A trip to the Toy Library

This week we discovered our local Toy LIbrary, run by a very friendly team of 'toybrarians'. I've never used one before but as we have had some pretty grim rainy days in I decided it was a good time to do a little reccy and see what it's all about. Ours is located at our local Children's Centre.

It was a Mummy and Arthur trip and Arth was very excited to go to the library to borrow some new toys. Our library has a brand new 'Stay and Play' room which Arthur thoroughly enjoyed exploring and it's a good way for me to meet some other Mummies. He helped me to pick out toys to borrow from the catalogues . The catalogues covered every area of play - outdoor,imaginary, sensory, construction etc.

As we have recently moved I thought a dolls house would be a great addition to our play. We borrowed this one for £1 for two weeks.

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Arthur has had lots of fun role-playing moving house by filling his trucks with all the dolls furniture. He also loves to act out our family routines and enjoys putting the dolls to bed - reading and singing to them. He  loves making the characters sit on the naughty chair... I wonder where he got that idea from? The Toy Library offers a lovely way of 'try before you buy' with expensive purchases like this. The home plays such an important part in the lives of very young children a dolls house like this is the perfect way of them re-enacting some of their own real-life experiences. It was very interesting to see how Arthur would use the dolls house and great fun too! Billy loves to use it to help him perfect his standing - so this was definitely a win win loan :)

Arthur loves all types of vehicles so one of our loans had to be a helicoptor! We hired this for 20p for 2 weeks - bargain! We even managed to incorporate it in to our dolls house play. Arthur loves watching the Search and Rescue helicoptors fly past his window at our house so we reinacted a little rescue operation whilst the dolls watched with interest from their bedroom window :) Who knew playing with dolls could be so dramatic?

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Our Toy Library had a wonderful range of story and prop sacks to encourage imaginative play. I chose the boys a bag of 'seaside' goodies to help familiarise Arth with some of the things he may come across in his new Cornish life.

This bag was full of.....Seaside stories, Lifeboat teddies, boats and props, a magnetic fishing game, torch, colouring sheets, a DVD and lots of small world sea-life creatures

This bag was full of.....Seaside stories, Lifeboat teddies, boats and props, a magnetic fishing game, torch, colouring sheets, a DVD and lots of small world sea-life creatures

The boys have had days of fun exploring the contents and many a fight over the boats, funnily enough they always seem to want exactly the same one! Some days I definitely feel more of a referee than a Mummy! Arthur has enjoyed lining up all the boats and finding out their names - 'that's a submarine!' 'That's a motor boat!' he now tells me with great excitement. Billy is slowing learning that it is not a good idea to visit Arthur's carefully lined up boats! We have also acted out more rescue operations using the lifeboats and even had time for a quiet spot of fishing!

Toy Libraries are a fantastic resource for parents..

*They help to keep toys exciting and new for children.

*They are a great way of teaching children to take care of their toys, keep all the pieces together etc so that they can be returned again.

*They are a really cheap way of giving children a whole range of exciting play opportunities.

* They offer a fun little trip out together.

So if you want to liven up your rainy day play, pop on down to your local toy library and see what they have to offer :) Happy toy hunting!

Happy Weekend All!