There has always been an incessant debate on the topic ‘Television viewing by kids’. There are parents who believe kids learn from visual media and it is not good to impose restriction on them and there is another set of parents who are strictly against TV.
Most of the kids these days are hooked to Chota Bheem, Doraemon, Shinchan and Nobita. Kids can spend hours in front of the TV even without blinking their eyes. I however, am from the school of thought who believe that TV does more harm than good to little’s eyes and little minds. Having said that I also don’t want to impose my preferences of limited TV viewing time on her. So my trick to resolve the issue is to give her better options.
It can be a good book or partaking in any interesting craft activity, taking her to the park to play or playing teacher-teacher, mama-baby etc. Now all these things require my active involvement which is not possible always. One other thing which brighten her eyes is a new toy. Like any other kid, her attention is very short-lived. One toy can’t hold her attention for long and at times when we are short of space, storing all those hardly used, long forgotten toys are also a helluva task.
In this situation, the toy library seems like a God sent special gift. I am using the services of the toy library for almost a year now. There are a number of toys arranged nicely as per the skills you want to teach your child like ‘Body Kinesthetic’, Musical, Naturalist, Spatial, Interpersonal and intrapersonal. It just takes a few clicks to order a new toy every week. And I am not talking about battery operated toys which does little for physical movement. Our toy library is full of toys which give wings to a child’s imagination and opens a lot of doors to new learning.
I especially like toys from the Early Learning Center (ELC).
There is a ‘Sand Water Table’ in which there is a dual use of a table, sand-pit for sand and water play. It comes with a rake, spade, boat, scoop, funnels, moulds, wheels and more. It’s fun to see Angel building castles from sand and water.
She happily spends hours in pouring, spinning, scooping and digging sand.
And there is an archery set where you can throw the arrow from a distance and see where it sticks on the paper tent. Practice for Olympics .
There are certain toys which we generally never buy on our own like outdoor toys which take too much of space.
Trampoline – so good for jumping and shaking your full body on it,
Slides – My kids love climbing to top of slides via a ladder and sit down on the top of the slide and “slides” down with a lot of hooting.
Sometime I just want to try out a toy before actually buying it. Like I wanted my daughter to start skating but was not sure if she will be interested in it or if it would be another thing lying in the corner of her room unused. So I ordered that from our toy library. She used it and loved it so I tried different models through the library and brought the one she liked most.
All the toys from the library are properly sanitized before sending it to the next kid so we don’t have to worry about the hygiene part.
Another major benefit is your child is always using branded toys. The market is flooded with cheap chinese toys with degraded quality of plastic. Reports have shown that these toys are toxic as they contain high levels of heavy metal such as cadmium and lead.
She has also learnt to take care of her toys. When its Lego blocks set, she knows that she has to maintain the count. A single missing block and she will not get her new toy next week. She is now a pro in counting because of the habit of counting all parts of the toys before putting them back on the shelf. She can’t think of breaking toys as she understands very well that they are from the library and they should be used with care.
We also get one book per week with one toy as per our renting plan. As my daughter enjoys reading so getting the book is also an added advantage.
What are your thoughts on the toy library? I would love to hear your views on this.
Rashmi Sehgal is the mother of two adorable kids, 4 and 1-year-old fondly known as Angel and Lil prince on her blog. She wears the dual hat of mother and IT Professional who juggles between work and kids trying to maintain balance between both worlds . She is a voracious reader , avid blogger , Shopaholic, love to experiment different way of learning and unlearning things with her daughter and take pleasure in reading books to her daughter. She writes at rashworld.wordpress.com