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50 Inspirational Quotes for Kids of All Ages

Little girl reading from a book

At one of my eldest’s first well-baby check-ups, our pediatrician told me children are like plants. Both babies and plants thrive on nutrition, water, sunlight, and loving words. I wasn’t looking for inspirational quotes for kids at that moment, but what she said has stayed with me all these years.

Back then, I thought, “Huh. So parenting is that simple?” Turns out it isn’t. I had to bring the babies inside away from the sun, too, once in a while.

The following positive quotes for kids you’re about to read are like nuggets of nutrition for your children’s psyche. (The last 11 quotes are for you, mom and dad.) They contain vitamins and minerals that are delivered in the form of words meant to motivate and boost confidence.

You might doubt if these will do any good in the grand scheme of raising your children. If you read these consistently with them, these encouraging quotes for kids can help them believe in themselves more. In fact, a study has found that motivational quotes help improve self-esteem in patients with chronic diseases. If these bits of wisdom can help grown-ups, they can certainly help children, too.

Pick your favorites among the 50 inspirational quotes for kids below. Print them out and put them up around a high-traffic area in your house where your kids are sure to see them every day.

The power of literature

Much like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, the characters Roald Dahl brings to life in his books create magic in the minds and hearts of countless children. Books written for kids have a way of doing that, don’t you think?

From friendly giants to little girls who can do magic to kids running amok inside a chocolate factory, Dahl’s stories have the power to both entertain and impart old-world wisdom. And he does it in such a way that his young readers don’t realize they’re being schooled about life and themselves while they’re reading about the fantastical worlds in Dahl’s books.

A regular theme in Dahl’s books is the weak (or seemingly weak) overpowering a bully. For example, Matilda (in the book “Matilda”) fought for what she believed in—and won. Willy Wonka (in the book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”) awarded his empire of sweets to the poverty-stricken little boy who seemed the most timid in the group.

Unusual as some of his characters are, Dahl makes sure his readers, young and old, can identify with them. That’s why many of his characters are based on people he knew in real life. Still, to keep the magic alive in his books, Dahl supposedly invented over 500 words to use in his stories.

The quotes below will treat your children to the wonderful wisdom of Roald Dahl and his brilliant stories.

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50 Inspirational Quotes For Children

Inspirational quotes for kids from Roald Dahl’s books

"Great things often start off small."

-"James and the Giant Peach"

“Great things often start off small.”

-“James and the Giant Peach”

"Don't forget to believe in yourself."

-"Matilda"

“Don’t forget to believe in yourself.”

-“Matilda”

"Be open to new opportunities and discoveries."

-"Billy and the Minpins"

“Be open to new opportunities and discoveries.”

-“Billy and the Minpins”

"Don't take yourself too seriously."

-"The BFG"

“Don’t take yourself too seriously.”

-“The BFG”

"You don't need to change to be loved."

-"The Witches"

“You don’t need to change to be loved.”

-“The Witches”

"Try to. be optimistic even when things look hopeless."

-"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"

“Try to. be optimistic even when things look hopeless.”

-“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”

"A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly."

-"The Twits"

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly.”

-“The Twits”

"Life is more fun if you play games"

-"My Uncle Oswald"

“Life is more fun if you play games”

-“My Uncle Oswald”

"Nothing is any fun if you can get as much of it as you want. Especially money."

-"The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More"

“Nothing is any fun if you can get as much of it as you want. Especially money.”

-“The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More”

"Let your love out."

-"The BFG"

“Let your love out.”

-“The BFG”

Parental involvement is key to children’s success

All parents want their children to be successful. And they have their own ways of making sure of this. Some encourage their children to focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in school. Others try to get their kids into lots of after-school activities to balance out the academics (though science says the fewer extra-curricular activities, the better). UNICEF, on the other hand, suggests parents use talk time and play time with their baby as early jump-off points for their kid’s future success.

The Harvard Family Research Project believes one element fuses all these efforts together: consistent parental involvement. The study found that when family recognizes their vital role in the development of children, it evens out the playing field. A child living under the poverty line but being raised by involved parents will most probably do better in school—and eventually later in life—than a child from a wealthy family with negligent parents.

