The Back to school ads are on, and that’s my signal to check the toy box at church.
It’s usually been added to by kind people who think that ” that toys in good condition it will keep the kids quiet in Church” NOOOO!!! that’s not what the toy box is for it is a box of toys that will encourage any little ones to express their spiritual selves. Children’s work is play. So a well equiped toy box is important. Everything in there should be clean, cleanable, safe and be able to have an expression in the Word as heard in the service or be a Christian motif.
Some of the toy’s in your “toy box” may fit this criteria, but some may have to go. Especially if they are unsafe, (lead paint, asbestos in recalled crayons that were never thrown out, toxic dyes, small pieces that can come off and be put in mouths (swallow hazard)), or can’t be washed. Or make a loud noise, or covered in building dust from a renovation. Check https://www.accc.gov.au/topics/recalls or https://www.productsafety.gov.au/recalls
If starting from scratch it might seem like a big outlay, but you are investing in the spiritual development of children, and it can be slowly built up over time. If refreshing your toy box, remember that if you need to throw things out, under Victorian legislation we are responsible for suppling physically safe environments for children. It is not wasteful to keep people safe. If something can not be used to enhance the spiritual development of the child, recycle. Someone will enjoy it.
I’ve made 2 “toy boxes” for congregations. Here is what is generally in them. Let me know what you think I should also add. Let’s get a discussion going.
This is also the list I would recommend to parents as a basis for spiritual play at home.
Soft Toys make sure they are fully washable and preferably machine dryable
Heart cushion, large and small from IKEA http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/90136155/
Small bear with heart on top from Ikea
Sheep from Toy’s r us https://www.toysrus.com.au/animal-alley-25cm-realistic-farm-animal-assorted_5227089/
Donkey from Toy’s r us
Play food from Ikea, especially the one with fish and loaves.
Nativity set from St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne
Blocks, different shapes and sizes.
Cars from Ikea
Rollar ikea http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/90294885/
People from Ikea
Boats from Ikea http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/40260393/
Animals and Barn from Toy’s r Us
Fabric max 1x1m
Blue from Spotlight
Brown from Spotlight
Yellow from Spotlight
Sheep patterned brushed cotton from Spotlight
White fleece from Spotlight
White shirts for dress ups
Puzzles never small pieces that can be swallowed
Christmas floor puzzle from Korong
Jonah puzzle from Korong
Battery operated candle
Child safe mirror
Village floor rug from Ikeas (great for both a prayer too and play) http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/10361911/
Baby Dolls, multicultural baby dolls, not too large, about 15cm max. expensive but good Miniland Baby dolls currently on sale http://www.malingroadtoyshop.com.au/s/toys?page=3
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