Imagine bringing home different toys for your children every couple of weeks, without the expense or cluttered home that comes with buying and collecting them.
Courtenay mom Rebecca Mohrs says the new Comox Valley Toy Library will make it easy for Comox Valley parents to do just that.
“The beauty of this is you can just go to the toy library and pick up a few toys that you want,” says Mohrs. “Your house won’t get as cluttered, you won’t have to buy those toys, unless you want to — you can use it as a try-before-you-buy program, too — or you can also just enjoy the toys until the children get bored of them, and bring them back and get some different ones, so you can keep it fresh in your house.”
The toy library is also designed to reduce waste by keeping toys out of the landfill when children grow bored of them.
Mohrs got the idea from her sister-in-law, who suggested Mohrs start a toy library here when she was visiting from Port Hedland, Australia. Toy libraries are popular in Australia, and Mohrs says they are in other parts of Canada, too, such as Ontario and Quebec.
When Mohrs started talking to other Comox Valley parents about the idea, it quickly gained traction. She now has a committee set up and is in the process of incorporating Comox Valley Toy Library as a non-profit society.
The Lewis Centre has offered to donate space for the toy library and parent volunteers are busy gathering toy donations.
Although Mohrs says some donations have already come in, the library needs many more toys in its collection before it can open. Anyone with clean, safe and sturdy new or gently-used toys is urged to stop by the outdoor pool office of the Lewis Centre between 2 and 4 p.m. this Saturday or Sunday for a toy drive.
Because toys will be cleaned by volunteers each time they are returned to the library, donations should be easy to wipe clean or wash. For example, the toy library is looking for baby toys, exersaucers, play kitchens, building blocks, ride-ons, puzzles, jolly jumpers, trucks, musical toys, and playhouses, but it is not looking for stuffed animals. The library will offer toys for young children, (birth to five years old).
Mohrs hopes to have the library up and running within the next couple of months, possibly by the end of February.
Members will be charged a fee, which will go to cover the expenses of the library. The committee has not yet decided how much the fee will be but Mohrs says it will be as low as possible to ensure everyone in the community can join.
Mohrs adds the toy library will not only be open to parents; other people with children in their lives, like grandparents, may also be interested in becoming members.
“It’s actually a great idea for grandparents, too, because when you have grandchildren coming from out of town — and there are quite a few grandparents here — then they can come in and borrow toys, too, so that their grandkids have something to play with when they’re over,” she says.
For more information, join the Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/cvtoylibrary or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org