Borrowing Toys: Library To The Rescue!
It’s a tricky time of year for little kids.
Store windows, catalogues, and letters to Santa all keep the focus on the promise of toys…that they can’t have yet.
My five-year-old can count to 60 in order to pace out one minute – and you can bet he becomes my personal stopwatch when I tell him “I’ll just be a minute!” But he can’t envision the entire month of December to trust that Christmas is truly on its way, and it’s a source of frustration for the little dude that his potential gifts are so far in the future.
Cue the library rescue! Did you know you can borrow toys from RPL?
A favourite family activity of ours is coming to Central Library to drop 60-plus books into the return slot, each with a satisfying clang. We fill our book bin up with 60 more at random…and then gaze into the big red cabinet to choose a toy.
Dinos, dump trucks, rocket ships and farm animals have all proudly marched home from our monthly library adventure in my son’s arms. It gives him incredible agency to choose anything he wants without restrictions, and for me it’s a welcome reprieve from the kind of caveats that decisions involving money require. He wanted a baby toy on our recent visit, and he got to borrow it, no questions asked.
You can borrow toys during all open hours at Central Children’s– just ask a staff member to open the case. The toys are cleaned upon return, and are available to stay with you for 28 days. You can take up to 5 home at once…but we’ve never been able to carry more than one on top of the staggering weight of the book bin.
Many branches, including Central Children’s, also create self-led scavenger hunts, story walks, and book displays around seasonal themes that make visits even more interactive. Storytimes and a plethora of children’s programs are scheduled across the branches. And who can resist taking a turn on the children’s-only touch screen computers? My kiddo also loves scanning barcodes on his own at the self-check station, accessible via a handy step stool. These activities go a long way to filling a fun, free, warm afternoon for us – before we even make it home with the toys.