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Play Is The Way

Play Is The Way

With the increase in technology, structured preschool learning and after school activities our children are playing less.

This week (3-10 March 2013) Toy Library Federation of NZ is promoting the importance of free play in a child’s life to help build the pathways of the brain, develop social skills and understand problem solving.

Play is not only about having fun, but also the learning that goes with that fun. There are over 220 toy libraries though out NZ which offer a range of toys, games and puzzles at reasonable hire and/or an annual fee. For a family, a toy library can open up a whole new world of learning, provide opportunities to interact and have fun as a family.

Karori Community Toy Library is based at Karori Community Centre on Beaumont Street (just behind the Recreation Centre). It is open on a Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday evening and Thursday and Saturday mornings. Membership is open to anyone, even if you do not live in Karori, and starts from just $25 (casual monthly membership). Annual membership is also available, starting from $70pa.

Karori CommunityToy Library will be promoting its service at Karori Library at 11am on Tuesday 5 and Thursday 7 March. This will be just after the pre-school storytime and Baby Rock ‘n’ Rhyme sessions. Members of the Toy Library committee will give a short presentation about the types of toys available to borrow and the different membership options. Everyone is welcome to come along!
Play does not need to use toys all the time. Boxes, grass fields, trees and paper are just as good, if not better. In modern society, the opportunities for the type of interactive free play previous generations enjoyed have diminished either because of city living, busy lifestyles or the perception that children are no longer safe to play without close adult supervision. This is why toy libraries are now so important. The toys on their shelves can replicate some of the outdoor activities and play that children used to get in a more natural environment. Children may no longer have the opportunity to climb trees but they can use balance boards, slides and gym equipment to develop similar skills.

In 2012 an extensive survey undertaken in NZ and Australia found that while parents thought play was essential to a child’s wellbeing and development, less than half the children surveyed play every day. To develop a routine as a family of spending 20 minutes before bed playing board games, instead of watching TV is a great place to start. There will be fights, tears and disagreements but there will also be fun, learning and new coping skills come out of this time, as well as the opportunity for the children to feel part of a unit and cared for.

During toy library awareness week, TLFNZ is putting out the challenge to encourage play at home and in the work place. The Challenge list is attached – completed challenges should be handed in to Karori Community Toy Library by 17 March. All entries will go in to the draw for a prize of $200 worth of toys and games (there will be one winner nationwide).

For further information about Karori Community Toy Library:
- Visit http://www.karoritoylibrary.org.nz/
- Call us during opening hours on 04 476 9355
- Email info@karoritoylibrary.org.nz
- Facebook: search ‘Karori Community Toy Library’
- Opening hours (term time only): Tuesday 12:30pm-2:30pm, Wednesday 7:30pm-9:00pm, Thursday 9:30am-11:30am and Saturday 9:00am-12noon

Research on play: http://www.milo.com.au/play/importance-of/

Photo attached: An example of the ride-on toys available to borrow from Karori Community Toy Library.


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