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Tomorrow kicks of the start of National Storytelling Week (23rd January – 3rd February) and we will be bringing you stories as we go next week as part of the 60 Days of Positivity. But here is a nice story about some of the provisions our nurseries and pre-schools put on for children in their local areas. 

Introducing the Toy Library – children learn through play but how do you choose the right toys or afford to provide enough variety to keep them stimulated? Good quality toys can be expensive and often children either get bored or simply outgrow them. Keeping up with the latest characters and investing in educational play material can be difficult and costly especially for toys with batteries. This is where a Toy Library can play a helpful role. You may not be aware that several of our YMCA nurseries currently offer this facility FREE to their children/parents and also to the public.

A Toy Library is a place where parents or children can borrow toys at no or low cost to take home. It operates like a book library where you borrow set number of items and return them within a stated time. This gives your child greater variety of good, educational play equipment to help develop vital skills and is more cost effective for parents. You may be able to trial a toy you’re thinking of buying as a gift but also have access to toys you wouldn’t perhaps consider or afford to buy. It’s also a useful way to introduce children to other cultures and aid their development with more diverse play. And who doesn’t want to save space in their own home?

It is open to all children within participating childcare settings and also children within the local communities. Currently, we offer a toy library with toys supplied courtesy of Community Playlink at the following locations, we hope to expand this very soon:

  • Weston Library
  • Eastleigh Pre-School
  • Weston Pre-School

A wide range of toys and play equipment specially selected for Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to help both improve your child’s skills and for enjoyment, stimulation and fun. Our helpful and friendly staff members will help you/your child choose the best toys. You can be assured that the toys are regularly cleaned. 

Here are some of the toys we can offer:

  • Baby toys
  • Sensory play
  • Soft-play toys
  • Toddler toys
  • Small world play toys
  • Home Corner equipment
  • Outdoor toys – ride on toys
  • Construction sets
  • Role play equipment
  • Puzzles and games
  • Dolls
  • Musical instruments
Eastleigh Toy Library

We were fortunate to be selected by Mims Davies, MP for Eastleigh, who visited YMCA’s Eastleigh Pre-School last week to deliver a generous donation of new toys and games for their Toy Library on behalf of the British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA).

“It was great to meet Mims and to show her our pre-school and the work that we do within the YMCA to support both our children and our local community. We are grateful for the additional resources for our toy library and pre-school; the children were very excited to see all the new toys and games and will get a lot of fun from playing with them, thank you for choosing our pre-school”.

Katy WIlls, YMCA Eastleigh Pre-school Manager

So, why not pop along to the next Toy Library at your local YMCA setting? Please contact your chosen venue for session times. If you have had a good experience of using our toy library’s please let us know so that others can learn more about them.

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