The Toy Library caters for children aged 6 months to early primary, and has family games as well. There are approximately 2,000 toys available in a range of toy categories. The types of toys available include sensory toys, active toys, cars, kitchens, work benches, construction toys (Lego & Duplo), musical instruments, sand toys, trikes, balance bikes, scooters, dolls & accessories, train sets, costumes, board games, videos, puzzles, baby toys and more.
The toy library has many new toys specifically designed to encourage imaginative play, which has been found to aid children's cognitive and social development: play sets involving fire and police stations, hospitals and kitchens, prams and tea sets.
The toy library primarily aims to assist local families by providing a range of carefully selected toys which help young children develop and learn through play. Through toy borrowing, volunteering and our community events, members meet, socialise and build informal support networks. Our membership is socially, culturally and economically diverse, including many newly arrived migrant families who see the financial, environmental and broader social benefits of joining the toy library and meeting other families within the area. With many families now living in smaller units and houses, borrowing toys is a practical solution which saves space at home.
The toy library is founded on the premise that play is a crucial factor in developing a child's cognitive, physical and imaginative capacities, as well as helping them practice social skills. Our collection is based on well-designed, safe and durable toys which encourage imaginative play, sensory development, use of fine and gross motor skills, literacy, numeracy and other important pre-school abilities.
The importance of imaginative play in a child's development has been underlined by numerous studies showing the benefits which role playing can bring to social skills and cognitive abilities. Children who regularly engage in a range of imaginative play demonstrate broader language usage and are better equipped with social skills such as empathy, problem solving, civility and delay of gratification (Source: Dr Scott Kaufman, 'The Need for Pretend Play in Child Development', Psychology Today, March 2012). Improving our range of toys designed to stimulate imaginative play - fire/police station play sets , hospital play sets, prams and tea sets - would give Glen Eira (Carnegie, Caulfield, Glen Huntly, Oakleigh) children and their parents access to a selection of safe and appropriate toys which will help with this important development.