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A DEEP DIVE INTO THE HUNDERED LANGUAGES OF CHILDREN: A 6 part series of workshops: @ Branches Atelier May, 21st through July 18th 2023.

By Branches Atelier

When and where


Branches Atelier 11359 W Washington Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90066

Refund Policy

No Refunds

About this event

  • 61 days 12 hours
  • Mobile eTicket



All workshops are onsite at:

Branches Atelier 

11359 W Washington Blvd.

Culver City, CA 90066 

For more than 18 years, Branches Atelier has developed an innovative program using expressive media and materials as tools of the mind. We are happy to offer this series of workshops to deeply explore the essential role that materials play in children’s learning. Over six sessions, you will be introduced to the philosophy, techniques, and organizational strategies needed to create dynamic, creative, and innovative ateliers. 

Unlike the traditional art studio that focuses on art production, ateliers are beautiful, creative spaces designed to support all areas of children’s learning and development from math, narrative, and science to creativity and problem-solving. Through the introduction of tools and techniques, you will discover how to use these amazing materials in your homes or classrooms with young children. We will explore how to organize these materials and create ateliers for a wide range of diverse settings and around specific concepts from classrooms to homes, sheds to shelves, both indoors and outdoors. 

 We invite you to attend all or any combination of these workshops.  

Fueling Curiosity, Wonder, and Renewal, Through the Environment and Natural Materials

Sunday May 21th 2023 9am to 3pm

a hands-on workshop presented by Patricia Hunter McGrath and Christina Bianchi

$100 Includes Breakfast

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” 
― Rachel Carson

Now, more than ever, our approach to the environmental design and materials in our schools and classrooms must reflect our role in creating a restorative, responsible relationship with the natural world.

  • How do we support wonder and curiosity rather than only relying on algorithms for research? 
  • How are the values of the school reflected in the environment?
  • How to delight in the unpredictable alive in our classrooms? 
How do we support the use of multiple symbolic languages?
  • How do natural materials enhance learning environments and connect to the curriculum?
How do we create classrooms that support a worldview of environmental stewardship?
  • How do we support children in seeing themselves as a part of the natural world?
  • What can we do to make visible our interdependence with all living things? 
  • How has our yard been reimagined as an outdoor atelier?
  • What design elements support engagement, imagination, integration, and experimentation?

 Join Patricia Hunter McGrath and Christina Bianchi as they explore these questions through the lens of their work at Branches Atelier.

Integrating Felting into the Classroom and Curriculum: A Hands on Exploration of Fiber

Saturday June 10th 2023 9am to 3pm

a hands-on workshop presented by Patricia Hunter McGrath and Branches Staff

$135 Includes Breakfast, wool roving and silk fabric

Join us as we explore the wonderful world of felting and fibers. Together we will learn,

  • How is fiber introduced into the classroom?
  • What are the techniques of felting?
  • What is wet felting?
  • How does the use of felt expand and extend curriculum?
  • How do we support the use of multiple symbolic languages?
  • What is the alphabet of felt?
  • What is nuno felting?
  • How can wool roving be introduced as a material for story and narrative?
  • How can we make children’s ideas visible through fiber work?

Pastels and Watercolors

Saturday, June 24th 2023 9am to 12pm

A hands-on workshop presented by Patricia Hunter McGrath and Branches staff

$70 Includes Breakfast

“Because watercolor actually moves on the paper, it is the most active of all mediums, almost a performance art.” – Nita Engle

When considering which materials to introduce, the fluidity of these materials and the nature of the relationship between gestures and lines make these materials ideal for supporting a class of individuals in becoming a collaborative group. The creation of initial color palettes with an eye for how these materials can be combined and layered helps draw children’s interests over long periods of exploration.


  • How are pan pastels, oil pastels, and watercolor media introduced to the children?
  • What are the tools and techniques offered to the children?
  • How are the materials used to represent children’s ideas?
  • How are these materials used to support narrative and communication?
  • How are they combined to create new possibilities?

Mixed Media: Bringing the Materials Together

Saturday, June 24th, 2023, 2 pm to 5 pm 

Presented by Patricia Hunter McGrath and Branches Staff

$75 includes a canvas board, collage papers, and acrylic textures

“Creativity takes courage.” – Henri Matisse 

 Join us while we explore the possibilities of layering and collage. Combining many different materials and media is a powerful tool for representation and meaning-making. Mixed media can support stories and narratives, scientific thinking, and problem-solving. Its power lies in the ability to endlessly combine and layer different types of materials to create theories, ideas, and new ways to communicate. The potential of different combinations of media invites us to reconsider our perspectives over and over again. 

  • What are the techniques of mixed media?
  • How mixed media supports literacy?
  • How is mixed media used to represent children’s ideas?
  • How is the layering of materials introduced to the children?
  • How does mixed media become a tool for reflection and collaboration?

Included in the cost of this workshop is a canvas board, collage papers, and acrylic textures

Creating a World of Colors: Palettes that Connect us to our World

Saturday, July 8th, 2023, 9 am to 3 pm 

A hands-on workshop presented by Patricia Hunter McGrath and Branches staff.

$135– includes, Breakfast, a Color Wheel, paint recipes, a set of tempera paints, and paint cups to take back to your classroom. Participants will also create a paint recipe book that can be used as a tool to create beautiful palettes throughout the year.

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way–things I had no words for." – Georgia O'Keefe

Tempera Paint can be mixed in an infinitely nuanced palette, but how often do we end up creating colors that represent the vitality, diversity, and beauty of the natural world? 

 Join us as we consider how we can use this resource to bring attention to the richness of the environment, including: 

  • What are the tricks and tips to creating a wide range of beautiful palettes?
  • What are the techniques of paint mixing with children?
  • How can color support children learning?
  • How can a wide range of paint colors support children's connection to nature?
  • What is the difference between a tone, hue, shade, and tint?
  • How can paint and color support literacy and poetic language?

Included in the cost of this workshop is a Color Wheel, paint cups, and paints that participants can use to create a personal palette that can be taken back to their centers.

Light, Shadow, Transparency and Color.

Tuesday July 18th 6pm to 9pm

A hands-on workshop presented by Patricia Hunter McGrath and Branches staff.

Spend the evening exploring light, shadow and transparency as we explore how light tables and overhead projectors are used to support, uncover and develop children’s’ interests and ideas. Through hands on experiences, provocative questions and co-constructive interactions we will unpack how to move with fluidity between children’s theories, representations and investigations.


  • What kind of provocations can you set up on a light table?
  • How can shadow be used to explore scientific inquiry?
  • How can light and shadow be used to support story and narrative?
  • How can the overhead projector be used to create dramatic, magical immersive environments?
  • How to we introduce transparent materials to the children?
  • What kind of materials can be used with a light table?

We invite you to attend all or any combination of these workshops.

About the organizer

Organized by
Branches Atelier

Branches Atelier is a Reggio Inspired preschool located in Culver City, California.