Around 60% respondents said that the children never indulged in play or games before the setting up of our Gender Neutral Educative Toy Libraries. This goes on to show the lack of access to toys in the existing structures. In fact, to ensure that Right to Play of an underprivileged child is reinforced, Toy Libraries become extremely important. Once the Gender Neutral Educative Toy Libraries were created, it was observed that children’s interest in remaining in the schools/anganwadis/educational centres increased manifold. More than 50% respondents have shared that there has been a drastic decrease in the dropout rates after The Toy Bank intervention. The Educative Toy Libraries are keeping the children engaged and unlike before, they are choosing to stay throughout the regular school hours. This will ensure that the children will be able to settle in the mainstream educational system.
Recognizing the significance of early childhood education, the Toy Bank distributes toys in Anganwadis to ensure development of child takes place through early stimulation through play-way methods. It also aims to increase the attendance of the children in Anganwadis. This project has received phenomenal response for its achievement in increasing the attendance of kids in Anganwadis.
Creation of Toy Libraries is done in order to increase group play among the children. Playing in groups helps enhance their social and leadership skills. Over 90% of the respondents said that the creation of Toy Libraries have increased opportunities for children to play in groups. This is done in order to enhance their social and leadership skills and also to ensure they have the freedom of choice to indulge in play with any kind of toy or game.
Our Gender Neutral Educative Toy Libraries not only consist of toys and games but also story books. We ensure that in accordance with the age of the child, the libraries consist of story books that will help the child develop reading and learning skills. This is done to ensure that the libraries aid the children’s education thereby making it easier for them to be a part of the mainstream education. Over 40% respondents shared that the children indulge in reciting rhymes/reading from story books more than once in a day. More than 30% respondents shared that at least once in a day children indulge in reading books.
Majority respondents (86%) have shared that children indulge in indoor activities and play. In order to encourage indoor activities, we include board games and building blocks with alphabets or numbers on it. This helps the children learn alphabets/numbers while engaging in play within the schools/anganwadis/educational centres. These games also help them enhance their concentration and learning skills.
Apart from Indoor games, we ensure that children engage in outdoor games as well. Therefore we send across badminton rackets, footballs, basketballs etc. to encourage children to become physically active. This helps in enhancing their motor skills as well as helps them gain leadership skills. About 70% of the respondents mentioned that the children engage in outdoor play at least once or more than that in a week.
Nearly 90% respondents have shared that there has been a considerable improvement in the learning skills of the children once the Educative Toy Libraries were established. This again goes on to prove the absolute necessity for children to indulge in play and games since it is not only for purposes of leisure but also proves to be an aid to education. Play and games helps the children improve their concentration levels, motor skills which impacts their learning skills as well.
A majority of 96% are satisfied with the toys in the Toy Libraries. Utmost care is taken in cleaning and refurbishing of the toys before they are repackaged in Age Graded Toy Kits. The toys are segregated on the basis of age of the child it will be impacting but never on the gender of the child. Similarly, a lot of attention is paid to the Toy Kits being prepared for children with Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy etc.
Because of our thorough process, 93% respondents shared that they would definitely partner with The Toy Bank in the future.