writing prompt ideas My husband and I have been sponsors with Compassion for about six years. During that time, I’ve heard a lot about the importance of writing letters to our sponsored kids.

writing prompt ideas

We even have a friend now who was once a child in the Compassion program, and he’s spoken about the importance of sponsor letters to him. I know writing to my sponsored child is important, and I do it pretty often, but sometimes I’m just stumped about where to start.

I decided to draft a list of specific questions that would help me explain my life and myself to a sponsored child.

Of course, if our child asks questions, I answer them. But I’ve found that children don’t always have the skill to carry on “conversations.” Giving them information about me is a good place to start.

These prompts are questions for you to answer about yourself. Expand on the answers, as space permits, in a letter to your sponsored child. Enjoy!

Your Childhood

  1. What activities did you enjoy as a child?
  2. Who was your favorite teacher? What was the teacher like?
  3. Whom did you admire as you were growing up? Why?
  4. How did you get your name? What does it mean?
  5. Did you grow up in church? How did you come to know Jesus?
  6. What was a challenge you had to overcome as a child or teenager?
  7. What was your favorite part of school?
  8. What was your least favorite part of school?
  9. What happened during a typical school day?
  10. What was your first job like?

Your Life Today

  1. What is your typical day like now?
  2. What do you do at church/work/school?
  3. What do you like most about your hometown?
  4. What are some interesting facts about your state/province/region?
  5. How do you relax?
  6. What’s your favorite holiday? How would you describe the sights, sounds, smells, tastes?
  7. What’s your biggest challenge at the moment?
  8. What other human understands you better than anyone else? How did you come to know this person?
  9. What are you learning right now?
  10. What’s one of your favorite Bible stories or passages? Why?
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21 Comments Add a Comment
  1. Sandra Bennetch
    Nov 6, 2012
    at 9:00 am

    I wrote my sponsored children today and sent along picture postcards. They’re fun to receive, inexpensive and showcase things in the area.

    • Nov 6, 2012
      at 3:57 pm

      This is a great idea if you live in an area where you can easily get postcards. Durable, too.

  2. Lydia
    Nov 6, 2012
    at 1:51 pm

    This was fantastic! Thank you so much for the great ideas. I’m always cautious about what NOT to say, so much to the point where I do get stumped, so this has been really helpful. Thank you for sharing these ideas — I know they will be helpful to my future letter-writing to our kids. Blessings!

    • Nov 6, 2012
      at 4:00 pm

      Thanks, Lydia. I’m glad to share ideas. It’s not always easy writing to people we haven’t spent a lot of time with.

  3. Tondja Woods Colvin
    Nov 7, 2012
    at 3:18 pm

    What a great idea!!! I have never thought about sending postcards. We have so much more than the children we sponsor, my 10 year old finds it difficult not to talk about our “things”. Thanks

  4. Heidi
    Nov 11, 2012
    at 6:59 pm

    Thanks for the great ideas!! I am bookmarking this for the next time I write to my boy in India, since I just wrote him today for Christmas.

  5. non
    Jan 3, 2013
    at 9:32 am

    thank you very much , can we get samples of business reports in this site too, please
    thank you

  6. Tina
    Jan 5, 2013
    at 1:52 pm

    I would love to send postcards. How do I send it to my child when I needs translation? And to what address do i send it

    • Susan Sayler
      Jan 7, 2013
      at 11:39 am

      Hi Tina! If a postcard or greeting card needs translation and there is no room on the item itself, our translators will attach the translation on a separate peice of paper. The child will receive both the original and the translation just like when you receive letters from your child. :) Please send all letters and paper items to:

      Compassion International
      Colorado Springs, CO 80997-0004


      • Barbara
        May 28, 2013
        at 7:18 pm

        Thank you for answering that question! I wasn’t sure if I had to make sure there is room for translation on every item I send! I am just starting my first letters to my sponsored children -

  7. Laurie Wells
    Apr 28, 2013
    at 8:15 pm

    I wrote my sponsered child to day for the first time in a long time due to things going on in my life and it hit me one of the best things in my life right now is her and I shouldn’t let anything stop me from writing her. I feel so blessed to be able to write to her and watch her grow :)

  8. Laura Slabach
    Aug 11, 2013
    at 6:44 pm


    I am a new sponsor, so new in fact that I haven’t even received my info packet yet. I can’t wait to begin writing my child. I have always been a letter writer and their many things I want to say and ask. I feel that the art of a handwritten note is slowly going by the wayside in this electronic age. I want to keep that art alive for my child so she will have something tangible to look back on and re-read. I have read about so many good ideas/ prompts for writing your child. I can’t quite remember how long it generally takes for the mail to arrive. Maybe someone can clarify that for me. Thank you so much for all your help and encouragement.

    Laura S.
    Aug 11, 2013

    • Kristen
      Jan 31, 2014
      at 1:34 pm

      “they” say up to 3 months, but, I have received correspondence from one of my sponsored children that is dated less than 1 month previous to the date in which I received it! So…I would say anywhere from 1-3 months. Big range, so not much help, but at least it’s a range!

    • Susan Sayler
      Jan 31, 2014
      at 4:19 pm

      It takes about two to three months for letters to back and forth. Your child will be notified that you have sponsored him//her within a month. That’s why we normally say that you will receive the first letter from your child within four months of sponsoring them. Don’t let that stop you though! Feel free to get a letter to them as soon and as much as you’d like!

  9. kathy
    Feb 28, 2014
    at 9:00 am

    Im using the website to write to my sponsored child, however, always run out of room. Can I write on the back page? If so, how do I do that?

    • Susan Sayler
      Feb 28, 2014
      at 3:51 pm

      Hi Kathy! Thank you so much for writing loving letters to your child! They truly mean the world! As you write, the letter will spill over onto the back page automatically as needed. In the “Preview” section, use the tabs to view either the “Front Page” or the “Back Page” before sending your letter.

  10. Dwight Dolby
    Oct 4, 2014
    at 2:55 pm

    Just a question about the process of letter writing. Using the convenient digital format on this site, what actually unfolds when we hit the “send” key? What is the cyber-space journey these letters travel? I guess I’m envisioning a person in Colorado printing them out and sending them hard copy to some destination close to the child, where they are opened and translated by some aide nearby? Thanks for any answer.

    • Emily Vanhoutan
      Oct 6, 2014
      at 2:52 pm

      Hello Dwight! Compassion understands the impact that each letter makes on a child and how much they treasure each encouraging word you say to them. Because of this, we wanted a system that was both convenient for our sponsor’s but was still meaningful and tangible for our children. When you write a letter through your My Account on http://www.compassion.com and hit send, that letter comes to our distribution center in Colorado Springs just like you guessed. These letters are printed out on high quality paper so that the children still have a nice letter and can clearly see the pictures you put on them :). Once they are printed out, they are mailed once a week with with the hand written letters, to our different countries. After the letters go through customs, the country office receives and distributes them to translators. The translators will write the translation in a blank portion of the letter. Once the letters have been translated, they are sorted by child development center and placed in each center’s bin. How far the child development center staff members are located from the country office will determine how often they are able to pick up the letters – anywhere from weekly to once a month. The next time each center meets they will distribute the letters to the children :). I hope this information helps clarify our letter process! But in short, letters written online go through a similar process that hand written letters do once they reach our office in Colorado Springs to ensure that the children still have a tangible copy they can keep for years to come and put in a special place.

  11. Teresa Dutton
    Oct 18, 2014
    at 11:48 pm

    Will you clarify some of the things I shouldn’t say in my letters or topics I should avoid?

    • Emily Vanhoutan
      Oct 20, 2014
      at 1:15 pm

      Hi Teresa! That is a great question and thank you for wanting to maintain a healthy relationship with your children when writing letters! Here is a list of topics we ask that you avoid writing about in your letters:

      -Discussing the material aspects of your life. Mentioning the size of your home, the kind of car you drive, etc. only accentuates the economic difference between you and your child.
      -Sending photos that show your possessions.
      -Sharing your home address, e-mail address or telephone numbers.
      -Using colloquialisms and slang.
      -Suggesting your child come for a visit or that you’ll send a particular gift.

      I hope this helps! Please feel free to check out other letter writing tips here.

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