So you’ve decided to host a kid’s birthday party yourself. A courageous decision! The invitations have gone out, plans for a cake are underway and now you’re left with the question of how to entertain a bunch of little rascals who will most likely be revved up on cordial and fairy bread and need some fun.

You want to keep them happy without breaking the bank. You want to keep them happy without having your house destroyed.

Mama and papas, may I introduce…the toy library party pack.

You might have passed your local toy library (there are more than 100 across Victoria). You may even be a member. But did you know toy libraries offer packages of party-minded toys and games, just perfect for keeping youngsters active and amused for hours? And toy libraries across Melbourne hire these party packs to members and non-members at a range of affordable prices (well under $100)!

Toy libraries have it all. Swing sets, rockers, Cozy Coupe cars. Tunnels, parachutes, climbing frames. 

In short, everything you need to build a playground in your yard. They include larger games and toys which encourage kids to have fun together and enjoy active play.

Most party packs include mini roller coasters – a perennial favourite which the kids will be talking about for weeks. Create some old-fashioned fun with a games set – remember having egg and spoon or sack races? Even the adults will want to have a crack at Giant Jenga, hula hoops and bocce. Twister, anyone? You could add on additional outdoor games like croquet or mini golf, or cater for younger bubs with a small ball pit.

On a sunny day (sure you might have to wait a bit for a guaranteed one of those!), a water play table is perfect for some splashy fun. 

Party packs offer an easy and affordable option to help make kids’ parties less stressful (you’re going to have enough on your hands without worrying about the entertainment).

If you do feel like going all out, some toy libraries offer a bouncy castle. For families in smaller homes, games and ride-ons are a great option.

Having a themed party? 

Toy libraries can help. How about a dinosaur treasure hunt, or borrow some jungle animals to keep your little monkeys playing. Builders’ sets, princess paraphernalia – let your imagination take over.

Why not borrow some musical instruments and let the kids form their own band? For older kids, “old school” board games like Pictionary, Charades or Cluedo offer fun team-based entertainment, or borrow some sports equipment and set up your own mini Olympics! Toy libraries can even help out when it’s time to sit down and cut the cake, offering child-sized tables and chairs for hire.

And if you’re going to a child’s party, why not consider a toy library gift certificate as a thoughtful present that will keep giving long after the party is over? (Note that members are usually required to volunteer a few hours of their time each year to help keep the toy library running.)

Toy libraries offer children access to hundreds of toys, carefully chosen by staff and volunteers to fire the imagination and encourage development of important skills like fine motor, literacy and numeracy. 

Borrowing toys means kids are less likely to get bored (it’s like their birthday comes every few weeks!) and is a great way to teach them about sharing, recycling and looking after things.

Check out your nearest toy library online or drop in during opening hours, and get this party started.

By Pia Akerman Lower. Pia loves a good kids’ party and is on the management committee of her local Community Toy Library.

Find your closest toy library at

Some great local Eastside Toy Libraries are:

Box Hill Area Toy Library
Corner Station Street and Riversdale Road, Box Hill South  

Canterbury and Area Toy Library
190a Canterbury Road, Canterbury  

Kew Toy Library
152 Pakington Street, Kew 

Manningham Toy Library
109 Swanston Street, Lower Templestowe 

Maroondah Toy Library
35-39 Tortice Drive, Ringwood North  

Monash Area Toy Libraries:
6 Herriotts Boulevard, Glen Waverley 

Cnr Germain Street and
Huntingdale Road, Huntingdale, 
36 Burton Street, Chadstone 

Maygrove Way, Mulgrave
Nunawading Toy Library
19 Norma Road, Forest Hill 

Pied Piper Toy Library
6 Lexia Street, Ashburton 

Richmond Toy Library
Corner Church and Charlotte Streets, Richmond 

Stonnington Toy Library
1 Winter Street, Malvern 

Warrandyte Toy Library
184 Research-Warrandyte Road, North Warrandyte 

Knox & District Toy Library
11-13 Gerda Street, Scoresby 

Some great local Bayside Toy Libraries are:

Elwood Toy Library
87 Tennyson Street, Elwood

Caulfield Community Toy Library
12 Munro Avenue, Carnegie

Bayside Toy Library
212 Dendy Street, Brighton East

Carrum Downs Toy Library Inc 
203-205 Lyrebird Drive, Carrum Downs

Dandenong Toy Well
Dandenong Primary School Community Hub
182 Foster Street Dandenong

Doveton Toy Well
Doveton College, 62 Tristania Street, Doveton

Frankston Toy Library
20 Ebdale Street, Frankston

Kingston Toy Library
2b Lewis Street, Mordialloc

Middle Park Toy Library
Corner Richardson Street & Nimmo Street,
Middle Park

Moorabbin Area Toy Library
90-92 Bignell Road, Bentleigh East

Monash Area Toy Libraries – Oakleigh Branch
Cnr Germain St and Huntingdale Rd,

Port Melbourne Toy Library
Port Melbourne Town Hall,
333 Bay St, Port Melbourne

South Melbourne Toy Library
400 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne

Springvale Service for Children Toy Library
23-28 Lightwood Avenue, Springvale

South Melbourne Toy Library
400 Clarendon Street South Melbourne 

Some great local Westside Toy Libraries are:

Albion Community Toy Library
Albion Primary School, 63 Adelaide Street, Albion, 3020

Maribyrnong Toy Library – Branch 1
1/539 Barkly Street, West Footscray 

Maribyrong Toy Library – Branch 2
Cnr Burns & Sonley Streets, Maidstone 3012

Hobsons Bay Toy Library – Newport
51 Maddox St, Newport, 3015

Hobsons Bay Toy Library – Laverton
15 Crown Street, Laverton, 3028

Little Buddies Toy Library – Werribee
57 Kookaburra Avenue, Werribee, 3030

Little Buddies Toy Library – Point Cook
Saltwater Sports Reserve Pavilion,
1-5 Saltwater Promenade Point Cook 3030

Martha Arms Toy Library
90 Taylors Road, Keilor Downs, 3038

Melbourne Community Toy Library 
Corner Kensington Road and Altona Street, Kensington, 3031

Some great local Northside Toy Libraries are:

Alphington Toy Library
2 Kelvin Road, Alphington, 3078

Banyule Toy Library
19 Interlake Parade, Rosanna, 3084 

Broadmeadows Community Toy Library
24A Dimboola Road, Broadmeadows, 3047 

Collingwood Toy Library
Victoria Park Community Centre,
Cnr of Lulie and Abbot St, Abbotsford, 3067

Diamond Valley Toy Library Inc
Yarra Plenty Regional Library, Civic Drive, Greenborough, 3088

Eltham Toy Library
Panther Place, Eltham, 3095

Martha Arms Toy Library
90 Taylors Road, Keilor Downs, 3038

Melbourne Community Toy Library 
Corner Kensington Road and Altona Street, Kensington, 3031

Melbourne Community Toy Library 
469 Cardigan St, Carlton, 3053

Moreland Toy Library
14a Jolley Street, West Brunswick, 3056

Moonee Valley Toy Library 
129 Lincoln Road, Essendon, 3040

Moonee Valley Toy Library
54 Lake St, Avondale Heights, 3034

Toy Library Plus
185 High Street, Northcote, 3070

Find more great party ideas here!