I’m seven years old…it’s Christmas morning…and maniacally torn wrapping paper reveals the iconic transformer Optimus Prime (leader of the Autobots, thank you very much) Santa had come through! To this day, that remains my most cherished childhood memory. I played with Prime until he was so beaten and broken that he couldn’t stand anymore, let alone transform from semi trailer to brave robot. My family loves to tell the story how I tried to reattach his arm using scotch tape and my own tears.
Fast forward 20 years and as an adult making mature decisions with my disposable income, I scoured eBay and found one in perfect condition, (complete with the original box, thank you very much) and now it proudly watches over me on the shelf in my study. Yes, a gift given to me when I was seven forever set the bar for how gift receiving should make you feel and I’ve been unsuccessfully chasing that high to this day. How did I react to gifts and toys before I was seven? I have no idea, my memory fails me, but I’m guessing I reacted similarly to how my one year old daughter reacts to a new toy- like it’s the most incredible thing she’s ever seen….for about ten minutes then she’s off looking for something else. Babies and toddlers don’t mean to be ungrateful but their little attention spans just aren’t up for the task, so new becomes old almost immediately. Keeping a river of new toys flowing past your child is a poor financial plan, and one that can be completely avoided with an amazingly little thing called a City Park Toy Library Membership.
I’ll admit the words ‘toy library’ made me shudder. I imagined a mountain of toys piled high on the floor, each painted thick with layers upon shiny hardened layers of baby drool and some carnival-looking guy pointing at them with his cane…telling you to “have at ‘er”.
I’m happy to report when I visited the Toy Library in City Park School I opened the door to a neatly organized classroom. Big windows made it bright and inviting and every toy was clean and displayed for easy browsing. The staff were more than friendly and shared anecdotes about the struggles of keeping your own children engaged in play. I’d love to break out the thesaurus and do this initiative proper justice, but honestly the stand-alone facts are so brilliant and simple they don’t need my cheerleading.
HOW IT WORKS:
- You pay for a membership ($30 annual/$20 per school term
- Up to three toys may be borrowed at once
- Toys may be borrowed for up to one month
- All toys are complete and clean (no plush or stuffed animals)
Imagine a world where you can sample hundreds of toys with your children and happily answer every single “Can I get..” with a gratifying “Absolutely – because I love you so much”
For once you get to be the good guy.
Go be the good guy.
City Park Toy Library
Address: City Park Collegiate – 820 9th Ave North