The fact that you are reading this and, hopefully, some others in this blog, may indicate that you recognize the important role you have as your child’s parent. For now, we offer you these inspirational quotes for kids, geared especially to point them toward success.

One caveat, though: adjust your campaign for success according to your child’s personality. Some kids will readily jump through all the hoops with you toward future triumphs. Others, though, may prefer that you take a calmer, more nuanced approach to providing your parental support. In this case, maybe read them the following encouraging quotes for kids just once a week?

Positive quotes for kids to set them up for success

Try not to become a man of success. Rather, become a man of value.
-Albert Einstein

“Try not to become a man of success. Rather, become a man of value.”

-Albert Einstein

Preparation is the key to success. -Alexander Graham Bell

“Preparation is the key to success.”

-Alexander Graham Bell

"You always pass failure on the way to success."
-Mickey Rooney

“You always pass failure on the way to success.”

-Mickey Rooney

"Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up."
-Batman

“Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.”

-Batman

The expert in anything was once a beginner.
-Helen Hayes

“The expert in anything was once a beginner.”

-Helen Hayes

Action is the fundamental key to success.
-Pablo Picasso

“Action is the fundamental key to success.”

-Pablo Picasso

"Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good."
-Malcolm Gladwell

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”

-Malcolm Gladwell

"You'll always miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take."
-Wayne Gretzky

“You’ll always miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

-Wayne Gretzky

"Do what you can with what you have where you are."
-Theodore Roosevelt

“Do what you can with what you have where you are.”

-Theodore Roosevelt

Being a parent is about letting go (eventually)

There is a multi-generational “war” about how children today are living.

Boomers, or the Silent Generation (people born between 1946 and 1964) believe kids today need to listen to more rock and roll and leave their safe spaces to “actually live life, for heaven’s sake.”

Gen X, or Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980) recognize the evolving times and are even onboard about some of the politically correct changes in society. It’s just that, generally, they think kids today need to “just do the work without all that complaining.”

Millennials (people born between 1981 and 1996) hate the Boomers for selfishly ruining the economy. So they are taking steps to try to reverse all that damage, but so far, according to Boomers, all they’re doing is raising their Alpha generation babies to become “softies.”

Gen Z, or Generation Z (those born in the late 1990s to early 2000s), probably due to this war, are in the baby-making age. But they don’t want kids because, “who wants to bring a child into this world with all this hatred going on?”

One thing’s for sure: regardless of what everyone thinks of everyone else, all of them were kids once whose parents, sooner or later, let them loose into the world to fend for themselves. That’s the common ingredient in all generations—kids growing up and moving on.

While yours are still home, pour all your love into them. That will insulate them forever from the wild, wild world. These inspirational quotes for kids will comfort you; they’re saying you’re doing the best you can. Sooner or later, you’ll have to trust that your children will grow up well.

Growing up quotes to inspire kids

"You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was."
-Irish proverb

“You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.”

-Irish proverb

You – you alone will have the stars as no one else has them.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“You – you alone will have the stars as no one else has them.”

-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (“The Little Prince”)

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

-Aesop

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

-Aesop

"Nothing is particularly hard if you break it down into small steps."

-Henry Ford

“Nothing is particularly hard if you break it down into small steps.”

-Henry Ford

"Accept everything about yourself. I mean everything. You are you, and that is the beginning and the end, no apoligies, no regrets."

-Clark Moustakas

“Accept everything about yourself. I mean everything. You are you, and that is the beginning and the end, no apoligies, no regrets.”

-Clark Moustakas

"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."

-Maya Angelou

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

-Maya Angelou

"If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely."

-Roald Dahl

“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely.”

-Roald Dahl

"If you can dream it, you can do it."

-Walt Disney

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

-Walt Disney

"Don't be afraid of life's challenges."

-Louisa May Alcott

“Don’t be afraid of life’s challenges.”

-Louisa May Alcott

"Every child is born a genius."

-Richard Buckminster Fuller

“Every child is born a genius.”

-Richard Buckminster Fuller

Art healing hearts

With streaming sites popping up left and right, it’s easy to make watching movies a solitary activity these days. Some kids as young as two are already experts at picking out movies on Netflix.

Here’s an idea: use your child’s love for movies to help them get through some tough times. When you feel they’re having a hard time in school or with life in general, and you’re not sure how to help them, turn to film.

