Belmont Toy Library
Belmont Toy Library strives to provide a sustainable, low cost resource to support the families of Belmont and beyond. We choose high quality toys that provide educational and developmental benefits. Children are drawn to new and novel things, so rotating toys regularly provides them an opportunity to engage with a new toy, challenges them to learn to use this, and then move on to something new. Borrowing from the toy library allows you to access good quality toys which may not be easily accessible to all families.
By circulating these toys through our community we are keeping toys in use and out of landfill so it’s a planet friendly way to enjoy an endless array of toys. We regularly update our toy collection. The Belmont Toy Library has been established in the Geelong Community since 1987. The South Barwon Community Centre has been our home for 30+ years. We can be found there every Saturday morning and the first Wednesday morning of each month.
1987 – 2000
The Belmont Toy Library Inc. was established in 1987 following requests for a service via Infant Welfare Centres in Belmont and Highton. Approximately 200 toys were purchased prior to opening and 50 families joined as members. A committee was established of parents and the coordinator of the South Barwon Community Services Centre. Sessions were run every Tuesday.
In 1989 the first stocktake was done by the committee over three nights.
In 1994 Our first Shed was built for storage. Grandparents borrowing was introduced
In 1996 “try before you buy” memberships were introduced.
The toy library continued to grow from memberships, grants and donations, and fundraisers, where members were required to participate.
In 1997 labelling of toys to include a photo, descriptions, list of contents and colour codes for the types of toys was introduced. This system is still in place.
There were just 32 members in 2000. Membership fees were $25, $30 and $35 for 1, 2 or 3 children. Memberships grew slowly each year. We also introduced organisation memberships for businesses such as family day care. Our first Party Pack was developed in 2006
In 2007 Belmont Toy Library amalgamated with the Geelong Toy Library, which had been operating in Whittington. New members came to Belmont with a new shelving system and hundreds of additional toys.
The toy library operated on Mondays and Saturdays and continued to grow with about 50 family members.
The toy library 2020 and beyond
Like many community activities during COVID-19, we have had to open and shut our doors like a perpetual game of ‘peek of boo’. At times when restrictions are in place, we offered a click and collect option for contactless pickup. We have been lucky enough to stay open throughout 2022 and while we saw membership drop over covid we are welcoming new families every week and hope to continue to see our membership grow. With over 1300 toys currently, and a ‘wish list’ ready for purchasing there are many options to support your child engage in hours of play.