A fortnightly trip to the toy library was a highlight when Daniel was young! There were quite a few reasons I loved the toy library.
For starters, it can help you save a fortune!
This is because you can access really high quality toys for a minimal hire cost. – instead of just purchasing the newest and greatest toys from the store.
Most libraries have an annual subscription and or a weekly hire charge. I can remember hiring a roller coaster for $4 for two weeks, if I had purchased it myself it would have cost hundreds of dollars! It was also fantastic when you had a children’s party because you could hire some amazing toys for around $10 – $15 and have all of your entertainment sorted.
You prevent boredom!
I don’t know about you, but I was always gutted when I spent money on a toy and after a couple of weeks the kids would be bored with them!
A huge benefit of the toy library was that you could rotate the toys all the time because they always had an amazing selection of age appropriate toys – right from 0 – 8 years old!
I found a couple of weeks with the same toy was fantastic, the kids would play with it continuously and then it would be discarded and left stationary in the corner if we had it any longer. If the kids really loved something, I would take it back and book it again for a couple of weeks and those were the ones that the kids never got bored with.
You meet new people!
This was a highlight! Some days I would just do the “drop and run” because I had so much on and other days I would do the “stay and chat”! But almost every week I would meet new parents in the community or people I had not seen in a while.
It was a great way to meet new people and have a chat while the kids were shopping for their toys. I also found that the fundraising evenings and social events were always fabulous because everyone came out of the woodwork and had a brilliant night out!
You reduce waste!
I had never really thought about toy waste, until one day while packing up my son’s old toys, which are all stacked in the attic for his children to reuse, I realised that every household with kids probably has a similar situation. Most of the toys are plastic and cannot be recycled, and so once their life is over and they are broken, they all end up in landfill.
This made me realise that by toy sharing, we were all inadvertently doing our bit for the planet. It meant that the toys had a fuller life and were more used in their lifetime than if we had just owned them ourselves. So by hiring & toy sharing you are reducing landfill from unwanted toys.
Where are the Toy Libraries?
Most communities have a toy library run by parents who are passionate about toy sharing. They are generally not for profit and run by volunteers. I found a website that seems to list most of them and has a place you can search for your local, check it out here.
So go and check it out – save some money, the environment and meet some new people!
All the best