As holiday commercialism continues at full tilt, The Westender calls for a Vancouver toy library — a community resource where children and parents can borrow toys. Many years ago, my third grade teacher, May Mossey, operated a toy library at Fairview Elementary School. Regardless of family income, children and their parents could borrow toys, including Lincoln Logs, board games, Twister, Fisher Price playsets, and other goodies. I still remember asking my mom what “Maw-noh-poh-lee” was all about — I soon became an avid Monopoly player, setting the stage for my business career. Through the toy library, children could satisfy cravings for one-hit wonder games, such as the Emergency TV show game, or simply play with games their families could not otherwise afford. By playing with toys, children interact with objects and people, apply creative thinking, develop confidence, solve problems, and build physical skills.
In The Westender article, the editor, Carlyn Yandle, laments the lack of toy libraries in Vancouver, adding that she had been unable to find any toy libraries in Canada. I don’t know if my elementary school still offers a toy library, but Google turns up toy libraries at several child development centres and aboriginal childhood development centres. These include:
- Richmond Public Library
- Fraser Valley Child Development Center
- Langley Child Development Centre
- South Fraser Child Development Center
- BC Centre for Ability
- Trail and District Library
- Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Center Association
- Bulkley Valley Child Development Center Society
- Kitimat Child Development Center Association
- Nanaimo Neurological & Cerebral Palsy Assocation
- Comox Valley Child Development Association
- Quesnel & District Child Development Center
- South Peace Child Development Society
- Thompson Nicola Family Resource Society
- Old Masset Village Council
- Friendship House Assoc of Prince Rupert
- Kermode Friendship Society
- Houston Friendship Centre Society
- Office of the Wet’Suwet’en
PacificCARE Child and Family Enrichment Society
The Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs offers a handbook on toy libraries and the Canadian Association of Toy Libraries and Parent Resource Centres is listed at 401- 120 Holland, Ottawa, Ontatio, K1Y 0X6 (613) 728-3309 (no website found). If you know of any other relevant resources, let me know and I’ll update this list.
(c) 2004 by Andrea Coutu. Vancouver Marketing Consultant. All rights reserved.