Artful Arrangements, a 501(c)(3) founded in 2016, has developed a prevention-focused strategy for improving long-range community health. We believe that Sonoma County, in piloting Accountable Communities of Health as a way to coordinate local efforts beyond the traditional boundaries of the current healthcare system, has opened a way for our message and services to be of help. On a resiliency spectrum, we address stress/challenges in personal communities, under Community Programs & Services.
Artful Arrangements supports families with a message on the importance of spending time with their children while the kids are in their most formative years – to make a positive impact on their futures. We call ages 5 to 10 the “Second 5” – and encourage parents with the words “play, interact, and guide.”
As part of our services, we artfully arrange, at low-cost or no-cost, ways for parents and grandparents to play with their children in public, because that is where kids practice what is taught at home about good manners, social skills and respect for elders and other’s property – before they get cell phones.
The perceived need
The role a family plays in the health of a community should not be overlooked. Children want time and attention from their parents and grandparents. The demands on families to work and save are stressful and great, leaving many parents to rely on an array of great after-school programs. As more child-rearing responsibility is passed off, and kids are shuttled from one activity to another, we begin to see some parents actually feeling unable to spend any time with their children themselves.
Society evolves. Emerging trends of note: bullying, substance abuse, cell phone addiction, vaping, joining gangs, anti-social behavior, a rising youth suicide rate, school violence, and, later, the declining rate of young adults establishing families of their own. We observe that First 5 addresses ages birth to 5, with Talk, Read, Sing – It Changes Everything, and that Artful Arrangements addresses the Second 5, ages 5 to 10, with Play, Interact and Guide – Good Manners will be Multiplied! Our message is timely.
Artful Arrangements reaches out to families with a positive message. We believe children feel loved and cherished when parents spend time with them, and such kids are likely to become happy, well-adjusted grownups, who will establish families of their own. We paint a vision for parents with the gentle reminder of the importance of making time for their children – before the kids get cell phones.
Our signature off-site program
In the Artful Arrangements Parallel Family Play booth at public events, families are invited inside, to sit together to color individual pictures (there’s an adult version and a child version of the same picture). Each family gets their own table, even if just one parent, one child. When done coloring, the family moves over to the portable loveseat and they hold up their artwork for the Family Photo Contest, in competition with all participating families at that event. The prize is more fun family time together – a Gift Certificate for a “Fun with the Kids” Homestead Tour & Planting Experience, on the 1915 working homestead grounds in Penngrove, where the family feeds the chickens, learns about farm animals, and the parents help the children plant a starter-plant in a ceramic cup to take home to nurture together. Additionally, a copy of each family photo is mailed to each family to display in their home, a reminder that children love spending time with their family. At Artful Arrangements, we believe that happy families build strong communities!
Up-coming annual on-site spring event
On May 9, 2020, Arrangements is holding the free 6th Annual Down-Home Day for family fun on the 1915 working homestead at 205 Orchard Lane, Penngrove 94951, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., where guests are provided with live music, self-guided grounds tours and fun parent-&-child activities. It’s also an annual fundraiser, so there will be $1 parent-&-child (or entire family) games and contests and $1 treats, as well as a Libation Station and BBQ Lunch: Large Plate BBQ chicken meal $10, Small Plate $7, Hot Dog meal $5, Hot Dog $3. Beer or wine $5.
$1 Family Games & Contests Free Activities
Applesauce Challenge, Quest, The whole family can join the Shoe Sticker Club
Grown-Up Face Painting, Play Hula Hoop Hop to music
Feed the Chickens, Egg Relay, Learn About Farm Animals & take home a handout
Help-Fire-Save-Me!, Egg Toss, Take a Self-Guided Grounds Tour
How Many Are In There?,
Walk through The Portal of Time & get the handout
How Much Does It Weigh?,
Listen to music while eating $1 ice cream or cake
Cutest Baby Photo Contest,
Enjoy an affordable lunch while listening to music
Best Hat Photo Contest,
Watch other families entering the contests
Hugs & Kisses Photo Contest, Trade in unopened Suckers you won for stuffed animals
Amazing Pet Photo Contest,
Take photos of yourselves with the farm animals
On-the-Tractor Photo Contest, Take photos of yourselves in The Portal of Time
Parallel Play & Photo Contest Take photos of yourselves with the chickens
Over 30 volunteers are needed for this event, so call if you can help, 707-664-8656. It’s so much fun!
Up-coming annual on-site fall event
On November 22, 2020, Artful Arrangements is holding the free 7th Annual Giving Thanks Gathering in Homestead Gardens at 205 Orchard Lane, Penngrove 94951, at 2 p.m. sharp, where guests are given a guided tour of the 1915 working homestead grounds. Children feed the chickens and learn about farm animals. Afterward, there is a repast and libations, and parents help their kids plant a plant to nurture at home together. Families are invited to bring the whole extended family – multi generations are great!