Toy Libraries Perth


Toy Libraries Perth were founded in 1981,the Western Australian Association of Toy Libraries aims to promote an awareness of the importance of toys and games as recreational and learning media. WAATL acts as adviser to existing toy libraries, offering advice on toy selection, toy maintenance and all aspects of running a toy library. It also supplies, for a small fee, a guide on how to set up a toy library and a video, which can be borrowed. A quarterly newsletter is published and it includes local, interstate and overseas items. WAATL runs seminars, which include discussions on play and toys as well as training sessions in various aspects of operating a toy library. WAATL can provide speakers on these topics and arrange for suitable films to be shown. Membership is open to anyone interested in toy libraries. Existing toy libraries are encouraged to become a member of WAATL to take advantage of the services offered. When considering the purchasing toys, please contact WAATL and we will give you details of our Commercial Associate Members, who will be able to send to you copies of their catalogues.

What is a Toy Library?

In Western Australia there are about 110 toy resource centers or libraries, which provide good quality and sometimes specially adapted toys. The toys may be borrowed and enjoyed at home or in a group situation, just like books from a lending library. A toy library is a place where parents, voluntary helpers and professional advisers can meet informally.

Problems are shared, ideas exchanged and many friendships made.

Why are toy libraries valuable?

To enhance their learning. What they learn is shown in their physical, emotional and social development, and this is especially important in the early years of life. As children play, they learn. Variety in the items they play with, will broaden Membership of a toy library may increase a parent’s understanding of the importance of play, of the different types of play and the stages of development at which these types of play are of particular importance. They may learn how to make toys and will find a range of toys that will support their child’s development. Parents and children together can choose the toy that they find enjoyable.

Where are toy libraries found?

In common with toy libraries all over the world, they are housed in a variety of places. They are in corners, cupboards and rooms of special institutions, in community centers and even a superseded police station, for example. Community based toy libraries are open to anyone willing to pay a small fee and help run them. Some public libraries with toy collections lend to the community. Some institutions lend only to their clientele. Local government may offer resources to those communities less able to provide for themselves. Councils may operate toy libraries either in conjunction with their public libraries, as mobile services or resource centers. Other organizations supply resources for providers of family day care.

How does a toy library work?

Children and parents select the toys and books and videos that they are allowed to borrow. This choice may be guided by a children’s librarian or by other parents using their own family experience or professional knowledge. Groups or centers supplementing their resources send a representative to make the selection or the librarian could compile and dispatch a range of toys to meet their needs. Libraries may provide a playroom, a play table or play space; some even serve refreshments to the parents. Several libraries provide other activities such as toy-making workshops, stories or music for younger children and clubs for older children. Maintaining the toys and containers in good order is time consuming and voluntary help is usually required to support even those toy libraries with paid staff.

Who uses toy libraries?

Toy libraries in Western Australia cater mostly for the younger child. However some have games and puzzles that are suitable for the whole family. Children with special needs are the focus of therapeutic toy libraries.

Which toy library could I use?

If your child has a special need, either long or short term, you should contact Noah’s Ark on 9328 1598. You will be informed of the services available including those outside the metropolitan area. Or contact INFOLINK on (08) 9427 3100 or the Western Australian Association of Toy Libraries on 0417 884 687. Y our child health nurse, community recreation officer or children’s librarian should also be able to tell you.

Applications Forms

Toy Library Membership is designed for toy libraries, family day care centers, resource centers and individuals with an interest in the concept and promotion of toy libraries. Membership entitles members to full voting rights, quarterly circulars, invitations to information days and other events and publications on request.

Affiliate Membership is designed for groups, individuals or businesses with related interests in the field of education, recreation, early childhood etc. Membership entitles the member to a full page advertisement in each of the subscription year's circulars (4 issues) and a mailing li st of memberships once a year (upon request). There are NO voting rights and this membership is not available to toy or resource libraries.

Deluxe Membership entitles the member to a full page advertisement in each of the subscription year's circulars (4 issues) and a mailing list of memberships once a year (upon request) as well as a link of the WAATL Website. There are NO voting rights and this membership is not available to toy or resource libraries.

For more information on finding your local Toy Library vist their website