Toy libraries for kids in Mumbai to keep them busy this summer

Updated: Apr 11, 2019, 08:18 IST | Snigdha Hasan

Summer holidays are here, and before you're told "I am bored" one more time, here is our selection of some of the best toy libraries in the city that serve your child's recreational and educational needs

Toy libraries for kids in Mumbai to keep them busy this summer

Play with a plan

Started by IT professionals Sreedhar Swaminathan, Harshal Wagal and Avinash Khandelwal, mykhilona.com, which is headquartered in Wadala, is a resource for parents looking for a structured approach to play. 

An offline session organised by the website featuring their toys, which also include party toys for occasions like birthdays
An offline session organised by the website featuring their toys, which also include party toys for occasions like birthdays

"Buying toys is often an impulsive, unplanned expense for parents. Besides, Mumbai doesn't offer the luxury of space, and we wanted to come up with an idea that helps kids overcome boredom, and lets parents save money and space," says Swaminathan about the website, which lays equal emphasis on the entertainment and educational value of toys.
AGE GROUP: Six months onwards
LOG ON TO: mykhilona.com
CALL: 98198 31322
COST: Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 per month

A basic art-based approach to teach shapes and colours to kids
A basic art-based approach to teach shapes and colours to kids

A Montessori set-up

Most games and toys come bracketed for certain age groups. But Hetal Somaiya, who has taught in a Montessori school for several years, runs Junior J in Santacruz with the belief that each child responds differently to a stimulus. "We often equate stacking with arranging blocks of an international toy brand. But there are multiple levels within that, too, including sideways and pattern-based stacking," she explains, adding that she recommends toys for children after detailed discussions with parents, which are then followed up with speaking to them about how the kids are responding to the game or toy. Developmental toys with age-appropriate guidance is what she promises to the members.
AGE GROUP: Up to six years
AT Shop No 2, Garden Crest, Co-Op West Avenue, Santacruz West.
COST: Rs 5,000 per quarter

The bug can be used to climb, slide on or as a rocking toy. It helps toddlers with co-ordination and balancing skills
The bug can be used to climb, slide on or as a rocking toy. It helps toddlers with co-ordination and balancing skills

Mind and matter

From slides, trampolines, see-saws and rockers to an array of games, puzzles and activities that help with a child's cognitive development, the online Roots Toy Library has something for all. Founder Dipali Shah, who has been an educator for 12 years, says, "One of our key focus areas is the depth of the segregation of our offerings. Most games and activities can be divided into solitary, parallel, cooperative and parent-child play depending on the level of engagement. And we ensure this is conveyed to the parents so they can make the most of what they hire."
AGE GROUP: Six months to six years
LOG ON TO: rootstoylibrary.com
CALL: 8080388388
COST: Rs 450 to Rs 1,050 per month

The library also conducts play-based sessions like the ongoing chess class
The library also conducts play-based sessions like the ongoing chess class

Tech-free fun

One of the oldest in the city, Bachpan Toy and Book Library in Santacruz has been around for 12 years, and offers recreational and educational resources minus digital aids. "What books, toys and flashcards can do, screens can't," says Arunish Jain, who founded the library with Priti Haria. They also offer equipment for indoor and outdoor entertainment along with games specialising in role-play. The library also houses an activity area for workshops and sessions.
AGE GROUP: Six months onwards
AT: Nagri Building, Station Road, Santacruz West.
CALL: 9819831322
COST: Rs 20 onwards (for a week)

A jigsaw series of picture cards that tell the story of the thirsty crow
A jigsaw series of picture cards that tell the story of the thirsty crow

One-stop shop

Based out of Sewri, Smart Cubs is an educational library of toys and books, where, owner Sheetal Bhambwani tells us, special care is taken to sanitise and shrink-wrap the products before they are sent out to parents. From theme-based puzzles and wooden toys to those manufactured by international and domestic brands, there is a variety of 9,000 books and toys to pick from.
AGE GROUP: Six months onwards
LOG ON TO: smartcubs.com
CALL: 9167771667
COST: Member subscription charges

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