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. Toy libraries aim to support families and encourage them to spend time playing with their children. 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.
Toy libraries vary from library to library. They may be located in the local scout hall or within the municipal library; have 20 families who are members or 250; employ a staff member or rely totally on their members doing roster duty. Toy Libraries in Victoria do have some essential characteristics.
These are they:
- provide quality educational items for loan
- are not expensive to join (usually an annual subscription is charged)
- have a range of items covering all stages of growth and development
- provide an opportunity to meet other caregivers to share concerns and make new friends
- help parents and carers learn about the ages and stages of child development
- usually open set days and hours
If you are concerned about the risk of infection and illness with shared toys, all families are usually asked to wipe over toys with diluted disinfectant before returning toys.
To find a Toy Library located near you visit: www.toylibraries.org.au