127 Story Starters & Writing Prompts for Kids (Ages 10 – 14)

Coming up with story starters for kids can be difficult. This article provides 127 writing prompts that can get kids’ creative writing off to a great start. Download my three great creative writing lesson plans that I use as a supply teacher. They’re easy-to-use lessons that you can teach on the go.

Article Key Points

  1. Select from the list of 127 writing prompts below for story ideas that you like.
  2. Put these writing ideas in a hat and have students randomly pick out their assigned story.
  3. Use the 3 lesson plans provided for a ready-made creative writing lesson. Great for supply teachers!
creative writing prompts and story starters for kids

You can get my printable story starters sheet at the end of this article

A full list of 127 story starters and writing prompts for kids

Writing prompts for adventure stories

  • A princess who needs to rescue a puppy from a river.
  • A family on a road trip who got lost and ended up on a whole new adventure.
  • Two friends who go on an adventure down a river on a rowboat.

A superhero who lost his superpowers in the middle of a rescue.

  • A kid who wakes up one day to find out he / she was turned into a dog.
  • The day in the life of an inanimate object (tree, statue, etc.).
  • Three friends who can time travel forward in time. What will the world look like when they arrive?

The main character of your story has to escape a pirate ship after being captured in the night.

  • Pioneers travelling the whole way across a new land in just a wagon. What challenges will they face?
  • You’re a detective trying to uncover a crime: someone stole grandma’s apple pie when it was cooling on the windowsill!
  • You walk past a phone booth that is ringing. You answer the phone. Who is on the other end?

You wake up one day to find out that you grew and you’re suddenly 12 feet tall! You try to go to school but you find life’s hard as a giant…

  • A giant and a mouse live in a house together and are best friends. Tell a story about them preparing dinner together. What would each eat, and how would their preparations be different?
  • You’re half way up Mount Everest when you drop your pack with all your climbing gear off a cliff. What are you going to do about it?
  • A dorky kid suddenly develops superpowers and fights crime in the city at night.

A talking dog and his best friend race against time to defuse a bomb.

  • A firefighter is in a race against time to put out a fire before it burns down a magical forest full of talking animals (who help him / her to put out the fire!). Help him put out the fire safely!
  • You are walking along the beach and find a message in a bottle. The message provides the directions to something special – follow the directions!
  • Write a story about a refugee. They have recently had to flee their home to go to a safer place. Explain their journey.

You wake up one day and you’re only 6 inches tall! Write the story of what happens next – will you go on an adventure? Will you go to school? What will your parents say when they see you?

  • Write a story about being lost in a maze. How did it make you feel? What did you come across as you turned corners in your attempt to escape?
  • You’re going camping but you’re only allowed to bring 5 belongings. What would you bring, and why?
  • You’re the only survivor of a plane that has crashed in the wilderness. Describe how you will survive.

You’re a book that keeps getting passed from person to person and bookshop to bookshop. What sorts of people read your book and what crazy places do you end up going?

  • You’re 5 feet tall and live in a garden. How will you make your own comfortable little home in amongst the leaves?
  • You’ve found yourself trapped in a prison cell. What creative ways will you come up with to escape?
  • You dig a hole in your backyard and find a treasure. What is the treasure and what will you do with it?

You have to set up a new colony on Mars. Who would you take with you and what struggles will you have setting up your new colony? Who would be king? What would be the rules?

  • You have magical pockets. Every time you put your hand in your pocket, you pull something else out! Write a story of the 5 different, random things you pull out of your pockets. Will some of them be slimy and scary? Will some be alive? Will some be tasty?

Read Also: 25 Central Ideas for Stories

Writing prompts for stories about your life

  • Your favorite memory with your family.
  • The best vacation or adventure you ever had.
  • A time you went to the dentist.

Your two favorite movies (and how they’re similar and different).

  • What you think would happen at a dinner party involving any three of your favorite people (living or dead).
  • Your hero and why they’re your hero.
  • Write a story about your ideal day. Start with your alarm going off to wake you up, and end with you closing your eyes and falling asleep.

The happiest moment of your life. What was it that made you so happy?

  • What a day in your life would be like if you had your dream job.
  • You have swapped jobs with one of your parents. You have to go to work for the day and they have to go to school. What funny things will happen?
  • Write a story about a dream you have had in your past. Was it a logical story, or did your dream defy the rules of the world? If you can’t remember your dream, you can make it up or fill in the gaps.

Write a story about a time you were wrong and how you felt. Were you glad you learned something new? Were you ashamed? Did you apologize?

  • Write a story about your favorite place. If you don’t have a favorite place, invent one and explain why it would be your favorite place.
  • Write about a skill you recently learned. Was it frustrating? After learning the skill how did you feel? How do you use the skill in your life now?
  • Write a story about the things you think about just before you go to sleep at night.

Write about exactly what you’re going to do when you get home from school today.

