Welcome to The Toyary, curious friends and adventurous play mates! The Toyary is an accessible, sustainable, and culturally and racially inclusive toy lending experience developed to expand opportunities for all children to learn through play while minimizing the waste (and at-home space constraint) associated with it.
From toy wasteland to toy library
Based just north of Boston in Melrose, MA, we launched The Toyary to offer an alternative path to toy consumption and constructive play—one that could help positively influence the ways that the youngest (and most rapidly developing) among us perceive consumption, approach reuse and sharing, and engage locally.
As busy parents ourselves, we think one of the biggest benefits of joining our toy library is that The Toyary just helps make life easier, less cluttered and more affordable for caregivers!
Why toys… and what toys?
Play is vital to child development and whether nature-based or manufactured, one size (or price) does not fit all when it comes to learning outcomes. At The Toyary, we strongly believe that access to quality, learning-based and inclusive-driven toys and play experiences is a fundamental right. At the same time, we believe there’s a more responsible way to support toy play without the substantial waste associated with typical toy consumption.
The average American child receives more than $6,500 worth of toys in their lifetime, according to The Toy Industry Association, with between at least 70 to 100 toys at any given age. At the same time, 90% of toys in the $21B U.S. toy industry are made of largely unrecyclable plastic. Concerning issues of toy usage and waste emerge when you couple this reality with the fact that a child’s average attention span is three- to five-minutes per year of age.
At The Toyary, we’re driven to fuel imaginations, broaden minds, and minimize waste by making quality, learning-based and inclusive toys accessible to families, on your terms. Our longer term vision is to positively impact behavioral changes tied to toy consumption and disposal, while expanding access to quality, inclusive, and developmentally effective toy experiences.
We’re beyond excited to launch in Melrose, MA, and we hope you’ll join us along the way!
So, who actually runs this place? A quick message from our Chief Play Officer…
I’m Sara Altukhaim and I’m thrilled to spearhead The Toyary (with occasional input from my trio of opinionated toy-testing toddlers).
Having spent the last decade studying retail and consumer behavior, I’m especially passionate about driving more sustainable, local and community-based solutions to consumption for growing families and developing children.
Toy libraries themselves are not a new concept; however, they are newer to our part of the world, and they were definitely new to me when I began to shape my vision for what The Toyary could be.
While play is the work of the child indeed, my hope through our toy library is that—in at least one way—we can take some of the “work” (and costs) away from parents and caregivers by broadening access to a quality collection of toys that will grow with your children.
If you join our member base, we’re a tiny start-up and chances are high that we’ll be connecting. In that case, I look forward to meeting you and giving you the best toy library experience possible!
No matter your age, happy playing, sharing, imagining, believing and growing!