What is a toy library and why you should join one?
Updated: Dec 8, 2021
A toy library builds on the concept we already know of a book-lending library. At a toy library, you can borrow from a vast array of toys that have been designed to support your child's development. Toy libraries can vary: some are located in the local scout hall, or within the council library. They may have a staff member on roster, or rely entirely on volunteers and families.
But regardless of the location, toy libraries provide quality educational items for loan, they are inexpensive to join, principally cater for younger children and have a range of items covering all stages of growth and development.
So, why should you join a toy library?
You may or may not know from your child's doctor or MCH nurse about the importance of play. Play is how children learn and making it fun is nature's way of ensuring children get lots and lots of practice. The games children play are directly linked to the needs of the growing body and mind.
"If play is a child's work then they must also have the tools for their trade. Toys are tools that help a child to enjoy play." - Toy Libraries Australia.
Good quality, educational toys will promote 'good' play by aiding in the development, education and imaginative capacity of the child, and form in the child the ability to share and co-operate with other children. However, children outgrow toys quickly and it can be costly to replace them. Toy storage can also become an issue, not to mention the constant disposal of old and unused toy in landfills also impact on the environment.
Not all families can afford the constant replacement of new toys either. That is why at Kingston Toy Library, our vision is for all pre-school aged children to have ample toys to thrive, learn and grow. We have 2,100 toys at our library catering to the developmental needs of babies and children from 0-7 years' old.
Our toy library in Mordialloc, Victoria.
Kingston Toy Library was established in 1987 by an enthusiastic group of parents who believed in the viability and ethos of a toy library in the local community. Today, the toy library continues to be run by a voluntary committee of parents and our coordinator, Catherine. Our library space is not only a toy storage, nor our toy-borrowing service only benefits children. It is also a space for parents (and grandparents) to meet one another, and learn about the different phases of play.