Yesterday at the library story time, a mom asked me if I had been to the Rockland Toy Library. She told me all about it - that it's a play space at the St. Peter's Episcopal Church, there's a toy lending library, lots of children and friendly parents, etc. She invited me to come along and meet her there the next day.
So I bundled the kids up and walked over to the church. I was a bit nervous, as I'm really not much of a church sort of person anymore. Will they try and convert me? Will they pass out "reading materials" with a strong Christian message? Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Turns out, my worries were downright silly. Allow me to share their mission statement:
The primary purpose of the Toy Library shall be to provide a non-sectarian community program for mid-coast area pre-school children, toddlers, and crawling infants which fosters creative play in a safe, nurturing environment while promoting cooperation and sharing among participating families (children, their parents and caregivers).
Isn't that great? And what I saw today was amazing. Moms (and a dad) interacting not just with their own kids, but with other kids as well. Parents on the floor, playing with children, and talking with other parents. What a great place. When I entered the Toy Library space, I was greeted by the friendly assistant director. Other moms quickly introduced themselves. It was wonderful. Never have I felt so welcome. I was told, upon leaving, to come back next week. No mention of joining was mentioned, although I picked up registration information. $40 from January through June, every Thursday from 9-12. Looks like we have another item to add to our calendar!
Oh, and it's called a Toy Library, because you can check out a toy from their lending closet, and play with it at your home for a week. They have tents and tunnels, and lots of stuff I would never want to have sitting around my house on a regular basis! What a great idea. Every community should have something like this! The kids and I can't wait to go back next week.