SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — An organization helping children learn through play is adding to its toy collection. The Toy Lending Library has 16 locations and nearly 1,500 toy boxes available to families with kids ages 0-5, but its newest toys are promoting inclusion.
The Toy Lending Library is hoping to teach an important lesson through its 35 new toy boxes.
“Our goal is to create inclusion. If you go to a playground or school and you see a kid that looks different, acts different, go and ask them ‘how can we play together? What can we do to play together?’,” Toy Lending Library Executive Director Anelis Coscioni said.
The new toy boxes focus on disabilities or impairments, including children with vision loss.
“They have a toy and a book, and a book that talks about how a blind child sees the world, and I invite people to get those toys and close your eyes and try to do what they have to do,” Coscioni said.
The Toy Lending Library partnered with experts at the Center for Disabilities to select toys, books, and categories for each of the toy boxes.
“They are the ones that said these are going to be great boxes to showcase, and these are the best toys that you can have in these boxes,” Coscioni said.
Each specialty toy box costs about $120 to create.
“We are very, very thankful to all the organizations that supported us in buying these toy boxes,” Coscioni said.
“We wanted to do a project that was new to the club and that was a special need in the community,” South Sioux Falls Kiwanis Club Treasurer Dave Reimnitz said.
South Sioux Falls Kiwanis Club is the primary sponsor of the project.
“Young children is what Kiwanis is all about and this especially meets those needs, the ones that are really impacted with their special needs,” Reimnitz said.
Treasurer Dave Reimnitz even purchased the toys.
“There were times we had to go back out and keeping ordering and then come back another three weeks, four weeks later to see if they had the rest in order to get the quantity we were looking for,” Reimnitz said.
A true team effort to help all children learn through play.
“Being able to make these toy boxes that I don’t have the expertise, but having them help us create these toy boxes and having them out in the world hoping to create inclusion, you can’t ask for more than that,” Coscioni said.
The new toy boxes are now available to check out at the Toy Lending Library’s 16 locations.