101 Fun Journal Prompts for Kids Of All Ages

  • By: Ryan Kane
  • Updated: February 21, 2024
  • Time to read: 10 min.

It’s never too early to teach journaling skills. Journal prompts for kids are one of the best ways to help all children, from elementary students to high schoolers, navigate how they’re feeling. As a parent or a teacher, providing prompts can help kids conquer the blank page while providing essential structure that teaches key mindfulness and emotional intelligence skills.

As an adult, it can be hard to understand exactly what emotions you’re feeling.

It’s even harder for kids.

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Fortunately, journaling can help people of all ages uncover how they feel.

But when you sit down to journal, the blank page can be intimidating.

That’s where journaling prompts for kids come in handy. Teachers and parents often use journal prompts to help kids overcome “blank page syndrome” so they can get started writing while getting in touch with their emotions.

Common topics include gratitude, being present, emotional awareness, mindful observations, self-compassion, confidence, acts of kindness, and empathy.

Whether you’re working with elementary students, middle schoolers, or high schoolers, it’s possible to help your students get value from journaling.

To get started, simply have your kids grab a piece of paper or a notebook and reflect on or more of the following journal prompts.

Journal Prompts for Kids

The goal of these elementary school journal prompts is to encourage self-reflection, creativity, and kindness for younger kids. Feel free to adapt them to suit the specific interests of the children you’re working with.

31 Journal Prompts for Kids

Gratitude and Positivity:

  1. Write about a friend you are grateful for and why.
  2. Describe a toy or game you love playing with and why it makes you happy.
  3. What’s a fun memory you have with your family?
  4. List five things that make you laugh and why they are funny.
  5. Write a thank-you note to someone you appreciate.
  6. Write or draw three things you are thankful for today, like your favorite food or a sunny day.

Navigating Change:

  1. Write about a new friend you made recently. What activities do you enjoy doing together?
  2. What do you want to be when you grow up? Draw a picture of your dream job.

Emotional Awareness:

  1. Draw faces expressing different emotions (happy, sad, angry, surprised). When do you feel each emotion?
  2. Write about a time you felt brave, like when you tried something new. What did you do?
  3. Write about a time when you felt scared and how you overcame your fear.
  4. Describe a time when you felt really calm and peaceful. What were you doing?
  5. Write about something that makes you angry or frustrated. What can you do to feel happy again?

Using Imagination:

  1. If you could have any superpower to help others, what would it be and why?
  2. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Draw a picture and describe what you would do there.
  3. Close your eyes and imagine a special place where you feel really happy. Draw a picture of this place and write about the things you see and feel there.

Favorite Things:

  1. Write about your favorite animal and why you admire it.
  2. Draw a picture of your favorite season (spring, summer, fall, or winter). What do you like to do during that season?
  3. Draw a picture of your favorite outdoor activity, like playing at the park or riding a bike. What do you like about it?
  4. Write or draw about your favorite toy. Why do you like it?
  5. Draw your favorite meal. What foods are on your plate, and why do you like them?
  6. Draw a picture of your favorite book. Write a sentence or two about why you love that book so much.

Self-Compassion and Confidence:

  1. Write a list of your favorite qualities about yourself.
  2. Describe a challenge you faced recently. How did you handle it, and what did you learn?
  3. Write about a hobby or activity that makes you feel confident and proud.
  4. What makes you unique? Write about the things that set you apart from others.
  5. Describe a time when you felt really loved and appreciated.

Acts of Kindness and Empathy:

  1. Describe a time when you helped someone else. How did it make you feel?
  2. Write about a time when you made a new friend. How did you make them feel welcome?
  3. Think about someone you know who might be feeling sad. Write a message to cheer them up.
  4. Draw a picture of you helping someone. It could be anything from sharing toys to giving a hug. Write about how it feels to be kind.

Journal Prompts for Middle School

With all the changes happening in middle school and junior high, life can start to feel complicated. Help your middle schoolers untangle their emotions with the following middle school journal prompts.

28 Journal Prompts for Middle Schoolers

Gratitude and Appreciation:

  1. Write about three things you’re thankful for today and why they make your life better.
  2. Describe a person in your life whom you admire and appreciate. What qualities do they possess that you find inspiring?
  3. Reflect on a challenging situation from the past week. Find three positive aspects or lessons you learned from it.
  4. Write about a skill or talent you have that you’re proud of. How did you develop this skill, and how does it make you feel?
  5. List five small things that bring you joy and contentment. How can you incorporate more of these into your life?

Navigating Change and Stress:

  1. Middle school often comes with changes. Write about a change you’ve experienced recently, whether it’s a new school, class, or routine. How do you feel about this change? What positive aspects can you focus on?
  2. Reflect on a friendship challenge you’ve faced. How did it make you feel? What did you learn from this experience, and how can it help you in future friendships?
  3. Write about a recent situation that stressed you out. What strategies did you use to cope with the stress? Are there healthier ways you could handle similar situations in the future?
  4. Reflect on your daily routine. Are there activities or commitments that are causing you stress due to lack of time? How can you prioritize your responsibilities and make time for self-care?
  5. Write about a situation where you felt competitive pressure at school. How did it affect your mindset and behavior?

Emotional Awareness:

  1. Describe a time when you felt a strong sense of compassion for someone else. What did you do to show your empathy?
  2. Write about a recent accomplishment that made you feel confident and capable. How can you use this confidence in other areas of your life?
  3. Reflect on a mistake you made and what you learned from it. How can you apply this knowledge in the future?
  4. Write about a book, movie, or song that deeply resonated with you. What emotions did it evoke, and why?


  1. Reflect on your self-image. Are you kind to yourself? Write down three things you love about yourself, both inside and out. Practice self-compassion and remind yourself of your worth.
  2. Reflect on a recent mistake you made. Instead of being hard on yourself, write a compassionate letter to yourself, acknowledging that everyone makes mistakes and it’s a part of learning and growing.
  3. Write about a time when you felt pressure to fit in or be someone you’re not. How did it make you feel? What qualities about yourself are you proud of, regardless of what others think?
  4. Create a list of positive affirmations about yourself. For example, “I am capable,” “I am kind,” or “I am resilient.” Repeat these affirmations to yourself daily and reflect on how they boost your self-confidence.
  5. Write a letter to your future self, showing kindness and understanding. Imagine yourself facing a challenge and offer words of encouragement and self-compassion. What advice would you give your future self?

Self-Reflection and Growth:

  1. Reflect on a challenge you’re currently facing. Write about potential solutions and how you can approach the situation positively.
  2. Describe a role model you look up to. What qualities do they possess that you would like to develop in yourself?
  3. Write about a goal you have for the future. What steps can you take to work towards achieving this goal?
  4. Reflect on a time when you felt proud of your resilience. How can you cultivate more resilience in your everyday life?
  5. Write about a hobby or activity that brings you a sense of flow and accomplishment

Mindful Living and Acts of Kindness:

  1. Write about an act of kindness you witnessed or experienced recently. How did it make you feel?
  2. Reflect on a way you can contribute positively to your community. What action can you take to make a difference?
  3. Write a letter of appreciation to someone you haven’t thanked properly before. Express your gratitude for their presence in your life.
  4. Reflect on a time when you forgave someone or were forgiven. How did this experience impact your relationship?

Journaling Prompts for Teens

When it comes to journal prompts for high schoolers, the more relevant you can make them to your teens’ lives, the better. Use these journal prompts as a tool for self-reflection and, especially, self-compassion. Encourage your teenagers to use their journal as a safe space to process their thoughts and emotions.

42 Journal Prompts for High Schoolers

Self-Discovery and Reflection:

  1. Reflect on a challenge you faced recently and how it helped you grow as a person.
  2. Write about a role model you admire. What qualities do they possess that you find inspiring?
  3. Describe a goal you have for the future. What steps can you take to work towards achieving this goal?
  4. Write about a significant life event that shaped who you are today. How did it impact your perspective on life?
  5. Explore a passion or hobby you have. Why does it bring you joy, and how can you nurture this interest further?

Navigating Change and Stress:

  1. Write about your concerns and hopes regarding your future after high school. How can you manage the uncertainty and focus on your goals and passions?
  2. Reflect on a situation where you felt pressured to conform to social expectations. How did you handle it, and what did you learn about staying true to yourself?
  3. Write about a friendship challenge you’re facing. How do you navigate conflicts and misunderstandings while maintaining healthy relationships?
  4. Reflect on your involvement in extracurricular activities and other responsibilities. How do you manage your time, and are there activities you should prioritize or let go of?
  5. Describe situations that trigger anxiety for you in school. What techniques do you use to manage stress, and are there new relaxation methods you’d like to explore?
  6. Write about a subject or class that you find particularly challenging. How do you usually cope with academic stress, and are there new strategies you’d like to try?

Emotional Awareness and Management:

  1. Write about a recent experience that made you feel truly happy. What caused this happiness, and how can you invite more of it into your life?
  2. Reflect on a recent disagreement you had with someone. What did you learn from it, and how can you improve your communication and conflict resolution skills?
  3. Reflect on a time when you felt angry or frustrated. What triggered these emotions, and how did you cope with them?
  4. Describe a moment when you felt deeply at peace. What were you doing, and how can you recreate this sense of calm in your daily life?
  5. Write about a fear or insecurity you have. How can you challenge or overcome this fear?
  6. Explore a recent disappointment. What did you learn from it?

Mindfulness and Present Moment Awareness:

  1. Practice mindful breathing for five minutes. Reflect on how it felt to be fully present in the moment.
  2. Write about a place in nature where you feel a strong connection. Describe the sights, sounds, and smells that make this place special.
  3. Reflect on a favorite quote or mantra. How does it inspire and motivate you in your daily life?

Self-Love and Acceptance:

  1. Reflect on the impact of social media on your self-esteem. How do you cope with comparison and feelings of inadequacy? What positive changes can you make regarding your online presence?
  2. List five things you love about yourself, both internally and externally.
  3. Explore aspects of yourself that you’re currently struggling with. Write about your journey toward self-acceptance and how you can embrace your true self.
  4. Write a letter of forgiveness to yourself for any past mistakes or shortcomings. Be kind and understanding.
  5. Reflect on a time when you were proud of your resilience. How can you continue to nurture this strength?
  6. Describe an accomplishment you are proud of and the hard work it took to achieve it.
  7. Write about an activity that makes you lose track of time because you enjoy it so much. How can you make more time for this activity?

Relationships and Communication:

  1. Reflect on a meaningful conversation you had recently. What did you learn from it?
  2. Write about a friendship that brings positivity and support to your life. What makes this friendship special?
  3. Reflect on a disagreement you had with someone. How did you handle it, and what did you learn about effective communication?
  4. Write about a person you’ve had a misunderstanding with. How can you approach the situation with empathy and understanding?
  5. Explore the qualities you value in a romantic relationship. How can you ensure these qualities are present in your relationships?

Gratitude and Appreciation:

  1. Write about three things you’re grateful for today, no matter how small or ordinary.
  2. Reflect on a teacher or mentor who has positively impacted your life. How have they influenced your personal growth?
  3. Write about a family member you appreciate and why they are important to you.
  4. Reflect on a privilege you have in your life that you are thankful for.
  5. Write about a recent act of kindness you witnessed or experienced. How did it make you feel?

Setting Intentions and Future Goals:

  1. Write about your aspirations for the next year. What steps can you take to work towards these goals?
  2. Reflect on your strengths and talents. How can you use these qualities to make a positive impact on the world?
  3. Write about a cause or social issue you are passionate about. How can you contribute to raising awareness or creating change?
  4. Reflect on the kind of person you want to become. What values are important to you, and how can you embody them in your actions?
  5. Write a letter to your future self, detailing your hopes, dreams, and the person you aspire to be.