On Sat, May 11, the community is invited to participate in Artful Arrangements’ 5th annual Down Home Day in Penngrove. The event aims to provide a fun and affordable opportunity for parents and grandparents to bond with their children.
Artful Arrangements is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission to find inexpensive and convenient ways for parents and grandparents to play with their children so they can practice in public what is being taught at home about good manners, social skills and respect for elders. The organization believes that children who feel cherished and loved when their parents and grandparents spend time with them are likely to become happy, well-adjusted adults, making for strong communities.
“The mission is real subtle – we provide fun things for parents to do with their own kids,” says Diane Davis, Volunteer Executive Coordinator for Artful Arrangements. “If parents don’t find the time to be with their own children before their children get a cell phone the children may not actually develop good manners and social graces. These may not be things that their after school programs are helping with…It seems like ‘do we really need a non-profit to tell people that they should play with their own children?’ I think yes, I think we need to gently remind people that they are doing something grand – they’re helping their children feel loved and cherished.”
This year’s event will feature contests that include old favorites such as the applesauce challenge, grown-up face painting, hula hoop hop, egg toss, and the “help-fire-save-me!” game where children rescue their grown-ups from a “burning” building, as well as new activities such as a new, free “learn about farm animals” experience where children learn about all the things farm animals do for people. The contests and games are $1 for a parent and child and prizes include $25 gift cards from local country and feed store sponsors such as Western Farm Center, Martin Ranch Supply, Frizelle Enos Feeds, and many more.
“The other thing that’s new this year which I am thrilled about is that on our grand raffle we have some new donors,” says Davis. “Instead of having everyone’s tickets go in one big pot, people get to put their tickets in front of the prize they want. You don’t have to be present to win. KOA is donating a camping stay worth up to $200. Casini Family Ranch is again donating a 2-night camping stay.”
Other raffle prizes include gift certificates to many other activities such as Morton’s Warm Springs, Scandia, Double Decker Lanes, the Charles M. Schulz museum, Buffalo Billiards, Snoopy’s Home Ice, Triple H Riding Center, and Andy’s Market. With only 100 to 200 people expected to attend the event, Davis says “your chances for winning a prize are pretty good!”
Admission and parking for the event is free, which is located at 205 Orchard Lane in Penngrove, from 11am to 4pm. Live music is being provided by The Spyralites, and food will be available for purchase with everything from a $3 hot dog to a $10 full plate chicken barbeque with all the fixings.
“The reason we keep the cost low is because our mission is to find affordable ways for parents or grandparents to get their kids out in public and play with them so they can judge how their kids are doing on their manners – respect for elders, respect for other people’s property. We don’t want food to be so expensive that they can’t afford to eat here.”
Other ways Artful Arrangements fulfills its mission is by providing a free “parallel family play” booth at public family events, a free Saturday drop-in day at the homestead, four annual events at the homestead, such as the Down Home Day every spring, and free emailed “paired” coloring pictures. They also offer other low-cost activities such as two-hour team activities, “Fun for the Kids” homestead tours and planting experiences, and group field trips to learn about soil erosion and farm animals.