  • Write a story about all the things you’re grateful for and why you’re grateful for each one.
  • Write about the moment your parents or grandparents met and how they felt at that time. If you don’t know about it, make it up!
  • Write about your first day at high school or university. What will your emotions be? Will you meet anyone?

Read Also: A List of 107 Effective Classroom Teaching Strategies

Writing prompts for imaginative stories

  • What you would do if you could travel back in time to hang out with one of your ancestors.
  • You have a metal detector and are using it on a beach. What do you turn up? Describe it and what you would do with it.
  • You invent your own tree house. Describe it – how do you get into it? How many rooms are there and what is in each room?

You could travel back in time to any time in world history. What is it and why?

  • You meet a fairy who gives you any one gift – what would it be and how would you use it?
  • You just bought a haunted house and are about to spend your first night in it. It’s run down and creepy. Describe your first night, starting with when you step in the door at 5 pm.
  • You’re shipwrecked on a deserted island with only 5 of your belongings. Which would they be and why?

Imagine an older version of you has traveled back in time and has come to give you advice. What advice will they give you and what will your conversation be like?

  • Imagine you’re a farmer. Describe the farm animals or plants you would farm and a day in your life.
  • Write a story about having fear of the grass, but needing to walk through a park. How will you get across the park without touching the grass!?
  • Imagine it’s the world 2100 and climate change has changed the climate where you live. Describe the new climate, the new plants that grow there, and whether it’s extremely hot or extremely cold!

Imagine an ice age has arrived and the whole world is -30 degrees! How will you live? In an igloo? What clothes would you wear? Would the cities be made of ice? Explain a day in the life.

  • You have created your own personal robot. What does the robot do and how does this improve your life?
  • You wake up one day and the only people left in the world are 3 of your closest friends. How will you survive?
  • Your house has been converted into a spaceship and you’re flying to the mysterious planet Obertoron. What is the climate like in this new planet? What challenges do you face settling into this new planet?

You are in the middle of a lesson at school when … suddenly gravity stops working and everything starts floating into the air!

  • You can breathe underwater and go on underwater adventures to a city under the sea. You’re on a mission to save the city from an evil octopus.
  • You wake up in the morning and suddenly you’re 30 years old. What is a day in the life of the 30 year old version of you?
  • Make up the rules of your own sport. You can get inspiration from real sports or a made up sport like Quidditch.

Write a story about the most peaceful place you could imagine. What is surrounding you that makes it so peaceful?

  • Peter Pan flies in through the window to teach you to fly. Describe how it feels to fly out the window and look down on the streets below.
  • You’re in a garbage dump sifting for goodies. What do you find and what do you do with it?
  • You receive a mysterious item in the mail. Describe the item and why you might have received it.

You can read minds. What are the thoughts in the heads of people around you? Are you glad you can read minds, or will you end up regretting it?

  • You’re born into royalty and will be the future king or queen. How are people treating you and what will be your responsibilities? Are you happy about being the future monarch, or will you end up just wishing you were a normal person.
  • You’re the president, king or prime minister for the day. What will you do today to improve your society or change the world?
  • Invent your own movie. What is the main character’s name and what is the movie’s plot? How will the movie end?

Imagine you’re a mermaid for a day. What sea creatures would you talk to? Where would you sleep and live under the sea?

  • Imagine you are a teacher. What would you teach and why?
  • Imagine you have a secret hatch under your bed that takes you into your own private cave. What will you keep in your cave that makes it the prefect secret room for you?
  • Imagine you woke up one morning and there was no electricity for the next year. What would change about your life?

Write a story that involves the following 5 objects: a foot, a lake, a spaceship, a pizza, and a dinosaur.

  • Imagine you’re from a tribe that has never had contact with anyone else in the world. You go for a walk and stumble upon a city. Explain how you feel and what you see.
  • Everything you touch with your right hand turns to candy. Write about a day in your life and the sorts of issues you might come across during your day.
  • You feel the emotions of all the people around you. Write about a day walking through a city, the people you see, and how your emotions go up and down like a roller coaster.
  • Imagine your toys have come to life (like in Toy Story!) What sorts of things will they get up to while you’re at school?

Writing prompts for descriptive stories

  • Write a story about the weather. Choose one type of weather (thunderstorm, sunny day, humidity, rain) and describe it. Use adverbs, adjectives and superlatives to describe how the weather makes you feel.
  • Write a story about a delicious feast you made for your friends. What will be served? Describe its taste in your mouth. Don’t forget to describe the appetizers, main course and dessert!
  • Pretend you are the god of your own little world and you can invent an animal. What would its features be? Think about its head, body and limbs. Don’t forget to describe its skin (fur? Scales? hair?), eyes, mouth (or is it a beak or bill?), ears, fingers, etc.

You are on the train observing other people and listening in to their conversations. Describe the people on the train and what they’re doing with their lives.

