A toy library is similar to an ordinary library, with the principal difference that instead of books people can borrow toys. Since playing – especially with other children – is an essential feature of growing up to a healthy individual, toy libraries should be support by (local) governments.
A major benefit of toy libraries is the reduction of costs. Because toys are borrowed for a short time, multiple children can enjoy the same item. Given the fact that children usually lose interest in a particular toy after some time, the limited time a toy is in the possession of the borrower is no issue. Also toy libraries enable children to frequently have “new” toys, without having to impose a financial burden upon their parents.
We propose that there should be one toy library for every five thousand people. Members should pay a (small) fee, with discounts for lower-income families. The money saved by parents could be used by them for other purposes.
As an alternative of purchasing toys from commercial manufacturers, toys could be made by sheltered workshops. This will not only save money for the government, but it also provides people with certain disabilities or other disadvantages with a meaningful day job. Sheltered workshop could also repair toys.
In line with Maria Edgeworth’s Practical Education the assortment should emphasize educational toys. This type of toys will enable children to learn skills while playing and to stimulate the intellectual development of children. This way toy libraries will not only allow children to have fun but also to promote their overall academic aptitude.