It has been said toys are children’s words and play is their language, but the battle of finding the right balance of toys versus the cost of buying is one every parent is fighting.
Parkes parents no longer have to stress as there is a perfect solution. The Parkes Toy Library, run by the St George’s Anglican Church for the community, is just like a regular library except you can borrow toys. There are more than 700 items to choose from, and items can be borrowed for two weeks at a time.
“The toy library not only offers a sustainable, eco friendly and cost saving approach for families, but also reduces clutter at home and the kids have something different to play with every two weeks,” said Christine Holmes, one of two volunteers who run the library.
“New members are always very excited about the variety we have on offer, which includes books, DVDs and board games too,” said Christine.
The library has the latest trendy toys, as well as old favourites. “We have Octonauts, Paw Patrol, Thunderbirds, a Batman robot, as well as Thomas the Tank Engine and a wooden dolls house,” said Kate Anderson, the other volunteer.
According to Kate the trendy toys are very popular and they do have a waiting list to make sure everyone gets a turn. “We are not too strict on the two weeks borrowing time for the less popular toys, and families can borrow as many as they like.”
The library accepts donations of toys still in a good condition. They plan to buy new toys for older kids very soon.
“When toys come back broken, it is not a hassle. We make up new sets or create new toys where possible.” She said the only requirement was that toys had to be wiped and cleaned before returning them.
One member was very happy on Monday. “This dinosaur set is the best toy ever,” said Kim Thomas. “My kids played with it all week.”
Kim said the library was a brilliant idea. “It saves money, the variety is good and the kids can play with toys they don’t have.”
The Parkes Toy Library is open every Monday from 3:30 – 6pm during school terms and is situated in the lower hall of the Anglican Church. Find them on Facebook or call 6862 1868. Membership is $35 per year. Enter the competition on page 8; to win one of three memberships to the Parkes Toy Library.
As Maria Montessori said: “Play is the work of the child.” Why not make your child’s play fun, interesting, sustainable and full of variety by joining this excellent community service, and saving money at the same time.
By Maggi Barnard