Toy library a treasure trove for B40 in Lembah Subang

Wong (foreground) and Mohd Ikhsan (in black cap) interacting with children from local families at the launch of the toy library initiative. — Photos: RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

Imagine a vibrant space where laughter echoes, creativity flourishes and community bonds strengthen.

This vision has come to life with the launch of Re:Play Toy Library at Block C PPR (People’s Housing Project) Lembah Subang 2 in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Association of Toy Libraries Malaysia president Wong Poai Hong described Re:Play Toy Library as a multifaceted hub.

“The library serves as a play hub where children can engage with a variety of toys.

“It is also a recycling hub where donated toys from the PPR Subang 2 community are cleaned and repurposed for the library as well as the shop where preloved toys are sold to interested buyers,” she said.

This approach provides a play space as well as sustains the library through sales.

Wong emphasised the social benefits of a toy library.

“We created this library to offer busy mothers a brief respite while their children play.

“Daycare costs are often prohibitive, especially for families with multiple children.

“The toy library provides an affordable alternative,” she explained.

Wong added that the environment fostered the sharing and learning of responsibility, which was vital in building children’s social and emotional skills.

Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) Zone 4 councillor Mohd Ikhsan Mohamad Din expressed his support for the project.

“This initiative encourages physical interaction among children, countering the prevalent trend of online gaming,” he said.

Acknowledging the toy library’s role in promoting healthy social interaction, the Seri Setia assemblyman’s service centre officer Mohammad Azli Jamaasin, representing Dr Mohammad Fahmi Ngah, said there were plans to launch another toy library in PPR Lembah Subang 1.

“We are committed to expanding this beneficial project to more communities,” he said.

Mohammad Azli also noted that the library locations were suitable to serve the B40 group.

“This acts as an extra help for the community, especially for children who are falling behind.

“Some of them cannot read or write at the age of 10.

“With this initiative, we can help children from a young age to learn and develop,” he added.

The Re:Play Toy Library is designed to foster community cohesion, providing a safe space for children to play and for parents to connect.

Open five days a week, the toy library is operated by residents of PPR Lembah Subang 2.

The operational hours are flexible to cater to the schedules of mothers who need the service.

These mothers have organised a committee to oversee the library’s operations.

Typically, children visit the toy library after 6pm, following the end of their school day.

“It is a support group where parents can share their experiences and help each other,” said Wong.

The toy library functions much like a traditional library, allowing children to play on-site and borrow toys to take home for a few days.

Diversified conglomerate PPB Group Bhd began supporting the Lembah Subang 2 project in 2023, ensuring its sustainability up to the present day.

The event was further bolstered by collaborations with MBSJ, Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor and social enterprise Play Unlimited.

Currently, around 500 children from PPR Lembah Subang 2 have signed up with Re:Play Toy Library.

Looking ahead, Wong plans to involve senior citizens as volunteers.

“Retirees can contribute significantly, sharing their life experience and values with the children,” she said, highlighting the intergenerational benefits of the initiative.

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