W-E Play Toy Library
The Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library will launch a brand new Toy Library on Monday, September 10th. The W-E Play Toy Library includes over 70 toys that can be checked out at the Willoughby and Willowick Public Libraries with a library card for up to 3 weeks. Many of the toys have been adapted for children with special needs.
The Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library worked with RePlay for Kids, a 501c3 nonprofit organization of volunteers who repair and adapt toys and assistive devices for children with disabilities in Northeast Ohio. Library staff members participated in a toy adaptation workshop to better learn how an adapted works and how to repair them. An adapted toy is one that has been manipulated for ease of use for children with dexterity issues, typically by adding a large switch that can be pushed.
The W-E Play Toy Library was made possible through the contribution of Angela Bair and the generosity of local businesses and community partners including the Lubrizol Corporation with a donation of $5000, Citizens Bank with a donation of $2000 and Thompson Hine with a donation of $1000. The W-E Play Toy Library is the first of its kind in Lake County Libraries and would not have been possible without their support.
To complement the W-E Play Toy Library, adapted programming is also available at four Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library locations:
Storytime: Children with varying learning styles and abilities learn in a safe, supportive environment where respect and appreciation for differences is encouraged. Content is geared for ages 3-7 but all ages are welcome. (Eastlake, Willoughby and Willowick Libraries)
LEGO Club: This LEGO Club is specifically for children with special needs and their families. We provide the LEGOs and the children provide the imagination. All ages are welcome. (Willowick Library)
The Young and the Restless: A popular music and movement class for 2-4 year olds with shakers, bubbles, the parachute and more. Not recommended for children with difficulties in loud environments but a great way to get the wiggles out! (Eastlake, Willoughby, Willoughby Hills and Willowick Libraries).
In addition to the Adapted Toy Library and special programming, there will be sensory kits available at each library location for children who are sensitive to noise. The kits will include a pair of headphones, a stress therapy squeeze ball and a fidget toy for children to use while in the library if they are feeling overwhelmed.