Joining our local toy library was probably one of the most fiscally responsible things we’ve done as parents. I don’t recall the exact cost, but from memory, it was around $60. That’s an annual subscription which lets you borrow two toys every fortnight. There’s an option to pay more and get more toys, but we’ve been very happy with just two. Every second Saturday we have the adventure of dropping the toys back and picking up two fabulous new items.
Some things are an absolute hit, while others don’t really get much of a look-in. And that there is the beauty of the toy library. It’s the perfect try-before-you-buy system.
Another advantage is that you’re rarely going to have toys around long enough for them to get boring and gather dust. Not only is it a money saver- it’s a space saver too!
One week we borrowed a small plastic slippery slide from the toy library, and it was a such a hit that we renewed it for another fortnight. Clarrie would wake up every morning and just go up and down this thing until his breakfast was ready. At the end of the second fortnight we had to return it, and so we promptly ordered one online knowing that it was well worth it.
That was about 6 months ago and Clarrie still loves it. It’s now migrated from the lounge to the backyard which is a relief.
On another occasion, we borrowed a small basketball and hoop set. It sat in our lounge room for two weeks just getting in the way. To me, it looked marvellous and I was astounded that Clarrie just had zero interest in it. Glad we didn’t waste our money buying one!
Not all toy libraries are the same, although they are generally inexpensive, run by volunteers and are only open at set hours. Ours is in the local scout hall and open every Friday and Saturday morning. The range of toys is pretty big, and cater for young kids up to around 5 or 6, so you’ll be a member for a while!
You can find a local toy library with the very handy locator tool at toylibraries.org.au