feelings
  • Help them know themselves better
  • Reduce their stress
  • Give you insight into how they are dealing with our current situation.

BONUS: Here’s a great resource of journaling prompts for both you and your child to practice mindfulness. If that word sounds scary or unfamiliar, mindfulness just means that you’re practicing narrowing your focus and sharpening your attention, which is obviously so helpful for children!

Elementary School

List of things that make me happy.

I wish I knew more about __________ because….

What is something that is important to my family?

When it comes to schoolwork, what has been your favorite thing you learned?

My favorite part of last week was…

Three things I’d like to talk about.

If I could rename the colors of crayons…

What is my favorite dessert and why?

Use your creativity to describe and draw a new creature or animal.

If my dog or cat could talk, it would say things like…

I was proud when I __________

Five things I’m good at are…

If a genie granted me three wishes…

What would you choose if you were in charge of the weather?

My favorite holiday is…

Middle School 

What would happen if you found gold in your backyard?

If animals could talk, what questions would you like to ask them?

Who would you be if you could have been someone in history? Why?

I taught someone how to…

You can only take 3 people with you on a trip around the world, who would you take?

If you could give any gift in the world, what would you give and to whom?

The house was so quiet, but then I heard…

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Let’s say you received any sum of money as a gift. What would you do with it?

Did you ever catch fireflies?  Crickets?  Frogs?  Snakes? Why/why not?

What was your most difficult or most joyous life experience?

List one of your pet peeves and write about why it annoys you.

What is something that you appreciate about your parents? Why?

Write about a window you broke or something valuable you lost.

What would happen if it suddenly started raining spaghetti and meatballs?

High School

Describe the perfect date.

What is courage? What is the most courageous thing you have done?

Describe a hero. It can be either someone you know or simply qualities of a hero.

What is your favorite activity? Who do you do it with? Why do you think you enjoy it?

Write about a good book you’ve read recently.

What will you do differently when you’re a parent? Why?

Do you spend too much time with electronic devices? Why/why not?

What do you think should have or should NOT have been invented and why? 

List one major world problem and how you think we should solve it.

Do you think that there is or ever was life on another planet?

What is the most important issue facing teens your age today? 

Were you ever given a responsibility that you couldn’t handle? 

Describe the best concert you ever attended.

Write about a time you tried to help and ended up making things worse.

Did you ever break an important promise?

Write about moving to another city or neighborhood or house.

Did you ever meet a famous person? Interact with them on social media?

Describe a car or bicycle accident you were in.

If you could spend a day spent in another country, which would you choose? Why?

Describe a time that you outsmarted someone.

Write about going shopping for new clothes.

Did you ever turn someone in or tell on someone and feel bad about it later?

Was there a time your parents embarrassed you?

Can you remember a time you gave someone good advice? What was it?

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  1. […] has a list of journaling prompts for young people. But you don’t have to stop there. After-the-fact decorating is encouraged—digitally or with glue, decorations, pens, and markers! […]