If you love playing games with your family but are looking for more variety, you may want to consider joining your local toy library. There are over 250 toy libraries throughout Australia and they don’t just include toys, a lot of them also have a great range of tabletop games.
Toy libraries are most commonly not-for-profit organisations that rely on volunteers to help them run smoothly, with many employing a toy librarian to oversee operations. For an annual fee you can borrow toys and games for a few weeks at a time, and then return them and choose new items to borrow. Most toy libraries have a great range of games suitable for young children from age 3 and up, with some toy libraries catering for children aged 8 and beyond. Some of the bigger toy libraries in Melbourne have over 1000 tabletop games for all ages!
Games can be expensive to purchase and if you have a serious tabletop game addiction then a toy library membership could save you a lot of money! It can be a great way to try before you buy – if you don’t enjoy playing a particular game you can simply return it and choose another. Conversely if you can’t get enough of a game that you have borrowed you can add it to your wish list and purchase it as part of your collection at home.
Toy librarians love games because they can see the benefits offered to families who play them. Games teach practical skills such as counting, reading and strategic thinking but they also offer many social lessons such as taking turns, cooperation and patience. Games are also a great way for families to spend time together and toy librarians are there to help you choose age appropriate games for your needs.
Find your nearest toy library at www.toylibraries.org.au/find-a-toy-library