Wednesday, November 20, 2019

LitWits (A Homeschool Crew Review)

I love reading.  My kids,  not so much.  However, they enjoy books so much more with fun activities that really help to engage them into the story and bring it from the pages of the book.  Members of the crew have been using LitWits Kits  from LitWits with their families for the last  few weeks.

LitWits was very generous and gave us our choice of four LitWits Kits from their extensive collection of available kits. With kits available for  For our selections, we opted for A Wrinkle in Time, The Hobbit, The Phantom Tollbooth, and The Secret Garden.

For this review, however, when I show the actual product to demonstrate the layout of the LitWits, I will be showing the LitWits kit for Little House in the Big Woods, which is absolutely free on the LitWits website for you to try in your own home.

What are LitWits?

Designed for students ages ranging from 6-14 (targeted age 8-12), LitWits Kits are written by Becky Clendenen Kimbal and Jenny Clendenen Walicek and are designed to help parents teach great books and instill a love of reading using a fun, hands on approach.   Each Litwits Kit includes:

  • sensory prop ideas:  see, hear, smell, and feel what the characters did
  • bookbites ideas:  taste what the characters ate
  • creative project ideas & instructions/templates:  make what a character made
  • kinetic activity ideas & instructions/prompts:  do what a character did (or might/should have!)
  • academic handouts:  learn the story’s narrative arc, vocabulary, setting, and more
  • creative writing handouts: write what a character wrote or felt
  • takeaway topics:  know what the characters knew
  • learning links:  learn more about what the characters’ world was like
  • audiovisual links:  see and hear what the characters’ world looked and sounded like
  • CCSS alignment:  check off lots of boxes!

Once purchased, LitWits can either be accessed online on the website or they can be downloaded to use offline and printed out.  Each LitWit offers advice for including various physical props to the classroom that tie into the story, hands on activities,  food related ideas, handouts about literary elements, as well many other activities.

A Hands on Art Project for Little House in the Big Woods

Food related activity for Little House in the Big Woods
In addition to the activities, LitWits also includes a really nice collection of additional resources that can be used while reading the book.  These resources include author biographies, maps and other resources that teach more about the setting and time period of the book, and other resources to provide rabbit trails for learning beyond what is included in the pages of the book.

How We Used LitWits

For this review period, we decided to read "A Wrinkle In Time" and include the projects found in the LitWit to go along with it.  Right at the start with the first chapter, we had a cute activity to include with our reading - a visit from Mrs Whatsit.   Ashleigh and I found tons of scarves and bed sheets, as well as a huge floppy hat and dressed her up at the beloved wacky character.   If only we would have had some rainboots to go along with it :)

Here's Garrett playing with one of the props we used during the book.  We used this while reading about the Happy Medium as she was gazing into her crystal ball.   We really had hoped we would be able to find a brain jello mold as also recommended but they were sold out (close to Halloween).  That would have been so much fun.

Another activity we did was the folding a two dimensional piece of paper into a 3D object.  The kids love doing anything origami so this was a really fun project for them.   With a simple piece of paper, a bit of decorating and a bit of folding and the kids had a 3D scene from the book.

Inside hers Ashleigh decided to draw a scene of Meg, Calvin and Charles Wallace looking upon Uriel.

In addition to the activities, we also worked on the handout worksheets that are with the kit.   For this kit, there was an activity to write their own mnemonic to learn the order of the planets. Afterwards they filled out the order from memory.   There was also an activity where they could create their own character using a character building sheet, as well as an activity where the kids had to put events that happened in the book in order as they appeared in the narrative arc.

We tried to complete as many of the activities as we could, but unfortunately, were unable to do the BookBites section.  This particular activity asked for me to make melon balls out of a watermelon ahead of time and then having the kids close their eyes as I feed it to them, as Aunt Beast fed Meg.  At the time of this review, watermelon isn't exactly plentiful at the moment, so we skipped that portion.

We really enjoyed using the LitWits Kit and felt it really did add to our reading experience.  The kids really got into the activities.  I'm looking forward to using the other kits this year and will be beginning the next one soon, but we are having such a hard time of deciding which one we want to do.  They each are son wonderful in different ways.  We will probably wait to use The Secret Garden come springtime as much of the activities revolve around plants and having a nice tea with marmalade, which will be so nice to do outdoors once the temperatures warm up again.  The Phantom Tollbooth has fun props like Synonym buns and Rigamaroles (cinnamon buns and rolls), making a chromagraph (which would be fun as the kids are currently learning music theory), and another paper folding project to make a dodecahedron.  The Hobbit LitWits kit has the kids creating the Elfish sword Sting (don't know if it glows around orcs or goblins), trace Bilbo’s journey across the narrative arc, dine with Beorn, write using Tolkien’s characterization techniques, decode ancient runes, guess what’s in Gollum’s pocketses for meaningful insights, solve riddles, find out why Gandalf “abandoned” Bilbo, and so much more!  How do you decide???   I do know that LitWits will be a regular purchase for our reading. 

#hsreviews #readforfunlearnforlife #litwits #litwitskits

For more information about LitWits Kits, be sure to check out their website.  You can also find LitWits on the following social media sites:

Members of the crew were allowed their choice of any four of the available LitWits Kids to use with their families. Be sure to click the banner below to read which ones they picked and how they used them with their homeschool.

LitWits Kits {LitWits Reviews}


  1. Brenda, this is so great! Thanks for your beautiful review and for sharing LitWits Kits with your kids and your readers. We LOVED your young Mrs. Whatsit. She looks fantastic - the Mexican blanket is an excellent touch :D. And your kids did great on the peep-hole origami! Way to go, Garrett and Ashleigh! Thanks for sharing - we hope you all continue to enjoy LitWits for years to come and will keep the great pictures and reports coming. Happy Reading! Becky and Jenny

  2. Nice article as well as whole site.Thanks.


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