Minneapolis Toy Library kicks off in May

Countless Minneapolitan mothers have wished for a toy lending library — now a few of them are starting one.

Taryn Tessneer said she stumbled across the idea while looking for ways to stimulate her two-year-old’s development.

“I’m really hesitant to buy toys I know he will only like for a couple of weeks,” she said.

Being eco-minded, Tessneer also wanted to limit her family’s plastic toy purchases. She said toy lending libraries are popular in other places like Roseville and Duluth, but she couldn’t find one in Minneapolis.

“I mentioned it to a bunch of friends on social media, and got a huge response,” she said.

One friend came across a matching grant through the Center for a New American Dream, which helped raise a few thousand in startup costs.

“We’re hoping to become a nonprofit,” Tessneer said. “We’re definitely open to getting more people involved.”

Tessneer said lending libraries like this are sprouting everywhere. Northeast Minneapolis has a new tool library opening this month.

“One of the ideas behind this project is to continue growing the sharing economy in the Twin Cities,” she said. “What better way to get to know neighbors than to share?”

The Minneapolis Toy Library has purchased new toys and is accepting nontoxic, educational toy donations for ages 0-5. Six-month trial memberships are available for a suggested $10 donation. Each family can check out five toys, clean them, and return them three weeks later.

The group aims to hold two lending events per month, usually at local libraries. The first event is Saturday, May 9, 3:45-4:45 p.m. at Washburn Library, 5244 Lyndale Ave. S.

The next event is May 30 at Hosmer Library at East 36th Street and 4th Avenue South.

For more information, visit mplstoylibrary.org.