A toy library is a place where parents or carers can go to borrow a large variety of educational toys, puzzles and games on a regular basis, for a low annual fee. There are many different reasons for families to join a toy library including:
- Save money
- Access a large variety of toys
- Great for the environment
- Avoid storage issues for larger toys
- Borrow toys suited to your child’s current development and interests
- Try toys before making purchase decisions for birthdays etc
- Many toy libraries hire out ‘party packs’
- Meet other young families
- Be a part of your community
Children learn through play, it’s nature’s way of making it fun! It therefore follows logic that toys are children’s tools of the trade. But how do you decide which toys are right for your child? How do you choose something that will keep them occupied and not be discarded after five minutes of play? And how do you keep up with their rapid rates of development and forever changing interests? Perhaps it is time to consider joining a toy library.
Manningham Toy Library caters for children from birth to around age six and we are focused on the ‘Early Years’ of a child’s development. Quality toys are expensive and children quickly become bored with a toy once its play value has been exhausted. By providing new play materials every week or two, parents can save money and significantly contribute towards the development and education of their children.
Being a toy library member offers many benefits, the most obvious being the variety of tools it offers to a developing child. Our staff can provide advice on the age appropriateness of toys for certain stages of development. Parents and carers gain access to a great and varied range of toys including ride on toys, large role-play sets such as kitchens and work-benches, costumes, puzzles, games, sports toys and construction toys. Many of these toys are large and difficult to store in between playtimes and not everybody likes to have a large, brightly coloured kitchen in their lounge-room on a permanent basis! No problem! Return it to the toy library after a week or two of play and choose something new!
Toy library items are carefully selected for their play value and durability, with a focus on purchasing brands with a reputation for longevity, and a favourable lean towards good quality wooden toys. Toys are very carefully stored and labeled with information such as age appropriateness and warnings from the Australian Standards such as choking hazard warnings for young children etc. Toys are required to be cleaned by the borrowing members prior to returning them, and we will provide advice and guidance about the best ways to clean various toys. Certain ride-ons and scooters require the use of a helmet and the duty coordinator will advise you if this is the case. It is the member’s responsibility to supply a helmet for their child.
Manningham Toy Library can even help you organise your next birthday party! We hire out “Party Packs” to our members for a very low fee. We have a collection of larger toys that stimulate group play such as larger climbing gyms, ball pit, roller coasters, and play tents, as well as traditional party games, children’s tables and chairs. Booking in advance is recommended to avoid disappointment.
A toy library membership can certainly help a family with the increasing cost of living with many families borrowing around $1500 worth of toys for a low annual fee. The environment is a winner too with less purchases/landfill being generated. Children benefit from the increase in variety and quality of play. Many toy library items such as board games and puzzles encourage family involvement and reinforce the importance of getting down to your child’s level and participating in their play – children love that!
Joining a toy library enables you to borrow items you might not normally have in your home. For example, you can borrow a kitchen or doll house for your son to play with. Or borrow dinosaurs and car sets for your daughter too, it just depends on what they are currently interested in.
For more information about how toy libraries work or to find your nearest toy library go to www.toylibraries.org.au.