Play in Darebin

The toy library is a free service enabling community members to borrow toys suitable for children aged from 3 months to 6 years old.

Toy library

Volunteering at the Toy Library

Would you, or someone you know be interested in volunteering at the Darebin Toy Library? If so, we would love to hear from you! Volunteers can help with a variety of tasks including checking and cleaning returned toys and processing new toys. What better way to spend a few hours, seeing happy children and parents taking home their new toys.

Find out more about volunteering or email

Our toy library is free service that allows families with babies and preschool children to borrow quality toys to enhance their early learning experiences through play.

You can easily apply to become a member and start borrowing items! Many of our members are new parents, grandparents and other caregivers of young children in Darebin.

Many professionals working with families and playgroup leaders join the toy library to access a broader range of toys and equipment for children to enhance their play and development.

Environmental sustainability is a focus of the service. We give you the opportunity to borrow, rather than buy toys. We strive to act on the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle and repair.

Borrowing toys

  • Members can borrow three toys per child for 3 weeks
  • You can extend your loans via our website, email or phone
  • Toys must be cleaned and checked prior to return. Let us know of any missing or broken and we will repair minor damage
  • If there are missing pieces and you find them please return them to us

How to join the toy library or make an appointment

There are a number of ways to join the toy library or make an appointment to borrow items:

We are open for families to return or borrow toys by appointment only on Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays.

Opening hours
Day Time Location


By appointment only

Northcote Family Centre
185 High Street, Northcote
(Corner James and High Streets)


By appointment only

Northcote Family Centre
185 High Street, Northcote
(Corner James and High Streets)


By appointment only

Northcote Family Centre
185 High Street, Northcote
(Corner James and High Streets)

Toy library review

The toy library service review was completed in 2021 and incorporated valuable community engagement feedback. The internal report, and it is recommendations for service improvements have been accepted by management at Council.

Our aim is that the Darebin Toy Library is the best it can be and to develop a service model that is based on efficient, sustainable and strength-based approaches. We want to improve customer experience, remove barriers and generate ideas for improvement of the service model.

Darebin Toy Library has reopened and welcomes you to join or reconnect.

From your feedback, we have implemented improvements to make the Toy Library in Darebin the best it can be.

You told us you wanted a sustainable Toy Library service with a refreshed toy selection that the community can enjoy.

We are delighted to have removed fees, refreshed the toys in the collection and upgraded our software so you can now join, browse and renew online and also book your appointments to come in person. We have reorganised the collection so browsing and borrowing is even easier with an accessible space and toys that are grouped and labelled according to age and use.

We have heard you want the Toy Library to be open at different locations across Darebin with more flexible hours and this is something we are taking into consideration for our future planning of the service.

We are currently open by appointment only, but we look forward to when we can open up for anyone wanting to walk in and browse and borrow the collection.

For more information

Phone our customer team on service 03 8470 8888
Call the toy library officer 0427 787 061 (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday)

Play maps

We asked children and families in playgroups, childcare centre's, kindergartens and primary schools where they enjoyed playing. We then used their answers to help create Darebin play maps. These maps offer affordable, simple ways to your get children playing and exploring our wonderful spaces.

You can use them to stimulate ideas, give prompts and mark local spaces that children love to play in. While we've made every effort to make sure suggestions are appropriate, you need to use common sense and boundaries to ensure your children are safe.

For more information, check out our play maps information sheet.

Download play maps for your area

Project credits

  • Lead artist and facilitator: Cat Sewell
  • Darebin Council partner: Linda Harman
  • Darebin Council playgroup support: Michelle Prendergast
  • Graphic design: Tricia Brady
  • Photographers and videographers: Bryony Jackson, Andrew Fraser and Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore
  • Sound recordists: Zoe Barry, Steph O’Hara and Corey McGregor
  • Sound editing for play map films: Zoe Barry
  • Video editing for play map films: Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore