FREE or low cost Community Resources

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(Photo above taken at New Moms Group via Rhode Island New Moms Connection)

I just went to the library after years and I was impressed with all the programs they have for kids!  I’m so excited for her to get a bit older so we can check out story times and some of the other events.  What other free or low cost activities are there for me to do with my little one?

There are a multitude of things you can do with your little one…now and in the months, years ahead…that cost very little.  Many of the resources I’ll share might be specific to Rhode Island, but some may be available to Mamas in other areas as well!

***Families First offers a wonderful Moms-Helping-Moms Program.

Programs for parents include:
• home visits
• drop-in monthly group gatherings for mothers and babies
• telephone support
• referrals for counseling and other support
For more information, please contact Sally Harrison at (401) 383-9933 or sally@familiesfirstri.org.  This program is FREE.

***Parents As Teachers:

A national organization with several groups in RI, PAT is a program for new moms.  Each program varies slightly in the services they provide, but some groups offer free music, gym, and infant massage classes.  There are also parent educators that make home visits to discuss new motherhood and baby development.  This program is FREE.

***Kanga Mamas:

This is a group for baby-wearing mamas in Rhode Island.  They host monthly meeting at Mod Mama in Davol Square, Providence. Kristen, the coordinator, also has an abundance of slings & wraps which you can try & borrow!  This group is FREE.

***Sturdy-Memorial Hospital offers infant massage classes for babies 2 weeks to 10 months of age.  These classes are held the fourth Saturday of every month and classes are FREE.

***ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) offers monthly support meetings (1st Saturday of every month) for moms who had C-sections.  This group is FREE.

***Infant Research Lab at Brown University in Providence:

Participate in hearing/listening tests and you get to choose a “gift” (toy, etc.) after giving 30 minutes of your time!
Check out the website or call 401.863.2377 for more information.

***Rhode Island New Moms Connection offers pregnancy groups for women expecting their 1st or 2nd baby and new moms groups for babies 0-3, 3-6, 6-12, 12-24 months of age & evening mom discussion groups for working moms.  These groups are the most affordable new moms discussion groups in RI.  With experienced facilitators creating an open, nonjudgmental space for discussions, these groups offer women an opportunity to create meaningful connections, share support, and learn more about local and national resources.

***Baby Pictures:

Showcase Cinema Warwick, 1200 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI
Parents and babies can enjoy the latest movies in a baby-friendly setting (dim lighting, lower volume, stroller parking, etc).
Movies are on Thursdays (12pm) and cost $5.50. *Check website for listings.

***West Side Play Space (Providence) offers parents with kids birth – 5 years opportunities for active play, imaginative play, quiet reading, art activities and infant-safe play, as well as special programming and events.  Membership costs $60 for 6 months.

***Parenting For Free offers two clothing swaps a year: FREE.  There are also the Be Green Sale & RI Kids Consignment Sale which offer used items, as priced by moms, for purchase.

***Fitness in the Park allows Moms and Babies to get their bodies moving with the help of fitness instructor Suzanne Cadges.  The group walks on Blackstone Blvd. in Providence and offers a total body workout.

Of course, as mentioned by the new mama, local libraries are a great resource!  They offer story times, book clubs, lego clubs, movies, entertainment, etc. and programs are FREE.  Check out your local library!  Bookstores often have story times too (for free) so inquire at your local store.

I didn’t mention all the baby gyms, music classes, mommy-baby yoga, swim classes, etc…as those programs all have a fee involved (and most are not considered “low cost”).  I also didn’t mention all the free breast feeding support groups that meet regularly in RI…that information will be shared in a post specifically dedicated to breastfeeding information & resources.  I will also share information on additional community places which offer play & discovery programs for young children in the future.  Feel free to email me at kristen@rinewmoms.com with specific questions…about local resources or anything I can support you with!

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