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The history of the toy library

The Atlantic – Every city should have a toy library. “In the 1930s, the idea of the “toyery,” a public place for children to play with toys, gained some traction in the US. For the Atlantic, Alexandra Lange explains their history and argues for more of them, noting: “Spaces in which to play, and a constantly renewable source of things to play with, are essential to improving early childhood outcomes.”

See also via ERIC – A History of Toy Lending Libraries in the United States Since 1935. “This paper traces the history of the toy library, a facility or program created to loan toys to children, parents, child care providers, teachers, and play therapists. Types of toy lending libraries are the community toy library, the supplemental toy library, the cooperative neighborhood toy library, and the mobile toy library. The first toy library appeared in Los Angeles in 1935, but it was not until the 1960s and 70s that the concept of the toy library reemerged. This renewed interest was the result of funding of Head Start programs and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, availability of federal funds for day care centers, and the American Library Association establishing the Toys, Games, and Realia Evaluation Committee…”

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