Play in Darebin

child playing with blocks

Toy library

Darebin City Council acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung people as the Traditional Owners and custodians of the land and waters we now call Darebin, and pays respect to their Elders, past and present. Council also recognises other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities who have a long-standing and unique role in the life of the Darebin municipality.

Darebin is now home to a diverse community of people of various cultures, genders, ages, abilities, ethnicities, languages, socio-economic levels, sexualities, gender identities, faiths and beliefs. 

The Darebin Toy Library aims to be an accessible, equitable, inclusive, safe and respectful service that actively welcomes and supports the inclusion of all children and their families.  We value and celebrate the diversity of families who use our service.

The Toy Library is a free service that encourages families with children 3 months to 6 years to borrow quality toys to enhance their early learning experiences through play.  Many of our members are new parents, grandparents and other caregivers of young children in Darebin.

Many professionals working with families and playgroup leaders choose to 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.

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:

Opening Hours

The Toy Library is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9.30am - 12 noon and 1pm - 3pm

Bookings are by appointment only.  

Please note that the Toy Library is CLOSED between 12 noon and 1pm.

Address: 185 High Street, Northcote

Borrowing Toys

  • Members can borrow three toys per child for 3 weeks
  • Members can extend their loans via their online member login
  • Members should ensure toys are cleaned and checked prior to return.
  • If there are missing piece(s) please let us know and we can renew your loan in order to give you extra time to locate the missing piece(s).

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

Calling all Rainbow families - the Toy Library wants to hear from you!

The Toy Library team is working towards achieving Rainbow Tick Accreditation.  As part of this work, we are keen to get feedback from rainbow families who currently use the service.  Rainbow families are families with have one or more members who identify as part of the LGBTIQA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender diverse, intersex, queer, asexual and/or aromantic) community. We want to hear from rainbow families about your experience of using the Toy Library, your ideas for how we can ensure it is a safe, welcoming and accessible service and how we can broaden Toy Library resources to better represent and appeal to rainbow families.

Tell us what you think by completing the Rainbow Families Toy Library Survey

For more information about this engagement and/or about Rainbow Tick accreditation please get in touch on 0499 402 081.

More information

Email us at
During opening hours, call 03 8470 8104 or 0427 787 061

Play maps

We asked children and families in playgroups, childcare centres, 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(PDF, 2MB).

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