Community, Nonprofits and Businesses sharing Information
Welcome to the Toy Library Discussion!!! Thanks for joining. I'd appreciate any comments, thoughts, and questions. The first step is collecting more information, so I'll try to post regularly with updates. Don't forget to scroll to the bottom to answer my two questions!
New Haven needs a Toy Library, also known as a Toy Resource Center. In downtown New Haven there is not a single place for parents or kids to get new (by new I mean novel, not out-of-the-box) toys to play with at reasonable prices.
For those of you unfamiliar with a Toy Library, it is basically a place where parents can take their children to play with and to borrow toys. Some are based out of the public library systems, while others are not-for-profits. Some even consign toys as well as lend them.
Many toy libraries offer specialized toys for children with disabilities, ideas for how to play and learn with toys, and suggestions for developmentally appropriate toys. In other words, the Toy Library is not trying to emulate a big-box toy store experience by showing kids the flashiest toys on an end display; it’s a community resource.
No matter what the income bracket, all families can benefit from a Toy Library. Families who are financially unable to buy new toys as their children age out of old toys benefit from the diversity of toys offered. Families who can afford to spend money on toys, but who would rather not clutter up their houses with many objects, also benefit.
That's all for this week. Got a minute? Go to the links below. Then, answer the two questions I have posed for you.
Please visit the USA Toy Library Association to see how amazing these libraries can be:
One stunning and long-standing example of a toy library is in Rochester, NY:
1. Would you use a toy library, or know someone who would use it?
2. What partner organizations should I contact to make this happen?
A Lego Library! I think toys are a valuable asset. What kind of toys would you like to see?
Good news, Libby: I spoke to a couple folks who seemed interested in forming a "Community Workshop Center" which sounded like a good fit for the toy library idea. They seem fairly intent on creating a workshop space from an unused storefront at the corner of State and Grace. I'm going to do what I can to support their cause. Honestly I don't see it any different from anyone going on a one-day sweep of every Salvation Army and Goodwill in the state of CT, then liberating those toys for other kids to play with. The question is, who can keep Colonel Mustard from disappearing. Because it's very disappointing when he was clearly with the candlestick in the Study, and no one can find Colonel Mustard. But that's a whole different game.
I was thinking about the Toy Library yesterday, and I thought of a virtual way to share toys http://www.sharesomesugar.com/ I have logged in and have posted a lot of things I am willing to loan out. Perhaps there's a way to share via the web - but at the same time, I see such value in having a real life toy library.
Space is always a hurdle; it would be amazing if we could share toys at the library itself or some other public venue, perhaps one of the churches on the green would find this to be an interesting project to help take on. What if a daycare downtown had extra space... could the children's museum at Wall/Orange be a partner?
I knew the building-yet-to-be-built on Chapel/Orange was supposed to have a daycare in the first floor. But I don't know when/if that will be built. I could think of a great value for a daycare to have it as an option, but I could also see liability for germs to be an issue.
I think this is a great idea!