Toyhouse Libraries is funded to run a diverse range of Active Play services, each geared towards families who have specific needs, each providing exciting play environments for children and parents/carers to use and have fun together, whilst offering opportunities for adults to build their own networks of support.
The Active Plays have a wide variety of equipment comprising big base mats, soft play construction shapes, climbing frames, rockers, ball pools, creating an environment ideal for young children’s “big muscle” play, enhancing their physical development and ability to take risks in safe surroundings. There is also sit & rides, imaginative play, musical and sensory toys. The play environments enable children to learn through their senses, practice what they know and develop new skills and abilities, whilst providing opportunities for extending social and emotional skills.
Parents and carers are able to play with their child/children at the Active Plays, supporting them as they explore, follow their interests, attempt new activities and build friendships. As well as having fun with their child/ children parents and carers can meet up with friends and make new ones, these support networks so important for sharing experiences, both the good and not so good in the demanding phase of early parenting and caring for very young babies and children.
Each Active Play is facilitated by members of Toyhouse staff who are able to give advice on play and toys and provide a “sign-posting” service to local and national specialist organisations who support parents and children. The majority of Toyhouse staff working in the Soft Plays speak more than one community language.