Pu­taruru Toy Li­brary still her thing

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

De­spite hav­ing three grown chil­dren Ju­dith Ben­nett con­tin­ues to have an ob­ses­sion with toys.

This Satur­day the Pu­taruru Toy Li­brary in Princes St, which offers hun­dreds of qual­ity toys for hire to lo­cal fam­i­lies, will cel­e­brate it’s 25th birth­day and Ben­nett is pretty ex­cited. It’s no won­der re­ally as she has been in­volved since day one.

De­spite her family think­ing she’s ‘‘stark rav­ing mad’’ for be­ing in­volved for so long, the qual­i­fied early child­hood teacher said she’s got no plans of leav­ing any­time soon.

‘‘They just have to get used to it,’’ she laughed.

‘‘Toys are ed­u­ca­tional for chil­dren, they are fun, and they keep fam­i­lies play­ing to­gether.’’

‘‘A lot of peo­ple say they have enough toys at home but they don’t un­der­stand that chil­dren’s toys are their tools for learn­ing and any­one who is learn­ing needs to con­tin­u­ously have change in their tools and that’s why I’m re­ally proud of be­ing in­volved. I’m def­i­nitely a firm be­liever in play.’’

Ben­nett said for $30 a year and a fort­nightly ren­tal charge of 50 cents to $3 the li­brary pro­vides chil­dren with ac­cess to thou­sands of toys which they oth­er­wise wouldn’t have.

‘‘No­body can af­ford this va­ri­ety. The key thing is toys can get bor­ing but if it’s hired from the li­brary it can just be brought back and a child can get a dif­fer­ent one which keeps in­ter­ests and grow­ing alive without hav­ing to spend a for­tune,’’ she said.

‘‘When par­ents say their chil­dren have enough toys at home I say well bring that child in here and ask them if there is any­thing they would like to take home be­cause I don’t think they would say ‘oh no we have got enough at home’. It’s like a lol­lie shop of toys,’’ she laughed.

Ben­nett said to mark the 25th birth­day a cel­e­bra­tion din­ner will be held at the Pu­taruru Ho­tel for all past com­mit­tee mem­bers on Satur­day night.

‘‘We’ve man­aged to con­tact most of them and will start with drinks and nib­bles at the li­brary at 7pm,’’ she said.

‘‘The fol­low­ing day we will also be open­ing the li­brary for chil­dren and their fam­i­lies to come and cel­e­brate.’’

‘‘I now have grand­chil­dren so I have started get­ting toys out for them which is fun. It’s been a cy­cle and the li­brary is fan­tas­tic for grand­par­ents,’’ she said.

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