Pick a movie that carries the message you want to share with your child. Finding Nemo is a great film to encourage children to be persistent and to dream big dreams. The BFG teaches kids about the importance of kindness; and also of being brave. Inside Out helps children acknowledge all their feelings, and shows them that each of their emotions is important and should be felt in their entirety.

Watch your movie choice with your child. If they’re a little older, let them absorb the movie’s message by themselves and just be there to answer any of their questions. You’re enlisting the help of artists to bring your child to a place of self-awareness and self-love. Let them deliver their masterpiece. Your role is to stay after the credits are done and help your child navigate the emotions and thoughts that they’re sure to have after watching any important movie with you.

While you’re thinking of movies to watch, let the following inspirational quotes for kids give you some ideas.

Encouraging quotes for kids from movies

“When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming.”

-Dory (“Finding Nemo”)

"A true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart."

-Zeus ("Hercules")

“A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.”

-Zeus (“Hercules”)

“To live would be an awfully big adventure.”

-Peter Pan (“Hook”)

"Hakuna Matata. It means 'no worries'."

-Pumbaa ("Lion King")

“Hakuna Matata. It means ‘no worries’.”

-Pumbaa (“Lion King”)

“There’s always a way to turn things around.”

-Joy (“Inside Out”)

"Sometimes you gotta get through your fears to see the beauty on the other side."

-Poppa ("The Good Dinosaur")

“Sometimes you gotta get through your fears to see the beauty on the other side.”

-Poppa (“The Good Dinosaur”)

"Adventure is out there."

-Ellie ("Up")

“Adventure is out there.”

-Ellie (“Up”)

"I am lightning."

-Lightning McQueen ("Cars")

“I am lightning.”

-Lightning McQueen (“Cars”)

"Get ready. Your life is about to start."

-Joe ("Soul")

“Get ready. Your life is about to start.”

-Joe (“Soul”)

One of 50 inspirational quotes for kids: "I am living my best life on Earth."

-Sonic ("Sonic the Hedgehog")

“I am living my best life on Earth.”

-Sonic (“Sonic the Hedgehog”)

When parents need reminders

Sometimes, it is easy to forget that children are blessings and not little people who randomly pour orange juice all over the kitchen floor. The stress of raising children into decent human beings does get to us, parents, at times, especially when they’re at the terrible-two stage.

We wish that their tantrums have a 365-day limit; that this is just a phase. But then they turn into terrible-threes. Then come the formidable-fours and fives where they test our patience and ability to keep our hair follicles in place.

That is why we need regular reminders like the quotes below to bring us back to the truth: that our children are gifts that we should treasure.

Touching quotes about kids

"The soul is healed by being with children."

-Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“The soul is healed by being with children.”

-Fyodor Dostoyevsky

"The best way to make children good is to make them happy."

-Oscar Wilde

“The best way to make children good is to make them happy.”

-Oscar Wilde

"Pretty much all the honest truth telling there is in the world is done by children."

-Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Pretty much all the honest truth telling there is in the world is done by children.”

-Oliver Wendell Holmes

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."

-Frederick Douglass

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

-Frederick Douglass

"Even if people are still very young, they shouldn't be prevented from saying what they think."

-Anne Frank

“Even if people are still very young, they shouldn’t be prevented from saying what they think.”

-Anne Frank

One inspirational quote for kids: "A child is an uncut diamond."

-Austin O'Malley

“A child is an uncut diamond.”

-Austin O’Malley

A positive quote for kids: "The real magic wand is the child's own mind."

-Jose Ortega y Gasset

“The real magic wand is the child’s own mind.”

-Jose Ortega y Gasset

"Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning."

-Mr. Rogers

“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.”

-Mr. Rogers

A favorite inspirational quote for kids: "Adults follow paths. Children explore."

-Neil Gaiman

“Adults follow paths. Children explore.”

-Neil Gaiman

Another of our favorite inspirational quotes for kids: "Children reinvent your world for you."

-Susan Sarandon

“Children reinvent your world for you.”

-Susan Sarandon

One of our favorite inspirational quotes for kids: "A child can ask a thousand questions that the wisest man cannot answer."

-Jacob Abbott

“A child can ask a thousand questions that the wisest man cannot answer.”

-Jacob Abbott

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