The Toy Library

The Toy Library offers toys and games that you can check out with your library card to use in the library or to take home.

The Toy Library is designed to improve the lives of children with and without special needs and to provide families with access to high quality toys and materials for play.  The Toy Catalog provides helpful information on how toys can be used to promote child development and play-based learning. Read it online or browse the print version at the Children’s Desk. (print version available for use at the library to aid in browsing and selecting toy library materials; online version here).  To view a simple list online of the toy library holdings, click here.

How does it work? 

Please do!

  • Check out our toys to bring them home.
  • Check out as many toys as you wish but we may limit to ensure a reasonable number of toys available to patrons at all times.
  • Check out our toys for 3 weeks, no renewals, and a late fee of 50 cents/toy/day.
  • Use an adult patron card to check out toys, or have an adult patron accompany anyone under 18 who wishes to check out toys.
  • Bring our toys back with all of their pieces and in good condition. Patrons are responsible for loss or damage costs associated with missing/damaged toys and/or parts.

Please no! 🚫

  • Do not put toy library items in the drop-box.
  • Do not return toy library items to another library.
  • Do not drop toys off at the circulation desk where books are returned.
  • Do not use toy library items INSIDE the library. There is a separate shelf of games to play at the library that do not get checked out to go home.

How did it come about?

The Toy Library is made possible through an innovative grant from the Guilford Fund For Education (GFFE), which brings this exciting opportunity to Guilford.  Sheryl Shyloski is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst working at Guilford Lakes Elementary School, primarily with students in the preschool and Applied Behavior Analysis programs.  Sheryl uses toys in her daily work with students to engage their cognitive and Social-Emotional skills, and wanted a way to let parents continue working on those skills at home, so she wrote a grant to have toys brought to the public library for families to borrow, as well as obtaining additional toys for the school’s library for teachers to use in their lessons.  Librarians at the Guilford Free Library loved this idea and rearranged their space to accommodate this collection, as well as dedicating time to organizing and cataloging materials to make them available for checkout to the public.  Through this partnership, families in the area now have access to this unique and valuable resource.

Why is having a toy library important?

Toys and play are the vehicles used to provide children with an understanding of and an ability to relate to the world around them.  Toys support increased interactions within the family and the community as a whole.  Additionally, buying and maintaining the variety of toys available in the toy library is not a fiscally reasonable endeavor for the average family.  Toys are another important learning resource, just like books, which the library is happy to provide for free to enrich the lives of its patrons.

What makes the toy library different from the kit collection?

Though the toys and kits have the same lending policies, their content has a different focus. Usually, a toy is just the toy or game with the content card written by the school psychologist on adapting play to promote certain motor/cognitive skills. Kits, on the other hand, will have a book or handful of books on a given topic and then objects to explore that topic further. For instance, the stargazing kit has several books on astronomy for various ages and allows you to check out a telescope. The gardening kit has a book on how seeds grow, handheld garden tools, and a packet of seeds the borrower may plant if they wish. The frisbee kit has several different kinds of frisbees, instructional books and videos on different games you can play with frisbees with friends, and tricks you can do with frisbees on your own. You get the idea. For a listing in our catalog of available kits, click here. There may be errors in the algorithm that exclude some of our offerings, so feel free to come and browse.

The Toy Catalog provides helpful information on how toys can be used to promote child development and play-based learning.

A simple list of Toy Library holdings is also available through our online catalog


Guilford Free Library
67 Park Street, Guilford CT 06437
Phone: 203-453-8282 Fax: 203-453-8288

Summer Hours:



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