My kids always want me to buy them new toys, but the expense and clutter drive me up a wall. Unless it's Christmas or their birthday, I usually say no, and sometimes I feel bad about it. Apparently, I'm not alone because the ToyLibrary subscription box for kids was created to solve this exact problem.
Mom of two Christie Jacobs created the ToyLibrary system after she caught her son hiding under the table watching YouTube on her tablet. Honestly, who hasn't been there? Wanting to get her kids unglued from screens, but not wanting the added clutter or expense of new toys, Jacobs had to get creative. Her solution is now available for frustrated kids everywhere who want new toys to play with, but might have a mom like me who always says no. And the best part — they're all educational, so your child will learn while they play.
ToyLibrary is like a library check-out system. Your child selects two toys from the more than 500 available on the ToyLibrary website, they're delivered to your house, they play with them for as long as they want, and then you mail them back in a prepaid mailer.
Available toys curated by child development experts are categorized by age on the website, so you can easily find educational toys that fit your child's needs. They come complete with directions included and will keep your kids occupied and their brains working as they play. Additionally, ToyLibrary will track your child's development of gross motor skills, fine motor skills, sensory processing, language, and more based on the toys they play with and suggest toys that support their development as they grow.
Popular brands like LEGO, Hot Wheels, Disney, and Fisher Price are all featured on ToyLibrary, so the same toy your kids begged for on your last Target run is likely available to check-out as part of your subscription. I for one am supremely interested in checking out the LEGO sets available so that I don't have to store 3,897 more tiny pieces long-term. My boys can build it, tear it down, box it back up, and then I can send it right back without worrying about it taking up more room in their overstuffed closet. It also alleviates some of the pressure of the dreaded toy clean-out that I have to do a few times a year, which is always a major power struggle deciding what to keep and what to toss.
If you are a little weirded out by playing with toys that have been in someone else's home with another kid's slobbery, sticky hands all over them, fear not. ToyLibrary uses ultrasonic baths to completely sanitize most toys, and non-toxic, environmentally friendly, antibacterial wipes to clean wooden toys. With this sanitizing process in place, your kids can play with their rented toys and you'll know they're safe from germs.
The ToyLibrary system works on a credit system, so each toy you rent will subtract one or two credits (one for most toys, but two for more expensive toys) from your total available credits, and you can rent two toys per shipment. When you sign up for ToyLibrary on their website, you can select different packages for purchase from one month up to 12 months.
The more months you sign up for, the more credits you get and the cheaper the total per-month cost is. For example, the one-month package costs nearly $30, but the 12-month package runs less than $13 per month and you receive extra credits so you can choose the more expensive toys some months.
The best part of signing up for ToyLibrary is that for every new sign up, ToyLibrary will donate a toy to a child in need through Second Chance Toys, so you're helping to benefit kids in need and keeping toys out of landfills. In addition to impacting your own amount of clutter, other kids, and the environment, your kids get to learn and grow through playing with new toys each month.