More Oklahoma County families are taking advantage of a toy library in Oklahoma City.
Aside from putting educational toys into kids' hands, the Resource Center at Rainbow Fleet can also save parents hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Parents and child care providers have access to all the toys throughout the entire year for the same price as it would cost to buy one of the toys at a toy store.
Two-year-old Lakely moves from one toy to the next in a matter of minutes. That's why the Resource Center is so valuable to her mom, Star Gomez.
“This is like Disneyworld for me. I walk in and I'm kind of like ‘Whoa,'” said Gomez.
Rainbow Fleet is a non-profit specializing in child care resources and referrals. Its toy center is stocked with age-appropriate educational and developmental toys, games and learning materials aimed at kids up to 5 years old.
“I've been a teacher for 10 years and I loved having that kind of thing in the classroom and I never thought as a parent I could have such great resources in my own home,” Gomez said.
For $40 a year, parents and child care providers can check out up to 10 toys for up to a month, then swap out for more. Child development experts have hand-selected each toy to help young kids get ready for school.
“With kids, you never know what they're going to like and you never know how long they'll be interested in it and usually it's not very long, they have a pretty short attention span so in this case, they can just bring that toy back,” said Carrie Bullard, Rainbow Fleet executive Director.
You could spend as much as $4,800 in a store buying all the same toys as the resource center provides for $40 a year.
“Instead of buying that, I have a whole year of age-appropriate things, which also is huge for me,” Gomez told News 9. “I have an almost one year old and an almost three year old and they need different things.”
Aside from all the toys, the Resource Center at Rainbow Fleet also has a room full of bags stuffed with age-appropriate books for kids. The non-profit sanitizes every toy between trade-ins.
The Resource Center is located inside Rainbow Fleet Child Care at 3024 Paseo in Oklahoma City.