WEBINAR: Starting a Toy Lending Library

February 29, 2016

Toy Library1

Want to start a toy lending library in your community?

Watch this webinar to learn how!

Toy libraries are popping up all over the country. These community initiatives enable parents, grandparents, and/or caregivers to borrow good-quality toys, puzzles, and games to enjoy at home—just like books from a lending library.

Because a toy library is able to provide a large selection, families have access to a wide range of quality toys.

In March 2016, New Dream presented a webinar about how to start a toy lending library in your community. The webinar covered topics such as how to get started and how to build local support—with a special look at successful toy libraries in Minneapolis, MN and Cleveland, OH. The presenters also shared how public libraries are beginning to play a critical role in the effort to provide our kids with the toys and playtime they need in a sustainable way.

If you're thinking of starting a toy lending library in your neighborhood or community, check out the webinar recording and our helpful resources!

Guest speakers:

  • Molly Stern and Rebecca Nutter – Minneapolis Toy Library, Minneapolis, MN
  • Sue Kirschner – Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland, OH

Watch the recording here. (Video length: Approx. 1 hour)

Also check out our Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Toy Lending Library

The Diverse Benefits of a Toy Lending Library:

Financial Benefits: Borrowing toys from a toy lending library allows families to spend less money on new toys. And parents can learn about the types of toys their children like best, so when they do purchase new toys, they can choose wisely. Many toy lending libraries choose to offer specially adapted toys for children with special needs. Adaptive toys can be very expensive, so the opportunity to try them before purchasing is very helpful to families with special needs children.

Environmental Benefits: When a group of kids shares one toy instead of each owning their own, fewer new toys need to be produced, which saves resources and energy. And, because younger children can continue to play with the toys that older ones have outgrown, fewer toys end up being discarded in landfills.

Educational Benefits: Toy lending libraries can provide high-grade toys that are designed to support children’s development and promote learning through play. In addition, toy lending libraries can provide a forum for discussion among parents, educators, and community members.  

Social Benefits: Toy lending libraries often provide a safe place for families to meet and socialize. In these settings, children can learn important social skills such as sharing and honesty. The libraries often create a forum for discussion among caregivers.

Additional resources: