Member Feedback

Toys Go Round:  A gift that
keeps on giving

By Jodi Enos-Berlage, Ridgeway         12/10/09

Dear Editor:

I write to bring attention to a wonderful, unique resource that exists in our community -- the Toys Go Round toy lending library.  Started 17 years ago by a group of child-care providers seeking toys to foster imagination and creativity, Toys Go Round (TGR) has grown from 50 toys on milk crate shelving to over 1,600 toys, games, puzzles and videos in an attractive space on Decorah Public Library's lowest level.

Our family has benefited tremendously from Toys Go Round. We make regular trips to both TGR and the Decorah Public Library on Saturdays, and they are the highlight of the week. The toys are of high quality, developmentally focused and high diversity in terms of function and age appropriateness, making it possible to satisfy all of our children's needs (ages 4, 8, 11).

In fact, the TGR toys tend to be the major toys they play with, as they are regularly "new" compared to their own more familiar toys. Thus, going to TGR is like having Christmas every two weeks, except for two important differences: we do not have to buy the toys, games and puzzles, and we do not have to have a permanent place to store them. The annual membership cost is negligible compared to the cost of the many toys our children use, and in fact, is less than the cost of many of the individual toys.

We especially appreciate the sustainability model created by TGR -- reduce the toys in your home that you "consume" by buying, and recycle and reuse the TGR toys at low cost and at higher enjoyment by your children. Couple this with outstanding, friendly and knowledgeable service by the operator, Betty Eggers.

 We have lived in a number of different communities, both smaller and much larger than Decorah, and nowhere has there been anything like Decorah's TGR. When we share what we have here with our family and friends who live elsewhere, they simply cannot believe it.  

The current economic climate only makes operations like TGR more attractive for families. A final bonus is the TGR location. We couple our trips with trips to the library to check out (reuse and recycle) about 50-60 books at a time. Our children's best behavior is after these trips, as they are absorbed for days in imaginative play, building, games and reading.  

We have no doubt that over the long term, this regular routine contributes to creativity, success in school, mo
tivation to read, etc. TGR is simply a win, win, win for your family, your pocketbook, and the environment.

So, this Christmas, consider becoming a member of TGR or purchasing a membership as a gift for a family or child. It truly is a gift that keeps on giving.