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Affordable toys for everyone

For more than three decades, the Carterton Community Toy Library has come to the rescue of parents and caregivers needing something “new” to entertain their little ones.

Like other toy libraries throughout the country, Carterton Community Toy Library operates like a traditional library, but instead of lending books, it lends age-appropriate toys – saving families having to buy new as their children grow up and also reducing the amount of unwanted toys going to landfill.

Run entirely by volunteers, the Toy Library received a $3000 grant from Eastern and Central Community Trust this year to contribute to wages for a part-time librarian, who ensures members and resources are looked after and well-managed.

“The service we provide caters for children aged 0 to 8 years and parents often need support to choose the right resources for the right age group of their children,” Carterton Community Toy Library, Carey Morris, says.

“We have a wide range of toys – large and small – from ride on toys, Duplo, games and puzzles, the list goes on!  Having a paid librarian is key in ensuring our members have access to the appropriate toys that will enable their children to develop key learning dispositions through play.

“Sustainability is part of our focus, as many families prefer to borrow rather than buy toys to keep them out of landfills. It is also a great opportunity to role model the sharing of toys in the same way that books are shared throughout our communities in libraries.”

While some might see the toy library as just that, Carey says it is much more. It has become a hub where opportunities are created and shared, and new friendships flourish.

“The librarian coordinates opportunities for whanau to become involved in the local committee, which sees them either sharing their skills or learning new ones. This often leads to them being involved in other community and school groups, like the PTA and Board of Trustees.

“Membership has also grown immensely since the library based itself out of the Carterton Library within the local Events Centre, and with an annual membership fee of $10, it is affordable for everyone.

“We are really grateful for the grant from Eastern and Central Community Trust. It has enabled us to provide fun and educational toys for all children whilst nurturing our community’s wellbeing at the same time,” Carey says.

For more information about the Carterton Community Toy Library visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cartertontoylibrary