Lend and Learn Toy Libraries
Where kids play to learn and parents learn to play
Lend and Learn Overview
A free, fun place where parents can play with their children ages 0-5, interact with other parents, and ask trained staff questions about development or other concerns. Toys are available for check out so families can extend learning and play at home. April through October, Lend & Learn offers a schedule of outdoor play events for families in parks and nature areas. There are locations with regular hours in Columbia and Centralia, and varying hours in other locations across mid-Missouri.
Click below to find an open play time
Am I eligible for this program?
- The Columbia and Centralia locations are open to all families regardless of residence.
- Designed for children ages 0-5 and their caregivers.
- The Columbia and Centralia locations are open to all families regardless of income.
Have questions or want to enroll?
Have more questions about the program? Give us a call and we’d be happy to talk to you! You can enroll in person at your first visit with a simple form, we can’t wait to play with you!
Lend and Learn Services Details
One-to-One Parenting Support
Toy Check Out
You can check out a toy kit for infants or toddlers that includes fun items around different themes. The toys can be picked up curbside at our Columbia office for up to two weeks. For item availability and check out, click here.
Group Events & Guided Activities
We offer guided virtual activities to accompany the Play At Home kits, and socially distant event. Check our facebook page for updates.
Indoor Play Time
Lend & Learn is open for indoor play time weekly at the following hours: Tuesdays 9:30am-11:30am, Wednesdays 9:30-11:30am & 1:00pm-3:00pm, and Thursdays 9:30-11:30am & 1:00pm-3:00pm.
Lend & Learn is a safe place for young children ages 0-5 and their caregivers to play and explore new toys and activities, interact with others, and have fun! Parents can find new ideas and inspiration, discuss parenting and child development with staff, and see their child learn & grow!
Space is limited for indoor play, so we have a sign up page to make appointments. Walk-ins are welcome as space allows. Times are posted week-by-week.
For more information on the play space, see the details below for hours, locations, and what to expect when you come to play.
Library locations & Hours
Lend & Learn - Columbia
Play Time Hours
Lend & Learn - North
Play Time Hours
Play time will be open 9:30am-11:30am on the first Monday of each month. On holidays (Labor Day, New Years Day), play time will be open the 2nd Monday of the month.
What to Expect When You Come to Play
Both locations managed by First Chance for Children offer experiences for children ages 0-5. The spaces are set up with fun activities from art supplies, infant areas, and riding toys, there’s something for every child’s interest.
- Food and Drink
- Snacks are available for children and coffee and tea is available for parents. Outside food and drink is allowed, however we ask that you are mindful of those with allergies and avoid bringing peanut and other common allergen foods.
- Outdoor Play
- The Columbia location has an outdoor, unsupervised playground.
- Toy Check-out
- Both locations have toys available to check out and take home. You can borrow up to four toys for up to one month at a time.
- Diapers and Wipes
- Diapers are provided in the bathrooms for use during your time at the Lend and Learn. If you are in need of extra diapers let a staff know and they can help.
- One-to-One Support
- Staff are trained in child development information and community resources. They would be happy to answer any questions you might have about your child and the resources available to you.
- Group Events
- We provide fun activities in the community from April-October. Ask a staff member about dates and locations and check out our Facebook page for more information.
Rules and Procedures
We have just a few general guidelines to keep the space safe and families healthy. If you have any questions or concerns give us a call or talk to the Lend and Learn Educator.
- General Safety
- Our goal is to keep Lend and Learn a safe inviting space for all families. We ask that positive, clean language is used in the space and we do not support corporal punishment. If this guideline is not being following you may be asked to come back when you can model appropriate talk and behavior. We also understand as a part of normal development that kids can have challenging behaviors and mistakes happen. However, if your child has continuing behavior that puts other children’s safety at risk you may be asked to leave and return when the behaviors do not put other children at risk.
- Children and adults who are currently exhibiting symptoms of (or have had the following symptoms during the past 24 hours) fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or general physical illness should not visit the Lend & Learn Library. If a child or adult arrives at Lend and Learn with symptoms of illness or develops symptoms while here they will be asked to leave until they are well. If you or your child become ill with a serious communicable disease, such as influenza, within 24 hours after visiting one of our play spaces we ask that you contact First Chance for Children so we can take extra precautions to reduce the spread of illness.
- Enrollment and Signing In
- There is a one page enrollment form for participation in the program. The information we gather helps up get funding from donors and foundations to keep the program open and free.
- Toy Check Out
- Families can check out up to 4 toys for one month and renew for a second month. We do not charge for missing or broken pieces, but ask that you let us know so that we can replace the items.
- While First Chance does not require you or your child to be current on the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended immunizations to use our space and equipment, we do strongly recommend the practice of immunizations to reduce the spread of communicable diseases.