Mimitoys Supplier of Toy Libraries
I remember so well the 1st time we were approached to quote for a toy library. The whole concept was new to me, I was a young mum then…used to going to mother and toddler’s groups but I did not know you could either play with toys in libraries or indeed borrow them for a trial run.
But I remember thinking, isnt it fantastic to have a selection of Irish Toys available within the community, what a good idea to give anyone who is a library member, the option to borrow kids educational toys, use them for an event or as a once-off and then give them back, and all for free. A great way to get to know different brands of toys, games and wooden toys in Ireland.
Mimitoys has been involved as a supplier of toys into public toy libraries really since we started. We supplied an enormous number of toys to 10 County Galway libraries maybe 12 years ago. I rang Portumna Library last week and it’s great to hear that they are still using the toys we supplied to their toy library so many years ago.
Over the last 3 months Mimitoys have supplied toys into a few new toy libraries that are due to start their service as soon as Covid regulations permit. Carrickmacross is amongst the most ready to open its doors. See my Podcast with Jill and Elaine, the co-founders of the Carrickmacross Toy Library.
Often it’s the local librarians who initially approach us with their toy library supply requirements, we then advise them on setting up a toy library and propose a list of toys, based on our experience in the past. We bear the following in mind when we offer advice about setting up the service
- Toys should be easily cleaned with alcohol wipes every so often – so cloth-material-based toys aren’t ideal.
- Toys should if possible be just one piece, as losing a critical small part often makes a toy unusable.
- Toys should be reasonably sized to aid easy stacking within the library.
- Toys should be battery-free for safety in addition to usability reasons.
- Toys need to be age-appropriate plus fun and engaging for the parent/child interaction.
I guess the requirements for toys within a library are very similar to what we expect, at Mimitoys, when sourcing and selling toy, whether it is to parents, preschools or primary schools in Ireland – we look for toys that are original and engaging, durable and versatile, toys that encourage open-ended play or guided play. Above all, toys designed and thought of with children in mind.
It is hard to find a centralised directory of toy libraries in Ireland and the best way to find out if your local library has a toy rental facility or simply toys available for children to play while browsing for books, is to contact them directly. See here a link to all libraries.
If you want to go that extra mile, why not approach your local TD or Councillor EG Councillor Karen Power in Balbriggan – she went the whole distance and now their toy library is up and running.
Since I wrote this blog, I did a Video Podcast with Carrickmacross Toy Library. Here is my podcast with Carrickmacross Toy Library (who we also supplied), and then separately we got a contract with Meath Library Services who received part financing from Meta.
NEWS AND UPDATES…MAY 2023
We got fantastic reviews from 2 Toy Libraries we have supplied over the last year. Now that I have a new website I have put up those reviews. Take a look Here for those reviews.
If you want further advice on setting up a toy library – just drop me a line or contact email@example.com
Mimitoys Supplier to Toy Libraries | Mimitoys.ie 2021