Frequently Asked Questions

How is this different to other Toy Libraries? 

We have a large selection of toys (over 650 and counting), a wide age range (birth to 14) and high value toys available (several worth over £100). We also have an enviable selection of over 100 board games for all ages. Browsing and reservation is all online, making it easier for members to choose toys and games at home. Membership also includes access to stay and play, brick building and family games sessions. Favourite toys can be purchased and kept at reuse prices and every membership includes a choice of brand new birthday toy.

All of these elements have been determined by local families.  

Why is there a cost for this service? 

Borrowing toys over buying new is great for the planet as well as the pocket and we want The Toy Library to be available to families across Glasgow.

However, we are not a centrally funded resource. Community project funding has enabled us to provide 100 free annual memberships for those local families who will most benefit but can least afford. We have 10 local partners supporting families with referrals. 

Paid membership means families across wider Glasgow can access the service. Income supports the replacement of toys, repairs, cleaning and new batteries, the addition of new toys and a quality selection of birthday gifts for all. Every single penny goes back into the project and helps us to meet demand. 

Doesn't rental cost more than buying? 

No, not if you borrow regularly. You have access to far more toys at a far higher overall value than you could buying new. e.g.  You can take home and play with up to £200 worth of toys every month for a year on The Toy Library. This is the annual equivalent of playing with £2400 worth of toys for £100. Play with as many different toys over the year as you like, simply return them when you're finished playing with them, rather than storing away or sending to landfill. 

So I won't own anything? 

Many families are interested in the rental model because children grow out of toys in the same way they grow out of clothes. Toy rotation is also hugely beneficial to child development. It provides access to a wider range of sensory and learning experiences and encourages interaction and connection through play. Owning multiple toys to facilitate this is costly both to the pocket and the environment. It also requires ample storage space. The Toy Library facilitates toy rotation and takes on the cleaning, new batteries and storage. 

We know families still need toys of their own. As part of membership, every child is able to choose and keep a toy from a brand new selection on their birthday. This is theirs to keep. Favourite toys can be purchased and kept for their resale price. We have also developed the library alongside our reuse children's toy shop. The aim is to make toys and play as accessible as possible with as little cost as possible to families and the environment!

What if my children don't want to return the toys? 

You can re-reserve and borrow toys for additional months (subject to waiting lists). We take note of popular toys and aim to source duplicates to meet demand. Alternatively you can buy the toy outright at the reuse price and choose another to borrow. 

What happens to broken toys? 

Where possible they are repaired or replacement parts are sourced. If the toy is beyond repair, we will look to recycle as much of the toy as possible. A replacement will then be sought from donations or purchased. 

Toys are meant to be played with and we know that sometimes they break. Families have helped us to work out how we process broken toys. Check out our member terms for details.