Get more play in your day at toy li­brary

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - KARO­LINE TUCKEY

Have you played to­day? The International Toy Li­brary As­so­ci­a­tion World Play Day is this Satur­day, a re­minder that play ben­e­fits all ages.

And a Manawatu Toy Li­brary col­lec­tion of more than 2000 toys should of­fer plenty of in­cen­tive for par­ents and care­givers to re­lease their in­ner and outer child.

Manawatu Toy Li­brary pres­i­dent Emma Ochei says the week lead­ing up to May 28 is Toy Li­brary Aware­ness Week, which cul­mi­nates in Satur­day’s Play Day, cel­e­brated by toy li­braries around the world since 2001. Emma says to mark the week they’re do­ing more of what they do well – en­cour­ag­ing the cel­e­bra­tion of fun, cre­ativ­ity, ex­pres­sion and learn­ing through play.

‘‘The theme is ‘ play for all ages’; play is great for con­nect­ing to chil­dren, and adults should be en­cour­aged to join in.

‘‘Adults ben­e­fit from us­ing their imag­i­na­tion, slow­ing down their busy lives, and be­ing present for their chil­dren.

‘‘You for­get about the other wor­ries in your life, and stress, and you can take time to re­ally en­joy your­self.’’

For par­ents who may be strapped for new ideas, or tired of fend­ing off con­stant de­mands from their chil­dren for new play­things, the toy li­brary is a won­der­ful repos­i­tory and tre­as­sure trove of en­ter­tain­ing di­ver­sion.

‘‘The magic with the toy li­brary is there’s such a huge ar­ray of toys that you didn’t even know ex­isted: we’ve got over 2000 toys.’’

The col­lec­tion in­cludes bikes, baby toys, board games, sci­ence and ed­u­ca­tional sets, train sets and dolls. Mostly gen­der-neu­tral, it is aimed at ba­bies through to 8-year-olds, but in­cludes lots of fam­ily games.

Emma says that right now her 2-year-old Ivy’s favourite was a ‘‘bounc­ing bug’’ with springs, while her 5-year-old loved the sci­ence ex­per­i­ment sets. As for her favourite, Emma is a great a fan of ‘‘Gi­ant Poly­dron’’ build­ing blocks. ‘‘They’re amaz­ing, we can use them to make large shapes, and build houses or rock­ets or forts, or what­ever your imag­i­na­tion wants.’’

The Manawatu Toy Li­brary is at 51 Am­ber­ley Ave in Clover­lea and is open ev­ery Mon­day, Thurs­day and Satur­day from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

‘‘We’re al­ways open to new mem­bers,’’ Emma says.

‘‘We’ve got a fan­tas­tic re­source here, and we’d love to share it.’’

PHOTO: FAIRFAX NZ

The Ped­ley twins, Grace, left, and Kate, en­joy a play date at the Manawatu Toy Li­brary as World Play Day ap­proaches.

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