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Our toy library experience: A saving grace

by Christine Knee Chong

My husband and I embarked on a very exciting yet daunting journey 7 months ago when we adopted our gorgeous 5-and-a-half year old son from Taiwan.

The first few months were admittedly really challenging for all of us as we got used to each other and as our son started adapting to life in Melbourne.

Our son only spoke Mandarin when we brought him home and we communicated via Google translate, simple picture books and non verbal communication.

It was a requirement that one of us parents stayed at home with him at least for 6 months prior to sending him to school to allow for his smooth transition and attachment, which is a role that I took on.

We joined the Maroondah Toy Library within the first few weeks of our son arriving in Melbourne.

We made great use of the variety of puzzles and board games available as well as the age appropriate toys. It was through daily play utilising these resources that we were able to observe our son blossom in his grasp of the English language as well as bond with us in family time.

Now our son is fluent in English and really has come to love board game evenings and we have advanced from basic board games to more complex ones that are suitable for his age.

We have found Bec to be extremely helpful too as she made suggestions of appropriate toys for our son. Being a first-time parent to a 5-and-a-half year old was very daunting initially, but I found that through visiting the toy library and doing my volunteering sessions, Bec was super encouraging and the toy library became a friendly part of my parenting community.

Now our son is ready for prep and we really are grateful for our journey and for the toy

library for being a huge part of it.

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