Helping Our Community Raise Curious, Creative, and Confident Children
Help Build Our 
Toy Lending Library!

FREE Toy Check-Outs creating
Kindergarden-Ready Children and an
Eco-Friendly Community!
Current Beneficiaries 
Habitot members, and dozens of low-income families through our Outreach Programs.

Future Beneficiaries
Help extend our free Toy Lending Library to Alameda County foster families with a child newly placed child in their care. Grow the benefits for families who currently use the Toy Lending Library by increasing the quality of the toys and communicating how different types of toys benefit children at different developmental stages.

Over 600 Check-Outs Annually! Let's grow this number!     
DONATE NOW
Toy Lending Libraries
Kindergarden-Ready and Eco-Friendly Community
Kindergarden-Ready Community
Between birth and 5 years of age, children are rapidly developing their physical and intellectual skills. The availability of quality toys in the home can promote brain development, intellectual curiosity, problem solving skills, motor control, sensory awareness, and other kindergarden readiness abilities.
Not all children have access to quality toys, and many parents do not know how to choose toys that are intellectually stimulating for their children. Toy lending libraries like Habitot's play an important role in the community.

"...The ability to spend time and money on stimulating toys and activities... is the real key to achievement."
- American Federation of Teachers
Eco-Friendly Community
Toy lending libraries are also beneficial for the planet. Sharing toys reduces consumption and keeps toys in the "toy stream" so many children can use them before they are discarded.
Children in their early years outgrow most toys rapidly. This need for new experiences is a reflection of their rapidly evolving brains. As a result, many families have toys piling up in a corner that are no longer of interest.
"One of the things that separates plastic toys from other plastic objects is that they’re essentially destined for the landfill."
- Brent Bell
Vice President
Recycling at Waste Management
Checking out quality toys from a toy lending library helps solve the cycle of waste.
Let's Change Our Toy Purchasing Habits!
Reduce Waste
90% of toys are made of cheap plastic, a material that ends up in our landfills. Toys made of metal, wood and more durable plastics have staying power.
Increase Quality
Quality does cost more. But if we support Toy Lending Libraries, quality toys can be used by all.
Increase Open-Ended Play
Some of the best toys can be used in a variety of ways - blocks, dolls, stuffed animals, vehicles, musical instruments, and play sets like a farm or car wash. These toys tend to grow with children.
Help Habitot's Toy Lending Library Thrive!
Habitot's Toy Lending Library has been a community service for 20 years! Habitot members, including as many as 100 low-income families per year who receive free memberships, have free access to the Toy Lending Library. A family doesn't need a Habitot membership to use the Toy Lending Library, which can be used for a low annual fee (although the family will have to pay admission to enter the museum).


Over the last 20 years, over 2,000 toys were registered in the system, but only 500 remain.  Some were worn out or broken, others lost parts that rendered the toy unusable, and some were never returned.

Our Toy Lending Library needs community investment to thrive! We'd like to expand the number and quality of toys. We'd like to increase the number of people using our Toy Lending Library. And especially, we'd like to expand the users to include more families who don't have many toys.  (Currently, 11% of the Toy Lending Library users qualify for free lunch, and have a subsidized membership that provides access to the Toy Lending Library.)
Donations Are Needed To:
  • Increase the number of quality toys and eco-friendly toys (free of the plastic processing chemicals that may present a health risk to young children). 
  • Increase the supply of developmentally appropriate toys that meet the needs of each age group.
  • Pay for the replacement of toys and small parts as needed.
  • Staff a toy librarian at 4 hours per week: This person would processes 200+ toys that currently need to be checked in and cleaned, maintain the library data system, and track toys.
Donate Now:

Your gift will impact an established program in a very positive way! Every dollar you donate to buy a toy will benefit many children over many years!
 
Our community partner, Mr. Mopp's of Berkeley, will be matching gifts for quality toys 1:1. 

A huge thank you to Mr. Mopp's and everyone who supports Habitot's Toy Lending Library!


Play for All, and All for Play!

References and Related Reading
1. Child Development Guide: One to Two Years
2. Child Development Guide: Two to Three Years
3. How Toy Lending Libraries are Rescuing Toys From Landfill
4. The Toy Association | Annual US Sales Data

5. Bridging the Gap between Poor and Privileged | American Federation of Teachers
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Copyright 2018 HABITOT CHILDREN'S MUSEUM
2065 Kittredge St., Berkeley   |   Habitot.org   |   510. 647.1111
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