Aug
09

Idea: A Toy Library

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I just learned of a new-to-me idea. It’s especially great for people living in small spaces, people on a budget, people who like variety, and people who have kids that grow up fast: it’s a toy library!

An Austin, TX mother writes about it in her first blog entry. Check out http://austinfrugalmom.wordpress.com for details. (This blogger-mother is the daughter of an old friend whom I haven’t seen in about 38 years! We just reconnected via Facebook.)

For a Toy Library to work, there need to be a central location—perhaps a food coop or community center or day care facility or church would be appropriate. In the Austin case, according to austinfrugalmom, it’s called “Family Place Library.” For a small annual donation, parents/members check out toys for two weeks at a time. I’ll bet there’s even provision for longer-term renewals, if some child becomes especially attached to a particular plaything. And I’ll bet people are expected to return the toys clean and refreshed/repaired if necessary.

It seems to me one of the best things about this is that when kids tire of toys, one simply returns them for someone else to enjoy, which leaves space for new things to come in.

Brilliant. Practical. Green. Fun. Certainly worth a try in other communities.

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