How do you motivate and inspire your kids?
What do to you say to them to get them jazzed about education or about setting goals and going after them?
Fortunately, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to inspiring your kids. There’s nothing wrong with using the words of parents and teachers who’ve come before you.
And the quotes in this article come from people who have successfully motivated, inspired, and encouraged people of all ages.
So, enjoy these inspirational quotes for kids, and pass on as many as you like to the curious, growing minds around you.
Inspirational Quotes for Kids
Quotes about Children
Kids learn from an early age to go after things they want and to motivate other kids to do the same. Their teachers, including their parents, can either stifle their native gifts in this area or help develop them in appropriate and beneficial ways.
1. “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” ― Albert Einstein
2. “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” ― Margaret Mead
3. “Even if people are still very young, they shouldn’t be prevented from saying what they think.” ― Anne Frank
4. “Children are not only innocent and curious but also optimistic and joyful and essentially happy. They are, in short, everything adults wish they could be.”― Carolyn Haywood
5. “We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.” ― Stacia Tauscher
6. “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” ― Angela Schwindt
7. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ― Dr. Seuss
8. “The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.” ― Pablo Casals
9. “Do not indoctrinate your children. Teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate evidence, and how to disagree with you.” ― Richard Dawkins
10. “Pretty much all the honest truth telling there is in the world is done by children.” ― Oliver Wendell Holmes
11. “Children are the true connoisseurs, what’s precious to them has no price, only value.” ― Bel Kaufman
12. “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” ― Rachel Carson
13. “One way that we can build a better future for children is by empowering them through allowing them to speak up for themselves. Of course, we as adults have to guide them and to take ultimate responsibility but that is something quite different from patronizing them. The rights of children must, importantly, include the right to be themselves and to talk for themselves.” ― Nelson Mandela
14. “When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments — tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become.” ― Louis Pasteur
Classroom Quotes Elementary and Middle Schoolers
The following motivational quotes for students are ideal for posting in classrooms and other learning spaces.
Whether you put these on a whiteboard, on posters, or in personal notes, they provide helpful insights from well-known, accomplished people from our history as well as inspirational thought-leaders now living.
15. “The essence of our effort to see that every child has a chance must be to assure each an equal opportunity, not to become equal, but to become different – to realize whatever unique potential of body, mind and spirit he or she possesses.” ― John Fischer
16. “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” ― Epicetus
17. “Winning doesn’t always mean being first. Winning means you’re doing better than you’ve done before.” ― Bonnie Blair
18. “Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try.” ― Ernest Hemingway
19. “He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” ― Chinese Proverb
20. “It is not fair to ask of someone else what you are not willing to do yourself.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
21. “Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There is no courage unless you’re scared.” ― Eddie Rickenbacker
22. “Success is not something to wait for, it is something to work for.” ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
23. “When someone does something good, applaud! You will make two people happy.” ― Samuel Goldwyn
24. “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” — Babe Ruth
25. “None of us is as smart as all of us.” — Kenneth H. Blanchard
26. “Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the face.” — Helen Keller
27. “Politeness costs nothing and gains everything.” — Lady Mary Montague
Positive Kindness Quotes for Kids
Share these positive quotes for kids to instill the virtue of kindness in your children or students.
Reaching personal goals is meaningless without an awareness of our connectedness to all living creatures and daily efforts at being kind, even when it costs.
28. “Good words are worth much, and cost little.” — George Herbert
29.“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” ― Thomas Edison
30. “Always stop to think whether your fun may be the cause of another’s unhappiness.” — Aesop
31. “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” — Mahatma Gandhi
32. “It’s our emotions and imperfections that make us human.” — Clyde DeSouza
33. “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” ― Roald Dahl
34. “If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.” — Dolly Parton
35. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” — Aesop
36. “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless” — Mother Teresa
37. “One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” — Antoine De Saint-Exupery
38. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou
39. “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” — Mark Twain
40. “Have in your mind a word of cheer for all who come your way, and they will bless you, too, in turn, and wish you “Happy day!”” — Frank B. Whitney
41. “Let us learn to live with kindness, to love everyone, even when they do not love us.” — Pope Francis
Words of Encouragement for Kids
Look through the following quotes for the insights you’ll need when one of your kids needs words of encouragement.
Great quotes for kids take into account their developmental needs as well as their interest in exploring and collecting new experiences.
They may not name “personal growth” as a top priority, but they’re busy learning who they are, what they’re capable of, and why it matters.
42. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” — Theodore Roosevelt
43. “No one is perfect – that’s why pencils have erasers.” — Wolfgang Riebe
Related: 31 Mother’s Day Messages To Wow Mom
44. “Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.” — Albert Einstein
45. “Nothing is particularly hard if you break it down into small jobs.” — Henry Ford
46. “If you cannot do great things yourself, remember that you may do small things in a great way.” — Napoleon Hill
47. “We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.” — J.K. Rowling
48. “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” — A.A. Milne
49. “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” — Barack Obama
50. “All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney
51. “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” — Roald Dahl
52. “Be who you are and say what you feel because the ones who mind don’t matter, and the ones who matter don’t mind.” ― Dr. Seuss
53. “Remember, happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely upon what you think.” — Dale Carnegie
54. “I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does.” — L.M. Montgomery
55. “Give the world the best you have, and the best will come to you.” — Madeline Bridge
Create a lasting effect with quotes for kids.
Simply posting motivational quotes for kids in classrooms and around the home isn’t enough.
If the insights contained therein never find their way into the conversations you have with your children or students, they’re unlikely to have a lasting effect.
Getting quotes like these in front of their faces is a good first step, though.
Starting a class with one of these quotes can get kids talking about what they think it means. And writing a quote of the day on a whiteboard at home can also stimulate them into asking questions.
The more you find ways to incorporate inspirational quotes like these into conversations and educational experiences, the more likely kids will benefit from them.