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Member Information

Congratulations on joining Canterbury Toy Library! We hope you enjoy watching your children learn and develop through play, there are just a few things each member is responsible for as part of their membership

Member Responsibilities

We aim to make being a Canterbury Toy Library member as simple as possible but each member has the below responsibilities to ensure the toy library remains fun and affordable for everyone. Please read through carefully after joining the toy library and ask if you have any questions.

Toy Borrowing

When you bring the toys home:
1. Please count them within 24 hours of borrowing and email us at if there are any pieces missing that aren't noted on the label or damage to the toys so we can update our system. 
2. If any damage or missing pieces isn't registered a fine may be charged on return.

3. All toy packaging must be returned with the toys or a fine will apply

Our borrowing period is 4 weeks with the option to renew online for a further 4. If you are unable to return your toys due to illness or unforeseen circumstances we're always happy to renew if you get in touch.

Please store all toys safely indoors when not in use including our outdoor toys. Storing them in the sandpit,  backyard, outside area with roof but no walls or in the sun leads to damage and sun fading.

Toy Returns

All toys must be clean and dry before being returned to the toy library, clean them the night before and let them dry overnight. Please see our cleaning guide below.

When you return your toys use our self return iPad then place them in the black returns trolley so they can be counted by a volunteer.

Missing Pieces / Damage

On return of the toy, any damage or missing pieces not noted in the toy library database will be assumed to have occurred whilst the toy was in your care, and a fine may apply.


  • Missing piece fines are $5 per piece

  • Fabric mesh bag fines are $8.50 per bag

We understand that sometimes things happen, if a toy is damaged please do not try to repair it yourself. Let our Coordinator know if a toy is broken or showing signs of wear.

If a missing piece / damage renders the toy unusable, the fine will be the replacement value of the toy for toys less than a year old and a proportion of that thereafter at the discretion of the committee.

If a toy is close to retirement age or a piece that we can easily replace no charge will apply.


Members with a volunteer membership spend three hours a year helping to check returned toys for completeness and cleanliness. These volunteer hours help keep our membership fees low and pay for part of your membership.

Please note you must nominate for your two volunteer sessions by month 7 of your membership or you will automatically be upgraded to our Toys Only membership and your membership will need to be renewed. The volunteer calendar is open for the rest of the year with lots of dates to choose from, you have the full year to complete your 2 volunteer sessions.


Some benefits of duty are:


  • You can meet other members of the toy library – we often see neighbours meeting for the first time!

  • It’s a great way to check out the full range of toys on offer

  • At the end of the session, you are entitled to borrow an extra toy


If you find you are unable to volunteer please upgrade to the Toys Only membership at any time.
Want to know more about our volunteer options? You can read more here

Regular volunteers

Enjoy volunteering at Canterbury Toy Library so much that you find yourself nominating above the 2 required volunteer sessions per year? To say thank you to our regular volunteers we will extend your membership 2 weeks for every volunteer shift over 2 you complete. 

Safety & Care

Children should be adequately supervised while playing with the toys borrowed. This is for safety reasons as well as to prevent toys from being broken or damaged.


It is each member's responsibility to ensure that the toys borrowed are suitable for the age and skill of the child/ren that will use them. Please ensure toys containing small parts (posing a potential choking hazard) are not accessible to child aged under 3. None of the toy packaging used by the toy library are toys and must be removed by an adult before play. Our packaging may cause suffocation, strangling, choking or other hazards, it is each member's responsibility to remove all packaging before play and pack it safely out of reach of children.

When joining you’ll be required to sign a helmet waiver form. This form advises that you, the member, will provide any/all helmets required to protect your child when using a toy from the toy library.


Disclaimer: Toys are borrowed at your own risk, and any personal injury or property damage or loss of any kind whatsoever occasioned through or in connection with the borrowing and/or use of the items by any person is not the responsibility of Canterbury Area Toy Library or its committee members or employees, either collectively or individually.

Toy Cleaning

As part of Canterbury Toy Library's Covid-safe plan approved by public health officials, all members are required to thoroughly clean their toys prior to returning them to the toy library.

We thank you for keeping all our members safe.

How to clean

Wipe the toy thoroughly with a cloth damp with either a pH neutral detergent(such as diluted dishwashing detergent) or a 2-in-1 cleaner/disinfectant (most multipurpose sprays available at the supermarket). If using a 2-in-1 multipurpose spray, the solution must be sprayed onto the cloth until it is quite damp.You can use something like an old toothbrush or a cotton bud to get into hard to reach places.


Dry the toy with a tea towel or leave to dry overnight. Please make sure the toy is perfectly dry before returning it to its bag or box. Do not submerge toys in water as they can trap water inside them or in the case of wooden toys, too much water may damage the wood/paint.

Special tips

  • Baby Rattles – Do not to immerse rattles in water as they collect water which can lead to harmful bacteria developing. Wipe the surface with a cloth.

  • Wooden Toys and Train Sets – Wipe over. Allow time to thoroughly dry. These toys should not be immersed or soaked.

  • Duplo/Lego – Wash well with hot soapy water and a toothbrush. Rinse and leave to drain overnight.

  • Outdoor/Sandpit Toys – These must be cleaned well remembering that the next member may wish to use it inside. Remove all sand and dirt and clean well with hot soapy water.

  • Board Games and Cardboard Puzzles – Paper-based materials, such as puzzles and games, are not considered a high risk for transmission and do not need additional cleaning or disinfection procedures. Please clean counters and other plastic parts of a game.

  • Fabric items (Dress-ups/Puppets/Dolls Bedding/Infant Soft Toys) – Hand wash or gentle machine wash with laundry detergent and hang to thoroughly line dry.

  • Bikes, scooters and other ride-ons – These must be washed, keeping in mind that the next member may wish to use them inside.

  • Toy storage bags and boxes – Wipe handles and all areas that have been touched, ensuring everything is dry before placing toys back in them.

Please ensure all toys are cleaned before being returned to the toy library. Please do not return your toys if you are recovering from covid 19 until you have tested negative and are symptom free. If your toys are due to be returned send us an email, we are always happy to extend your loans during illness.

Toy Cleaning
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