We’ve all faced it at one time or another. Writer’s block. Have you ever seen your kids struggle with this?
There she sat, settled in at the table. Blank lined paper. Freshly sharpened pencil.
She’d been staring at that paper for a while now and yet nothing had come out.
Tears in her eyes I walked over and suggested we try something new.
After all, I knew what writer’s block was like. Facing that fresh blank sheet of paper or online document can seem overwhelming. You go to write and yet nothing comes to mind. You scramble trying to come up with something. Anything.
So for fun, I started using writing prompts. I wrote a list of things I thought might get my kids interested in writing about.
We also sometimes brainstorm together with one of us starting the story and another chiming in as it progresses. Guys, sometimes the stories get really crazy! Which is the most of the fun, right?
If walls could talk:
The saying “if only the walls could talk” turned into an interesting conversation.
My daughter started talking about the walls of Pompeii. She starting using personification, in which the walls had thoughts and feelings. She described an entire conversation about how the walls felt watching the ash and lava come. It was actually quite entertaining.
Right up until her brother quickly pointed out that walls don’t speak. “Brothers ruin everything!” (her words not mine!)
And yet…this child who struggled to write came up with a fascinating story based on an event in history.
By using what is interesting to our children, piggybacking on what they are studying or learning about or even what is going on around us you can create great prompts for writing.
Here is a list of prompts for your teen:
- Create an imaginary country. Write a story about it as a person in ancient times may have told it.
- If and when I teach my own children, I will never…
- Invent and describe a new game.
- Describe someone you look up to and explain why.
- What would you do if you woke up one morning to find yourself with a special skill like being invisible or seeing through walls?
- If you could be any pet you currently own or know, what would you be and why?
- If time travel was possible, which time would you go back to? Describe what a day in that time period for someone your age might look like.
- Thinking of a current debate such as kids having cell phones, pick a side either for or against and state why you support this side.
- What are the qualities of a good friend? How can you show these qualities yourself?
- Volunteer work is a great way to help your community. If you could help your local area what would you do?
- If walls could talk..what would they say?
- If you were a game token in your favorite game what would you be and what would you have to do to win the game?
- Thinking of the last book you read, choose a scene and try to describe it from a different point of view than it is currently written.
- Describe your favorite food without using a word associated with taste. You can include other descriptive words such as size and color. Can someone else guess what it is?
- If I could learn about anything in the world for a month it would be…
For the record, my kids have not used all of these as sometimes I am “lame and boring”. I am including them in case your child thinks I am not lame and boring 😉
Other tips to beat writer’s block and get your kids writing:
The focus is to get their creative juices flowing. So do not reach for the red marker and scribble all over it.
Just read and enjoy.
Laugh, giggle, learn.
Talk about it together and praise the effort, creativity, and energy they put forth.
Don’t forget that not all writing has to be on paper. Let them use other mediums to write such as google docs, powerpoint presentations, slides, creating fun graphics in Picmonkey or maybe cute notebooks.
My two like notebooking pages that have cute borders they can doodle and color while they think. You can read more about how I use notebooking pages here. Just click on the image below to watch the video for more information!
Use what works for your kids! And let the rest go!
For more writing prompts, check out the posts linked up here: