Examples of Story Starters

Story starters can jumpstart the writing process. Sometimes it is difficult to think about what to write. When I give my children phase they can then add the details to make an interesting story.

Here are some story starters that my children and I came up with. Hopefully the phrases will help your child find something to write about.

There are also some teaching tips if your child is still having trouble thinking what to write.

If your child is still having difficulty think what to write provide a different phase.

Our List

  • A long time ago in a far off land a princess
  • One day at the beach we saw
  • While walking in the woods
  • One day the animals began to talk
  • It was a cold winter
  • What if we had no electricity?
  • Today I
  • I plan to
  • What would we do without TV?
  • I know love is blind because
  • If I was King / Queen
  • One day in the garden
  • It was hotter than a
  • During the time of the dinosaurs
  • In the desert
  • When I was in a boat fishing
  • What if there was no paper
  • If I had a robot
  • During a stormy night
  • One night at dinner we heard
  • The friendly dragon
  • I should have stayed in bed
  • At the park
  • I woke up and it was
  • The best games have
  • It was finally spring
  • The clouds looked like
  • It was a foggy night
  • If I could fly
  • While camping
  • If I could go to
  • While at the lake
  • I would like to
  • If I lived in
  • I want to be
  • Once upon a time I met a
  • I found five gold coins
  • I met a prince
  • I don’t want to eat _____ because
  • My favorite holiday is ______ because
  • On the mountain I saw
  • In the tree house
  •  For dinner we had
  • I found a treasure map
  • My favorite pet is
  • It rained all day so I
  • This weekend I will
  • The end is near
  • The dog looked at me with longing eyes
  • I knew this was my last day
It was a dark and stormy night


  • When time stopped
  • At the birthday party
  • The boat was sinking
  • We were attacked by
  • It is alive
  • The monster crept closer
  • The tide was coming in
  • I took a trip on the train
  • I was hiding on the ship when
  • I heard tapping
  • It was a nice Spring day
  • We drove to
  • It was a snowy day
  • If I could only remember
  • If I were an inventor
  • At the circus
  • The dog was barking
  • One fine day
  • The worst thing that happened
  • At the pond
  • There was a loud crash
  • Our new neighbor
  • The sun is shining
  • Last night I dreamed
  • It was the worst day of my life
  • We heard a baby crying
  • At the ball game
  • Yesterday we
  • If I was President
  • On a desert island
  • A long time ago
  • If I lived during the time of
  • Let me tell you how I solved
  • In the future
  • There was a hole in the wall
  • We followed the rabbit to
  • I made a new friend
  • The writing on the wall
  • In the wilderness
  • In the wild West
  • On the farm
  • One day my sister/brother
  • I walked into the cave
  • My goal is to
  • I walked down the trail
  • While deep sea diving
  • Today is the day
  • I wish that
  • I rode a camel
  • My ideal job is

You can also develop you own list. Think about interesting places or times. Another idea is to write “if phrases” such as if I could make the rules or if dogs could talk. Provide your child with just enough information so that he has an idea what to write.  


Some children can take the story starter and easily develop a plot, other children still struggle with writing. You can help your child develop a plot by asking questions. Pick a phase and ask what, where, when, and how. A good story also has some type of conflict or problem. Here is an example for the phase at the beach we saw;

  • What did you see?
  • What was the bird doing?
  • Describe the bird.
  • Why was it sitting on a rock?
  • What happened next?
  • Was there a problem?
  • How did the bird solve the problem?

Continue asking questions until your child has a story.

A Book of Story Starters

In Story Starters Helping Children Write Like they've Never Written Before by Karen Andreola gives sixty-seven stories to finish. Each story is partially written with a picture. There are also questions to help your child develop their stories.

For more creative writing ideas see my page on writing prompts.

Leave Story Starters for Homeschool Language Arts

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