Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Toy Library

Posted in children by Kathy on April 9, 2008

I’ve heard of this concept, but haven’t actually done it. Basically, it works like a regularly library, only you “check out” toys instead of books. I think it’s a great idea, but haven’t been able to get one started in my area. Still, the concept is a good one. What I’ve done is to pack away toys for a while, and then bring them back out so that they’re “new” again.

It started out of necessity: “This house ain’t big enough for the two of us, so it’s either me or the toys that has to go!” My kids never even noticed them. (Or if they did, they weren’t big enough to verbalize the loss.) When I did this, the kids were probably about 3 years old and 18 months old, and their favorite way of “playing” with toys consisted of dumping the contents of every single contained in the room. On good days, they picked out a toy or two from the mess on the floor to play with; on bad days, they didn’t actually play with any of the freshly-dumped toys. The room always looked like it had recently had a tornado pass through it; and there were far too many times when I would get everything back in order (and I’m not a “neat-nik” so don’t envision a pristine room — just somewhat orderly), and I’d come back in a few minutes and you couldn’t tell that it had been clean in the past month. So, one day I packed up all of their toys except for the following: wooden blocks, Little People, and Thomas the Tank Engine (and even some of this last category, because we had so many big Thomas things that they didn’t play with too much).

So with “spring cleaning” these past few days, and getting stuff in one place for a future yard sale, I got out the boxes of toys I had packed away. The boys have had fun! I’ll let them play with them for the month, and then get rid of the ones I don’t want at my yard sale. I might pack away other toys in the meantime (but that will mostly depend on how much cleaning up I have to do). Maybe I’ll pack away the Little People toys this time. I really want to keep out the wooden blocks, because it seems like a more constructive plaything, to build towers and walls and castles and things. Plus, wood is natural, and it feels “right” to have them play with it. And they love Thomas the Tank Engine, so I don’t want to know how they’ll react if I take away their “Take Along Thomas” toys. Maybe I will, though. Just let them rotate out for a month. But they love to play with Thomas! We’ll see…

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