Bendigo Community Toy Library (Spring Gully) has connected with Long Gully Toy Library (called Out of the Box), which reopened at the beginning of June, to create two places to go to borrow toys. Loaning toys saves money and helps the environment.

The cost of toys over time has been getting overwhelming and many parents don’t have enough money to keep up with the passing interests of their kids.

That’s where Bendigo Community Toy Library and Out of the Box comes in; they have so many different toys and experiences for children to enjoy and play with and now they have joined forces to give their members access to both campuses with one annual membership.

Membership is open to residents of the City of Greater Bendigo and gives you access to toys at both Toy Library campuses. The Toy Library also offers casual borrowing to grandparents with visiting grandchildren. The Toy Library caters only for children from birth to school age.

If a member joins before a baby is 8mths old, they will receive 18mths membership for the price of 12 mths.

Members can choose if they would like to have a large ($55/$45 conc) or a small ($40/$30 conc) family membership, regardless of how many children in the family.

Boredom will no longer be an issue as BCTL has so many different toys to keep kids from 0-5 happily amused for hours.

Long Gully Campus is open
2 days a week:
• Monday 9:30 to 11:00 am
• Friday 9:30 to 11:00 am

Camren Downing- Mooney asked BCTL president Brooke Bennett the following:

What types of toys do you have at both campuses? You say on your website that you have over 1000 toys, is that true?

We have lots of toys! We aim for toys that are suitable for preschoolers; that is, birth to about 6. That includes dress ups, puzzles, games, ride on toys (eg scooters, trikes, rocking horses etc), water play, vehicles, train sets, construction (eg blocks, click-together type toys), role playing toys (eg vaccum cleaner, mini washing line, toy microwave, kitchens), dolls, prams, cots, dollhouses, magnetic toys, STEM toys (coding), felt boards, musical instruments, manipulative toys (push/pull) and baby toys.
Yes; Spring Gully has 1079 and Long Gully has 549. We have just received a grant to purchase more toys for Long Gully, so that number will be going up!

How did the Bendigo Community Toy Library & Long Gully Toy Library start?
We’re not exactly sure, it was almost before I was born!
But we think a group of women felt there was a need in Bendigo for families to be able to borrow toys. It’s just like friends borrowing from each other, but on a bigger scale. They started by having a meeting in one of the ladies lounge room. That was 30 years ago.
About 8 years ago a project started with a focus on Bendigo and families and then a philanthropic person noticed all the good community work that the people at St Matts were doing. That person contacted St Matts and asked what they thought would be good for the people of Long Gully. Out of those conversations, they decided to make a toy library.

How do the toy libraries work – who works there and how do families borrow?

Any one can join the toy library, if they have little people that would benefit from the toys. You don’t even have to be a parent- some grandparents become members for when they are baby sitting. You can sign up online, or in one of the libraries. Everyone that works there is a volunteer. The committee organise admin and behind the scenes as well as opening the library and helping families borrow.


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