With all the cuts to local authority funding, I was wondering if toy libraries are surviving? Do you still know of any in your area?
A quick check on the Essex County Council website reassured me that the one I used with my daughters is still going, and there are several others in the area. We spent many a happy hour there when they were small, trying out toys and exploring the shelves for exciting items to keep them entertained.
It cost a small fee to join, but after that it was free to borrow a variety of toys. This was particularly helpful for larger items for the garden, which tend to be quite expensive to buy and take up more space. We also donated toys when they had been outgrown.
Most toy libraries are run by volunteers and others by professionals such as nursery and school teachers or social workers. They help families to save money, offer education and fun to children and if you donate your old toys they also help to reduce waste.
Check your local council website as they are sometimes listed there, or netmums.com.