I heart Homeplace Days. Even if it sounds dorky to say out-loud.
February 15, 2011

To make things easier for Charlotte to understand, I tell her in the morning what sort of day we are going to have.

On Adventure Days, we go places and do things and explore the world.  We track rabbits at the arroyo, we make elephant noises at the zoo, we take the train to the petting zoo and while away the day with llamas and guinea pigs.  We picnic at a mission beside a cathedral.  We stick our noses against the shark tank at the aquarium.  We visit a friend’s house and pound strips of wood with soft mallets.

On Imagination Days, we create and marvel at creation.  We take fat paintbrushes, dip them into water, and ‘paint’ the house and the windows and the car.  We glue apple cores to cardboard boxes.  We squish our toes into a bucket of mud and track footprints across the driveway.  We tour the new exhibit at the local museum and stick around for the craft afterwards.  We string slices of cucumber together and try to eat them off the line.

And on Homeplace Days, we stay home.  All day long, just the two of us, folding laundry and juicing oranges and reading books.  We feed the chickens, collect their eggs, weed the vegetable garden.  We stomp through the tall grass pretending to be great heroes of old.  We pet the cats and wrestle with the dogs.  We blow bubbles and run to pop them before they hit the ground.  We walk through the neighborhood and collect rocks to drop in buckets of water KER-PLOP on the porch.

We play chasey through the house, we build couch cushion forts, we construct enormous towers of blocks and Babyzilla knocks them down.  We snack on pomegranate seeds and sing songs and recite poems and play with finger puppets.  We walk to the library and walk back playing peek-a-boo with the baby carrier.  We slither like snakes on our bellies across the living room floor and we dance to Kira Willey songs around the kitchen.  We tickle one another’s toes.

I love all of our days together.  I love showing her the world on Adventure Days, seeing her eyes light up with wonder, knowing that these are the days that will light within my child a fascination with her surroundings.  I love her curiosity on Imagination Days, watching her learn how things work through a creative process, witnessing her excitement at taking the lead.

But I love Homeplace Days most of all.

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  1. By on February 15, 2011

    Thanks for the GREAT ideas!!!

  2. By Michelle J on February 15, 2011

    I love those days best too!

  3. By on February 15, 2011

    If Charlotte decides she never wants to grow up, who can blame her!

  4. By Ashley on February 15, 2011

    That sounds amazing! What a great idea! I’m currently pregnant with my first and would love to implement something like that once he/she is born.

  5. By monica on February 15, 2011

    Wow, loaded wth great ideas!

  6. By Sarah Christensen on February 15, 2011

    Ashley - Congratulations!  I didn’t start dividing our days until Charlotte was about seven or eight months old, but we’ve been doing it since then and it really does help her out.  If we go out toward the car and it isn’t an Adventure Day, she really resists.  It doesn’t matter how much she loves the park or the library or running errands, she always loves hanging out at home and taking nature walks more.  Sometimes if I make last-minute plans to meet up with a mom at the park and it isn’t an Adventure Day, I tell her we’re going to have an adventure hour lol becuase if it is an Adventure Day, she knows that she’s going to have fun, so she’ll let me dress her however and happily get in the car.  It’s nice seeing the associations she makes =)

  7. By on February 15, 2011

    Gosh, can I come over and play too? :)

  8. By on February 15, 2011

    What a fantastic idea! I just left my job to stay home with my 12 month old, and have been taking it pretty easy so far. This will be a great way to organize our time though, now that he’s big enough to understand more. Thank you for sharing!

  9. By on February 15, 2011

    Sounds delightful.  I like those days, too.
    But, I think it would be more fun with chickens and oranges and stuff :)

  10. By on February 16, 2011

    Is Charlotte napping once or twice a day? I would love to do activities like that but James naps twice a day and it’s hard to plan around…

  11. By Cynthia Krajcarski on February 16, 2011

    That sounds so awesome, and thanks for a few ideas. Crayons are fun and all, but not when you’re locked inside for days on end.

    We tell Isla what our plans for the day are too, but since we never really named them she never makes an association. It’s an awesome idea to name the days.

  12. By Sarah Christensen on February 16, 2011

    MC - For awhile, Charlotte was down to one nap a day, but when she got sick last month she ramped it up to two naps.  Right now she only takes one periodically, but mostly she still takes two naps.

    I know what you mean - it is really tough to plan things when you only have a couple hours to work with.  I’m really lucky in that Charlotte will happily nurse or nap in a carrier if we’re out somewhere, and she will nap in the car if I plan a trip so that it coincides with naptime - then I just have to anticipate a third catnap in the afternoon because it’s rare that a car-ride takes up her entire naptime.  It’s also why so many of our home activities (like “painting” with water) take so little prep and clean-up.  When it’s time to sleep, it’s time to sleep, and there isn’t always time to wash down fingerpaints.  For things that are messier or more time consuming, I have to plan ahead the night before.

  13. By on February 16, 2011

    Wow…I know a really good mother when I see one…and you are one, Sarah. You will never, never regret raising Charlotte the way you are, and she will grow up to be all that she can be. Seriously. I don’t think you know how very special you are. Maybe a little, but not really. :-) If I were your parent I would be so proud!!!

  14. By Sarah Christensen on February 17, 2011

    Lynn - Thank you very much =)  I always appreciate the kind words, especially knowing that you set the bar high!  Just last night Charlotte and I walked down to my parents house for a little grandparent time before dinner.  Char was pretty tired and so needed a little more attention than usual.  Afterwards, my mom leaned in and said she was very proud of me and how I was parenting her.

    I just about died of pride in myself right then.

  15. By on March 30, 2011

    You are the mother I wish I had and the one I hope to be when the time comes.
    So much love.





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