Wooden Toys Edinburgh is an extremely popular baby-toddler group located in the Comely Bank and Trinity/Goldenacre area of Edinburgh, but it needs YOUR help!
Now in it's fourth year, Wooden Toys Edinburgh has supported countless families and local residents by providing a safe, and supportive environment, where children can interact with wooden and natural toys. There is lots of demand for it around Edinburgh, and despite experiencing natural growth this year, it could do with some funds to help develop it into something to benefit EVEN MORE families, and communities.
Baby-toddler groups are fantastic supports for families, or children and their carers. They provide environments for children and adults to interact with peers, and have numerous advantages. Children start to socialise, learn to share and can develop other useful skills, all whilst playing.
Adults on the other hand, can benefit from them in many other ways. Not only do they provide a place for adults to socialise too, but they also give adults the opportunity to meet other parents and carers, have adult conversation and perhaps feel less isolated and unsupported
"A recent UK survey of more than 2,000 mothers by the online mothers’ networking group Channel Mums found that 90 percent of mothers feel lonely since having children and 54 percent felt “friendless” after giving birth." - Today's Parent (2018)
Your support in this project would therefore be invaluable in shaping Wooden Toys Edinburgh's future, and would help more families access natural and wooden toys, which are not only much more environmentally friendly, but also less dangerous, compared to plastic toys. In fact, did you know that plastic toys may contain traces of chemicals which can affect a child's hormone?!
Wooden toys have also been known to stimulate more imaginative play, create closer contact between children and nature, and have a more calming effect during play.
SO WHERE WOULD YOUR MONEY GO?
Despite being sustainable and extremely durable, wooden toys are not cheap.
Here is how I propose spending the money raised:
- TOYS: Market research from Wooden Toys Edinburgh families indicate that the more popular toys are those that are unlikely to feature in your own home or on shop shelves, such as our climbing frame and slides. Having this funding would therefore allow me to invest in more unique toys, that really stretch a child's imagination, and build on different skills. There are some fabulous toys out there that I would love to offer - see wishlist!
- FIXED PREMISES: This is a biggie! Whilst Edinburgh may have a number of halls suitable for baby-toddler groups, having my own premises would be amazing! It would allow for more opportunity to be cost effective, as I wouldn't be operating to other people's constraints, and can set-up a really nice and welcoming space that doesn't need to be taken apart at the end of every session. This means that I could invest in some really nice toys, which I wouldn't need to worry about transporting around the city. Moreover, typically halls or venues in Edinburgh want £15-£20 an hour for their space to be used, and can charge for setting up and tidying up (time which is not bringing in any money). Having my own premises would therefore eliminate that, to a point, as less time would be spent packing and unpacking toys.
- COMMUNITY EVENTS: Most of the families that currently attend Wooden Toys Edinburgh are regulars (i.e they attend more than three times a month), and it would be great to do more community events with them, with or without children. It would be great to host such events, and bring people together to build on community spirit.
- INSURANCE: Wooden Toys Edinburgh has always had insurance cover for it's baby-toddler groups, but did you know that this is not a formal requirement? Insurance benefits everybody involved as it offers peace of mind to the families in attendance, and also covers damage to any of the toys.
And just to put things into perspective, here are some of the things on our wish-list for 2018/2019:
- Rental on property in town (where there is a glaring gap in the market for "soft-play" or similar) with space for Wooden Toys Edinburgh, shop, and baby classes - £16,000 per annum (approx.) Would benefit not just local families but anyone with an interest in wooden toys, and promoting sustainable play given the retail aspect that would be available!
- Life-size wooden vehicles (such as boat, or tractor) - £1,000 (fantastic for imaginative play, and playing together!)
- Balance Board - £100 (great for encouraging stability, and multi-purpose toy)
- Indoor Climbing frame with a ladder and a slide, including safety mats - £2,000 (this is such a versatile toy, and is a firm favourite with families! Unfortunately, the one we currently have desperately needs some love and upgrading!)
- Pikler Triangle - £120 (climbing aid suitable for smaller children that wouldn't be able to benefit from the indoor climbing frame)
- Halloween "Pumpkin Party" for 90 families - £620 (£7 approx per family is our cost for having a petting zoo, hiring venue, providing snacks and face painting - this would be done across 3 sessions and was super popular in 2017)