Writing Prompts for Kids

App review by
Stacy Zeiger, Common Sense Media
Writing Prompts for Kids App Poster Image
Versatile inspiration generator provides solid story ideas.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to write creative stories and get past writer's block by switching up some of the components of those stories. Being able to change the situation and setting or add a character or an object gets them thinking about how plot elements fit together, adding new dimensions to their writing. Once they've found a prompt they like, they can still learn to improve their writing by selecting better adjectives and verbs. This easy-to-use app provides just enough inspiration to give reluctant writers a boost. 

Ease of Play

A simple concept and clearly labeled icons help kids get started right away. The only downside: If kids accidentally tap away from a prompt they like, there's no way to go back to it.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Writing Prompts for Kids provides kids with inspiration for their writing through creative, customizable prompts. By saving their favorite prompts, kids can build a notebook of creative ideas to keep them writing and improving their skills. This app is particularly beneficial for kids who struggle with written expression, as prompts are provided to help the imagination. Some bonus features: Better Words, which helps avoid repetition, and spelling prompts for over 100 commonly misspelled words.

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What's it about?

WRITING PROMPTS FOR KIDS works like a split-page book, but instead of switching body parts, kids switch story elements. Kids have the option to add a situation, a character, a setting, and an object to their stories. For example, a storyline involving a filmmaker on a submarine who's invented something that everyone else wants ... also has a bucket. If kids don't want to include the filmmaker, they can tap the character button and change it to a first-grader or tap it again to change it to an artist. Don't like having the story set on a submarine? They can tap the setting button to change it to Paris. As kids write, they can tap the various buttons to help add new characters, settings, and other twists.

In addition to the story elements, kids can use the Better Words and Hard to Spell categories. In the Better Words category, they will find stronger verbs and adjectives. For example, clicking on the word "cry" will bring up over 20 alternatives. Instead of saying "he cried," they can say "he bawled" or "he sobbed," giving their writing more meaning and depth.

Is it any good?

Although Writing Prompts for Kids doesn't stand out from the pack, it's one of the better apps in this category. Kids can download and use a wide variety of writing prompt generators. Parents don't have to worry about kids seeing inappropriate words or uncomfortable scenarios. Parents also can change components of the writing prompts rather than having to change the entire things; if a kid likes the situation but isn't inspired by the setting, it's easy to change it. The Better Words feature adds dimensionality, too. This app's goal isn't only to provide kids with something to write about; it's also to help them improve the way they write.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can encourage kids to write their stories in picture book form, illustrating them with clip art or their own drawings, and then laminate the books to preserve them.

  • Hold a family coffee house night where you sit around, drink hot cocoa, and let kids share their stories.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: spelling, storytelling, vocabulary, writing, writing clearly
  • Skills: Creativity: brainstorming, imagination, producing new content
  • Price: $1.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: February 4, 2013
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 7.70 MB
  • Version: 1.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.0 or later

For kids who love writing

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