I joined the Whanganui Toy Library about 2 years ago around the time Miles was born. It was one of the best parenting decisions I have made. New toys for Abigail to play with every fortnight while I was glued to the couch feeding a newborn. How it works at the Whanganui Toy Library is you pay a membership fee and then 50cents for each toy you loan for 2 weeks and puzzles are free to loan. If you are wondering if a toy library membership is for you read on for my top 10 reasons to join a toy library.
- You can loan large toys that are hard to store if you own them long term. We have loaned lots of large toy such as slides, roller coasters and little tike cozy coupe cars. The kids loved them all.
- Puzzles are FREE. My kids both love puzzles but once they have mastered them after a couple of hours they no longer play with them which is why I don’t buy them. The toy library has a great range of puzzles and it means you can get your child new ones to try each fortnight.
- Less clutter in your house. Because you are loaning and returning toys you won’t have as many toys cluttering your house.
- Trialling expensive toys. If you are wondering about whether your child is ready for a pedal bike or would like a scooter for their birthday you should definitely borrow one from the toy library first to see if they like it or are ready. That way you won’t waste your money on a toy they don’t like or may not be ready for.
- Birthday parties. The toy library is so useful when planning your child’s birthday. We have hired slides, roller coasters, tunnels and soccer goals for entertainment for our kids previous birthdays. At 50cents a toy it is a very cheap way to provide activities for the kids. You can also hire dress ups if you have a party theme and cake tins if you need to borrow one to make your child’s cake.
- It’s great for grandparents or in-home carers. If you don’t have children of your own and don’t want to purchase toys to own permanently and clutter your home then the toy library is perfect for you. If the grandchildren are coming to stay for the holidays you can pick them up a whole bunch of toys to keep them busy then return them when the kids go home. Same goes for in-home carers you can loan age appropriate toys for the kids that you are currently caring for.
- Children can choose the toys they want to play with. Take the kids in with you and they can choose their own toys for the fortnight. By letting them choose they should be more engaged with the toys and are more likely to keep them busy for longer.
- Less plastic, less consumption. I am all for reduce, reuse and recycle, so the toy library fits right into this way of life. By using plastic toys that are already owned by the toy library we are reducing our consumption of plastic.
- It’s cheaper than buying new toys. Your bank account will thank you for joining the toy library. You won’t have to keep forking out hard earned cash for new toys. Just pop into your local toy library and loan one for 50cents.
- Your kids won’t be bored. By changing the toys they have available every 2 weeks they won’t get bored. If they fall in love with a particular toy you can always renew the loan or get it out again in the future. They will also develop lots of new skills by having a range of different toys available to them each fortnight.
If you are wondering if there is a toy library in your area check out the Toy Library Federation NZ for a list of NZ toy libraries.