To provide enriching, accessible, culturally sensitive, educational environments and resources that promote learning through play experiences to foster healthy child development.
To increase community play-based learning experiences for children, families, child care providers and educators.
To increase understanding of the life long need for play, as well as knowledge and skills to promote developmentally appropriate practices with children.
To facilitate children’s health and brain development including their social-emotional, cognitive, sensory-perceptual, creative and physical development.
Children’s need to play will be respected, nurtured, listened to and responded to in developmentally appropriate ways. Children and families will be equipped with the fundamental play-based learning experiences that give them the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to:
achieve successful relationships in families, school and work,
realize joy in learning at school, work and life,
express creativity and innovative thinking to their fullest potential,
adapt to changes in their lives and the world, and
lead healthy and socially-emotionally balanced lives.
Our plan is to create a central Cape Cod Toy Library, a Mobile Toy Library and Satellite Toy Libraries, and as well as outreach programs, that provide year-round access to high-quality educational resources and engaging play-based, exploratory, creative learning opportunities for children and families, childcare providers and educators to support children's healthy growth and development.
Cape Cod Toy Library will be a safe, educational enriching play-literacy learning environment where families can go to spend time - playing, exploring and discovering together. It will provide access to hundreds of high-quality play-literacy materials and professional support to guide and promote developmentally appropriate play-based learning. The collection of toys and resource materials, including objects from nature and recycled reusable items, will be available to use on site, in our indoor and outdoor learning spaces, and to borrow for use at home, childcare, school or community settings. Collection items will be carefully selected as tools to help promote children's cognitive, sensory-perceptual, creative, social-emotional and physical development.
Programs will be rooted in developmentally-appropriate practices (DAP) identified by National Association for the Education of Young Children. The specially designed play-literacy environment, the purposeful arrangement and staging of play props, the carefully selected collection and materials, and the professional staff will model DAP practices. Staff will show how to play effectively with children, how to facilitate and support children’s play and learning, how to interact effectively with children in a way that accepts and responds to their emotional needs as well as their interests and developmental abilities.
The Reggio Emilia, child-centered approach to facilitating and supporting children’s learning will be exemplified both through the attractive environmental aesthetics, play materials and exploratory resources provided, and the professional staff's intentional planning and caring responses to each child and adult participant.
Children’s interests, inquiries and ideas will be supported, encouraged and expanded upon, deepening and broadening their learning experiences. Collaboration with parents, child care providers and teachers will enrich the children's educational experiences, promote children's process of exploration and discovery, and support children's development and sense of well-being. Staff, versed in Reggio Emilia philosophy and practices, will serve as a reliable, year-round presence and resource to answer questions, to demonstrate practices of observing, listening and interacting with children as partners in the process of learning, and to guide selections of play materials that engages children's imaginative thinking, problem solving and intellectual engagement.
Waldorf educational experiential principles will also be incorporated to cultivate children's development and to help enrich and inspire joyful life-long learning.
Programs will include a variety of fun, hands-on, engaging family programs, parenting empowerment workshops as well as professional development workshops for child care providers and educators at the Toy Library and in community settings.
Cape Cod Toy Library will promote Massachusetts statewide “Brain Building in Progress” public awareness initiative and will utilize the national “Strengthening Families Program” model and “Strength-based principles” through all its programs.
Who We Serve
Cape Cod Toy Library is for all Cape children and parents, grandparents, foster parents, childcare providers, early intervention practitioners, educators, and social workers – across the Cape and Islands - for those that live year-round on the Cape, as well as for those who live on the Cape part of the year or who simply visit or vacation on the Cape.
The Cape Cod Toy Library is an inclusive model that invites and supports families from all cultural, education and economic backgrounds.
The toy collection and resource materials will focus on young children, infants through age 9. Toys and materials will also be available to support preschool through primary grade curriculum as well as for physical difficulties and remedial needs. In addition, many games, puzzles and creative toys will be appropriate for all ages - for family and multi-generational play.
Mixed ages of children, from toddlers to teens, will be welcomed to foster opportunities for interactions with each other, as well as with caring adults through their play experiences. The opportunity for mixed age interactions and play is especially important today, as children are often segregated by age.
Outreach will specifically focus on bringing high quality early childhood materials and support resources to children and families with high needs, including non-English speaking families, single parent households, isolated families, and families with children with special needs, families with limited transportation and families challenged with mental health circumstances. The initial focus will be Mid, Lower & Outer Cape families where resources are typically less available than other parts of the Cape.
Here's a gallery of a few photos to highlight child and family engagement during programs and events in the community that Cape Cod Toy Library has participated in.
A COMMUNITY ASSET
Cape Cod Toy Library offers economic, environmental, health, education and quality of life benefits to the Cape helping to strengthen the image and branding of the Cape as a desirable place to live, work and play.
Cape Cod Toy Library supports community values including:
Economic/business growth by offering supportive resources that retain young families and attract new young families to raise their families on the Cape, and by offering professional development training and employment opportunities,
Environment conservation by fostering a shared economy and reuse culture where resources such as toys, books and materials are shared and reused, extending their use, reducing waste and keeping them out of landfills,
Public health by promoting and fostering healthy, active life styles, healthy nutrition and advocating for play as a stress reducer for children and adults, and preventing chronic physical conditions such as childhood obesity, diabetes and heart disease,
Education by increasing access to high-quality learning environments and staff, eco-friendly educational toys and engaging play-literacy materials, and by providing professional guidance and support to children, parents, childcare providers and educators,
Quality of life by providing safe, inviting, informal community play spaces and high-quality play-literacy resource materials, at little or no cost, that enable children and adults to come together from diverse backgrounds to learn and grow through enriching learning experiences.
Cape Cod Toy Library will promote the value of play. It will enhance the quality and frequency of constructive play experiences. It will enrich the lives of children and their families and caregivers. It will help strengthen family relationships. It will empower parents to be partners in learning, and support child care providers and educators. And, it will promote quality of life and health of the community.
Banner Photo: Toy Library in Rochester NY - a model Toy Library for the Cape
Photo magnifier observation & clay sailboats: Mrs. McLean's Reggio Inspired Classroom
Other photo images: Reggio Inspired Classrooms