This post may or may not contain affiliate links. For more information visit my Disclaimer, Disclosure and Terms and Conditions page.
Are you thinking about joining a Toy Library? On the fence a bit? Are your friends buying brand new toys and you’re thinking of going down that route instead?
I have just recently joined a Toy Library and I can honestly say I don’t regret it. The toys we’ve gotten out have been used lots and, if that’s anything to go by, they will have been well used by lots of other children as well.
If you are blessed to have a Toy Library in your area here are a few reasons why you should join:
1. Environmentally friendly
We as Millennials care about our planet. We are aware of length of time it takes for plastic to decompose (too long) and we want this to change. What better way to do this than by reducing the demand on baby toys? They end up collecting dust in your house and getting in the way after your child has grown out of them.
That leads me to my second point, storage. Do you really want to store a large plastic slide in your lounge for years to come? We have just borrowed such a slide that comes up to my thigh and a ride on toy car. I’m happy having it in my lounge for two weeks, but longer?
How many such big toys do you want to store at your house? Do you have that much space? May I recommend instead borrowing them for a few weeks and then… returning them! What a blissful feeling having your lounge back!
3. New Toys
Children get bored by new toys quickly. They might be entertained by them for 10 minutes, an hour, an afternoon or a week. But eventually they want something new.
New things are exciting! Engaging! How does this thing work? They don’t have to be brand new out of the box toys, just toys that the kid hasn’t encountered before. And even if they have seen it before, having a 6 month break from a toy will suddenly make it fun again!
4. Noisy toys
We all know the best way to annoy a parent is to get a child a noisy toy, which needs batteries. With the Toy Library I’m absolutely happy letting my kid get out the noisy, tacky toy, because I tell myself ‘It’s just for 2 weeks’. He enjoys them for one and a half weeks before he loses interest. And now they’re in someone else’s house, not mine!
5. Developmentally appropriate toys
Every month toddler’s brains latch onto some new idea or skill. Have you noticed that? One moment they’re taking things from one side of the room to the other, next minute they’re posting things all over the place (posting means putting things in slots).
Recently we got out the perfect toy for posting things: a Piggy bank! It had four relatively short songs and counted up as you put coins in. My little boy would press its nose until the songs came on, which was very cute! Best thing was it gave 15 – 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to do something. Very refreshing.
I don’t know what skill he’ll focus on next, but when it comes we will not have an annoying piggy bank in the house!
6. The cost
This is potentially quite the drawback. It costs $95 a year to join up and then $1 – 3 per toy, depending on the toy, for 2 weeks. So all up, if you get 1 toy a week (2 a fortnight) you’ll be paying an extra $2 per toy. You can pay $45 and agree to do duties 4 times a year, but if your time is worth $17.70 an hour (minimum wage at time of writing) and each duty is an hour, you’ll be spending $70.80 in time. That’s more than $50.
I still thought the cost was worth it, and here’s why. I spent $25 on the water table outside, which I could have saved. I had begun thinking about getting a large plastic slide, which would have cost about $100, not to mention Duplo (oh yeah, they have vats of Duplo sets for hire). I will not be buying those things, but my son will still be able to play with them.
So all in all, I will be spending that much on toys anyway. Why not make them communal toys that lots of children can enjoy?
7. The community
There is a different reason for opting for the $45 option and that is the community. Mum’s from the Toy Library know each other and hang out with each other. Their kids play together and they generally live in the same area. If you’re wanting more friends who live in your vicinity, then signing up to a Toy Library could be your ticket to meeting the neighbours.
Have you been sold yet on joining a Toy Library?
Are you involved already?