7 November 2011
Invest in Your Local Toy Library
By: Tanya Fyfe (BEng(Environmental))
Most parents probably realise that buying less toys is going to save them money, house space and help our environment by minimising resource use and waste going to landfill. But there are some very cool toys out there and as a parent you might sometimes feel that your kids are missing out! One of the best solutions we have found to this dilemma is our local toy library.
Toy libraries work like traditional book libraries, in that you borrow items for a period of time then swap them for new ones. This means you (well yes, and the kids!) get to play with a huge range of toys without having to store them when the novelty wears off or your little ones outgrow them. And there will probably be some toys that you are glad to see the back of after hearing them non-stop for weeks!
Toy libraries may be run by your local council, playgroup or other community group. Most focus on children from birth to school age, but this may vary. There is typically a small membership fee but if you borrow regularly it is definitely value for money. If there is no toy library in your local area, consider starting your own. Many states have toy library associations that allow you to search online for your nearest toy library, and provide assistance in setting up new toy libraries.
Our toy library is run in conjunction with the local library, and our son Billy has had great fun borrowing new toys every two weeks for the last several months. Check out these photos of some of our favourite toys.
About the author: Tanya Fyfe is an eco mum and environmental engineer and lives in the WA goldfields with her husband Andy and son Billy. The family’s aim is to live sustainably and for Billy to grow up understanding where food comes from and how it is produced. They generate solar electricity and have an organic vegie garden and modest orchard irrigated entirely with grey water.