Picture Writing Prompts for Kids (With Free Printables!)

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Home » Education » Picture Writing Prompts for Kids (With Free Printables!)

Do your kids sometime struggle with writing? Mine do at times, and that’s when these picture writing prompts come in handy! They are easy to use and give kids a little extra help when they can’t think about what to write .

kid doing picture writing prompt

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I have a daughter who hates writing and a son who loves it. My daughter can tell wonderful stories, but struggles sometimes when it comes to putting all of those great ideas on paper. She does fine with nonfiction writing, but creative writing is not her favorite!

Using things like “caption this” activities or “one sentence story starters” are helpful because she has something to start her off. She is not just staring at a blank page wondering what to write. Picture writing prompts for kids (like the free printables below) are also great because they do the same thing. She has a picture and a few questions to get her thinking so she doesn’t have to come up with everything from scratch.



If you already know what picture writing prompts are and how to use them and would just like some examples to get you started, then just sign up below!

When you sign up you’ll get access to my free resource library where you’ll find these FREE picture writing prompt printables (there are 10 pictures, each with questions and two different kinds of lines to write on – making it great for younger and older kids!).

What are picture writing prompts for kids?

Before we go any further, it may be helpful to explain what picture writing prompts for kids even are!

Picture writing prompts are a type of writing prompt that uses pictures, images, or photos to help a child start their story. They act as a jumping off point in a child’s writing and help get them started. Or they may use the picture simply as the setting or character in the story and add the rest of the details on their own.

It can be overwhelming to have too many details, and intimidating to just have a blank paper to work with. Picture writing prompts are a good balance of having something to work with, but not too much.

They are also helpful for descriptive writing as they encourage your child to think about what they see, and what they could smell or hear if they were in that picture. This helps them to write more descriptive stories.

How do you use picture writing prompts?

There is no right or wrong way to use these types of prompts, as they are pretty open-ended. However, here are some tips for how you can use them with your child.

  • Think about what you are trying to have your child gain from the writing. Do you want them to focus on creative writing, practice using more descriptive words, or will it just be a fun freewriting activity?
  • Pick photos or pictures that are interesting and can be interpreted in different ways. This way their stories will be more creative since they can write about what that picture means to them. (Use the free picture writing prompts for kids printable below to get you started!)
  • Let your child take their time to look at the photo and gather their thoughts before starting to write anything.
  • Then have them write! You can set a time limit if you’d like, or just let them write for as little (within reason!) or as much as they’d like.
  • Older kids should be able to write longer stories that are more descriptive and detailed, while younger ones may only write a few sentences about the picture. You know your child best, so just encourage them to do their best and write as much as they can.
  • If your child is young or really struggles with this activity, you can always show them the picture and have them verbally tell you what they think it’s about. They are still using their imagination, thinking about descriptive words, and developing their creative writing skills, even if they are not putting these ideas on paper.

How do you write a creative response to a picture?

Again, if your child doesn’t like writing, or struggles to come up with a story, they may need a little extra help – and that’s ok! Here are some ways you can encourage them to think about the pictures.

You can help them by…

  • Having them think about the 5 W’s (plus how!)
    1. Who? – Who is in the picture? Who are other characters that may be a part of the story?
    2. What? – What is going on in the photo? What do they think happened before or will happen in the future? What could the problem and/or solution be?
    3. When? – When does this story take place? Is it set in modern times, in the past, or in the future?
    4. Where? – Where does the picture take place? Where did the person or object come from or where are they going?
    5. Why? – Why are the events happening? Why is the person/thing in the photo there?
    6. How? – How does the person or thing in the picture feel? How do they think? How are they doing the thing they’re doing?
  • Encouraging them to think of descriptive words that come to mind when they first look at the picture.
  • Reminding them to ask questions about the photo and try think about what the answers or solutions could be.
  • Telling them to let their imaginations run wild! Let them come up with creative ideas first, then help them organize their thoughts on paper.
  • Offering a few ideas of your own if they are stuck or getting really frustrated. Hopefully this will get the ball rolling and get them thinking of creative answers on their own!

FREE printables! (10 picture writing prompts for kids)

You can use any photo, picture, or image you’d like when doing these kinds of writing prompts with your child. They can be real photos, pictures from books or magazines (they can use the pictures as inspiration and write their stories in a notebook or on paper), or pictures that you find and print off the internet (to save money on printing, check out the HP Instant Ink program!).

If you would rather have picture prompts that are already done for you, then simply sign up below and you will get 10 picture writing prompts with questions for each picture to help your child think about what to write. There are 20 pages total – 10 different picture prompts, each with two kinds of lined paper to write on. Regular lines for older kids and handwriting lines for younger kids.

I hope your child enjoys these FREE picture prompts and has fun creating exciting stories about each one! Do you use picture writing prompts with your child? Do they like them?


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