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Slick writing-prompt generator is spammy, lacks privacy.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn to think on their feet by answering daily Plinky prompts; they'll use imagination and critical thinking to come up with creative responses that don't have to be limited to text. They'll also learn writing skills as they organize ideas, and there's the potential for communication if kids choose to share answers through social media. Plinky is a fine jumping-off point for kids who want to start a daily writing practice but would like a bit of guidance.

Positive messages

Kids using their imaginations is always a good thing, and Plinky offers some smart and evocative prompts that should get them motivated to write.

Not applicable

There are some random spambots with profiles, like "SexyIndianModelinDubai" that use the answer space to solicit sexual services. Really. Answers aren't moderated, so some sexual responses do crop up. However, the majority of answers are fine.


Since answers aren't moderated, kids could encounter profanity, including "s--t" and "f--k."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some answers to writing prompts include references to drinking, drugs, and smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Plinky is a website that shares daily writing prompts users can respond to. Answers are posted on the site and can be shared through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter or embedded into a Wordpress blog or Tumblr. It's a neat site for writers, but privacy settings are really undeveloped. Also, there's a bunch of spammers floating around the site posting explicit stuff.

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What's it about?

Plinky offers a daily writing prompt that users can respond to. Teens first set up a profile with a username and optional bio and profile pic. They can \"follow\" other users to see responses to the prompts. Users can post answers on the site and can share them through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, or embedded into a Wordpress blog or Tumblr. Plinky allows writers to not only respond with words, but also to add images and rich text to their answers as well.

Is it any good?


Plinky is great in theory, but it has a long way to go. Many of the Frequently Asked Questions have these kinds of answers: "We're working on it" or "Not yet." The good news? Design is chic and clean, and the prompts themselves are fantastic and diverse. They just need to build their community, banish the sexy spambots, and take the time to work on important privacy features before Plinky is a safe and recommended place to send writerly kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can do a version of the classic writers' activity, "morning pages." Grab prompts from the site and write them on a chalkboard in the morning. Then have kids sit down and write for 5-10 minutes on the subject without stopping.

  • Talk to your kids about your expectations for responsible social media use, especially in unregulated environments like this one. 

Website details

Subjects:Language & Reading: reading, writing, writing clearly
Skills:Creativity: brainstorming, imagination, producing new content
Communication: conveying messages effectively, friendship building
Thinking & Reasoning: asking questions, decision-making, thinking critically
Pricing structure:Free

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