How Does It Work?

Why start a toy library?

Play is increasingly being shown to be invaluable to the development and education of children, especially during early childhood. Toys, the tools of that play, are not always easy to come by, especially the variety of toys that will best stimulate a growing child. Toys, especially high-quality ones, can be cost-prohibitive. They may take up a lot of space, cluttering our homes. When our children are done with them, it takes time and energy to find them new homes. A collection that we all share can help simplify our lives and bring us more joy. A toy library instills a deep understanding of sharing culture into children from a young age, and they learn what it really means to share.

How do I get toys?

Community members are welcome to come browse our collection of toys (currently online only). Members can choose a maximum of three toys per family/caregiver, or one per child, whichever is greater, PLUS one game, and borrow them for up to four weeks. After the loan period, they can exchange them for new toys, or renew them for one additional loan period. Borrowing limits for groups and organizations depend upon the size of our current collection.


Interested in becoming a member?

Click here.

Who is Eligible?

FLTL will offer membership to all families, caregivers, and organizations that work with children in the Finger Lakes region surrounding Ithaca, NY. While a majority of our toys are suitable for children between the ages of 0-7, our collection of toys for older children is growing every day, and our board game and puzzle collection has something for the whole family. We hope to increase our collections in the future, including having selections specifically for children with special needs.


More information on toy libraries can be found on our Toy Library History page.