“The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.” – Louisa May Alcott

Growing up, my childhood was filled with a lot of downtime—playing outside in the dirt and riding bikes with the neighbor kids. Hiking and fishing with my Dad. Long walks with my friends into Makawao Town to get Polli’s chips and soda, or to hang out at the public library. 

I also spent a lot of time at home, sprawled on the couch after playing or in my room, my sanctuary from the outside world. Coming home felt like a refuge after a full day of school and sports. I loved the freedom I felt playing in the grass at our house, resting under the shade of our banana trees. Home felt important. Sacred, even. A place where I could reset, recharge and dream big dreams about the future.  

Now as a homemaker of my own, I often wonder, what kind of home am I creating for my keiki and our ‘ohana? Is it a place of peace? A shelter from so much outside noise? How can I tend to the little hearts and minds who call this place home? And if I really view home as sacred, how can I steward it well?

Here are a few small ways to nurture your home as a sacred place:

  1. Encourage free play and breaks from screens. Let keiki choose how they want to spend their time, whether it’s playing outside, crafting at the table, stacking toy blocks, or relaxing on the couch with a book they’ve picked out. 
  2. Care for your home together. Whether it’s sorting laundry or making dinner or washing dishes or pulling weeds, invite children into daily life tasks—even when it’s hard. Keiki learn the value of working together as a family toward a common goal. 
  3. Keep the environment clean. Growing up, my mom taught me to wash my hands and feet in the shower and change out my clothes after school and sports practice. It’s a habit I now teach my children. It sets the tone for feeling refreshed and keeping the home clean. 
  4. Make time for one another. Honor each member of the family with one-on-one time. Set aside time as partners or special activities with individual kids. Creating meaningful ways to connect, even if it’s a quick trip to get ice cream, nurtures all our unique relationships within our family. 

Maile Crewdson is a Maui mom of three young keiki. She specializes in baking allergy-friendly cakes and malasadas. Find her on Instagram: @littlemauifamily @cyrusbakingco