  • You are Santa Claus and you’re reading children’s wish lists. Describe three different children’s wish lists. The children need to have different personalities and this needs to be reflected in their wish list.
  • You’ve been given $100 to spend in the supermarket. Start the story of you walking down the aisle trying to pick out what you want. First you’ll describe 7 objects that you find, but then you can only choose 3. Explain your choice.
  • Describe the taste of chocolate to someone who has never tasted it before. How will you explain it?

You’ve met someone who has never smiled before. Explain to them how to smile without using the word ‘smile’.

  • Describe what it’s like to see to someone who was born blind.
  • Describe what it’s like to hear to someone who was born deaf.
  • You start your own club. What would the club be, and what would be the conditions for entry to the club?

You’re about to take an exam. Describe your feelings before the exam begins, then your feelings during the exam, and finally your feelings after you leave!

  • You’re walking through a refugee camp. Describe what you see.
  • Write a story about how you feel on the first warm, sunny day of the year.
  • Describe snow to someone who has never seen or touched it.

Write a story about how it feels to be cold to someone who’s from Jamaica and has never felt the cold!

  • Write a story about how it feels to be hot to someone from the North Pole who’s never felt the heat!
  • You invent your own board game. What is the theme and what are the rules?
  • Describe what it feels to walk through a city to someone who has never been in the city before.

Describe what it feels like to be all alone in the forest to someone who’s never been in among trees before.

  • You move into a new house and have to set up your new bedroom. What would its theme be? What posters would you put on the walls?
  • You’re an architect and can design your dream house. What would it look like? What rooms would there be? What cool things would you include in your new house?
  • If there was one thing you could invent, what would it be? Describe it and how it is used.

A fire has started in your home. You can only save 3 of your belongings. What are they and why would you save them?

  • You make a new friend. Describe the friend’s personality and why you like them so much.
  • You have to plan a birthday party for yourself. What will be the party’s them? Where will it be?
  • You can invent your own car. What special features will it have that will make it your ideal car?

You are going to go a full year without creating and trash. Write about the lifestyle changes you will make in order to prevent making trash. How will you get food without wrappings?

  • There is a new kid who has arrived at school today. Write about what you will do to make them feel welcome.
  • You have to buy Christmas gifts for all of your family members. Describe what the gifts will be and why you think they’re ideal for each family member.
  • You can change your style to any style you like: what would you wear, what would your hair look like, and what sort of music would you listen to?

Describe what it’s like to feel hungry to someone who’s never felt hunger before in their life.

  • You have $50 to buy food for a week. What foods will you buy and why? Will you focus on health food to keep yourself healthy, or binge on junk that tastes so yummy?
  • Imagine you work for the post office. What is a day in your life? What dogs will you come across? What different sorts of letters will you deliver? Happy letters? Sad letters?
  • Describe what it feels like to take a shower to someone who’s never had a shower before.

It’s opposite day and you have to lie about everything. What sorts of trouble are you going to get into from all of your lies?

  • Explain how you would start a fire without a lighter or matches.
  • Describe the feeling of being sticky to someone who has never felt the feeling of being sticky. You can’t use the word ‘sticky’.
  • Describe the feeling of being dirty to someone who has never felt being dirty. You can’t use the word ‘dirty’.

Write a story about how it feels to be bullied, and someone who arrives and is kind to you. Describe how it feels to have a friend who is kind after you’ve been bullied.

  • You have been asked to create a new game show on TV (Think: Family Feud or Wheel of Fortune). What will be the rules of your new game show?
  • You are a genetic scientist and can create a new fruit. Describe the fruit: how it feels, tastes, and looks. What does the tree that it grows on look like? In what climate does it grow?
  • You’re an architect and you’ve been asked to design the ideal playground. What sort of cool play equipment will you place in your playground?

3 Great Writing Prompts and Story Starter Lesson Plans

Lesson 1: Mix-and-Match Story Starter Lesson

Printable 1: Fun Story Stater and Writing Prompt Mix-and-Match Lesson (Takes you to a Google Doc)

This lesson plan download has a list of mix-and-match story starters. Cut up each story element and put them into three hats: Character, Setting and Plot (you might also want to read my article about about all 8 elements of a story). The students are blindfolded and must take one story element out of each hat and make a story out of the three elements they get!

Lesson 2: Planning your Creative Story Plot

Printable 2: Story Planning Template (Takes you to a Google Doc)

Teach students about the important elements of a story using this story planning lesson template. Your students need to describe their main character, plot and setting before they tell their story. It’s a great scaffold to ensure your students follow the conventions of story writing.

Lesson 3: Random Creative Writing Story Prompts

Printable 3: A List of 127 Story Starters (Takes you to a Google Doc)

I love this one for an easy afternoon. Simply cut up the 127 creative writing story ideas below, place them in a hat, and have students close their eyes and pick out the story that they will have to write about. 

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Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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