Workshops for Kids

Hands-on, sensory experiences of great books

(Last two workshops of the year are being held online)

“It’s like a field trip inside the book!”

Our experiential workshops are held in Santa Cruz, California. Kids ages 7+ arrive having already read some version of the featured story, and for three hours we experience it together in creative, sensory ways. It’s a hands-on, memorable experience of a great book.

The results? Interest. Empathy. Wide-eyed, “aha” moments.  And most importantly, the desire to read more great books.

Both avid and reluctant readers love to “LitWit.”  It’s fun — and we learn so much! Our straight-from-the-pages props, activities and creative projects are carefully planned to naturally convey key academic information such as theme, narrative arc, character development, historical and geographical contexts, vocabulary, writing skills, and more. There’s no pressure to perform or participate– we want to inspire your kids to love great books.  (Like these, on our calendar for 2019-20!)

Some families drive 2-3 hours to attend our workshops, which really warms our hearts. We plan to expand into Santa Clara County, Hollister, and Monterey or Carmel very soon, but meanwhile, if you live too far away but don’t want your kids to miss out, check out our DIY LitWits Kits! They’re packed with everything we’ve done that can be put online, and they’re easily adaptable to classroom and homeschool teaching.

The LitWits Kit for THE GOOD MASTER by Kate Seredy - LitWits Workshops

My daughter absolutely loves attending. They are hands-down her favorite school activities she’s ever done, and I appreciate that very much.

LitWits is motivating, educational, and inspirational. Your workshops have shown my son that exploring the world of literature and writing can be fun. I can’t thank you enough.

The LitWits Kit for ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS by Scott O'Dell - LitWits Workshops

LitWits is a lot of fun – kids who love to read are thrilled at the chance to soak up more of a book , and kids who don’t like to read (or write) are inspired by the pleasure we take in “experiencing” the story.

Who wouldn’t want to write, when a master writer has just showed us the power of words in a story, and we’ve just LIVED that story in so many sensory ways?

Visit our Gallery for glimpses of the fun, and see our Fans page to read what parents think.



Ages:  Each workshop is offered for two age groups, 7+ and 10+. The content will be exactly the same in the 7+ and 10+ groups, and all will do creative writing. The differences are:

Ages 7+

  • slower pace, more thorough project directions
  • thorough discussion of all handout information
  • more time for projects and creative writing, with one-on-one help as needed
  • age-appropriate expectations for efforts and participation
  • appropriate peer setting

Ages 10+

  • faster pace, less detailed project directions
  • emphasis on thoughtful, thorough responses on all handouts
  • more time for deeper, age-appropriate discussions and creative writing
  • age-appropriate expectations for efforts and participation
  • appropriate peer setting

If this age division separates siblings who would prefer to be together, or if it better suits your schedule to have them in a single workshop, older kids are welcome to attend the 7+ workshops, but not the other way around.

(If you have younger kids who’d like to share in the joy of this book, we hope you’ve discovered our companion classes for ages 4-6!)

Hours:   Because of the coronavirus crisis our April and May 2020 workshops are being held online, via Zoom (9am-12pm (ages 7+) and 1-4pm (ages 10+) on scheduled Thursdays, and 9am-12pm (ages 7+) on Fridays. We’ll mail you supplies and materials ahead of time, and send you a Zoom link before the workshop.

Cost: The $70 cost of each 3-hour workshop includes all supplies and a no-nuts, book-related snack.  If you’d like us to send you a PayPal bill 30 days prior, enter promo code BILLME when you register.

LitWits Workshops is an approved vendor for Ocean Grove Charter School. Charter parents, please register online using promo code CHARTER, then request a purchase order.

Cancellation Policy: If you cancel at least 30 days before the event, you can choose a refund or makeup; within 30 days, you’ll get a makeup. (Use promo code MAKEUP to re-register, and please remind us, in the Notes field, which event you missed.) There are no refunds or makeups for no-shows. We hope that makes sense and seems fair!

Location:  Workshops are held at  350 Mission Street, Santa Cruz, on the campus of Vintage Faith Church, upstairs in the Children & Youth Building. LitWits is a drop-off program;  The Abbey coffeehouse is right next door, if you’d like to jumpstart your three hours of free time!

By popular demand we’ll be adding  new locations in Santa Clara County, Hollister, and Monterey or Carmel by the fall of 2020.

Preparation:  We strongly encourage completion of the book before the workshop. Heavily abridged and audio versions are perfectly fine — but we recommend against watching the movie, even if it’s true to the book.  We want kids to “make their own pictures!”

Becky and Jenny - LitWits Workshops (2)

Instructors: Becky and Jenny, sisters and LitWits founders. Jenny has a BA in English literature and an MFA in creative nonfiction and poetry writing. She’s been a K-6 teacher and a K-12 language arts tutor, and her scholarship, essays, and poems have appeared in several journals. Becky is a literature-based homeschool teacher and a journalism major who spent four years as a staff writer for The Register Pajaronian. Both Becky and Jenny are currently writing creative biographies of two fascinating Bay Area women of history.

The LitWits Kit for THE TEMPEST by William Shakespeare - LitWits Workshops

If you live in the Bay Area and would like your child to attend a LitWits workshop, click here to find out what books we’ll be experiencing soon.

We also offer LittleWits for ages 4-6, Writing Practice for 10+, semester-length English courses for teens, and week-long creative and essay writing camps.

If you’re not local but don’t want your kids to miss out, check out our fun-packed LitWits Kits. Our materials are easily adaptable to classrooms and homes!

Thank you so much for providing such an amazing environment for the kids. It has been so much fun for me personally to embark on the adventure of each book with them, with the workshop waiting like a prize at the finish line!