Hampton Park Way, Swaythling, Southampton SO17 3AT cplaylink@btconnect.com 02380 335362, 07483 303565

Why set up a Toy Library?

There are many important benefits for families, services and the community. These can include:

Access to play and inclusion for families that need it most

Toy libraries are invaluable for many families particularly those living in deprived areas and affected by poverty where access to toys and play equipment may be limited. They can provide places for meeting and socialising, particularly important for families who may find themselves isolated. Parents of children with disabilities or additional needs can also access a range of specialist toys and equipment, which can help to encourage and enable less confident parents in playing and interacting with their children.

A space for promoting and enabling parents’ involvement in their children’s learning

Toy libraries provide opportunities to build relationships within families by encouraging one-to-one interaction and spending time playing together. Children and parents are encouraged to choose toys to take home, which can contribute to improving the Home Learning Environment, which has a proven impact on children’s learning and development.

An enhancement of learning opportunities promoted through child centred play

Toy libraries can provide a wide selection of toys and resources which support children’s learning contributing to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and the Primary Curriculum with an emphasis on play and following children’s own interests, thinking and enthusiasm.

Routes in for parents and carers within the wider community

Parents join toy libraries for the benefit of their children, but they also are excellent gateways to access training, advice on parenting, healthy eating, managing money and job opportunities. Toy libraries can also provide opportunities for parents, carers and grandparents to volunteer in schools and early years settings to working alongside each other and professions, improving community cohesion.