Toy Library in Seoul, South Korea
Sam owns roughly 9485093451083822754954 toys. As most mothers of toddlers quickly realize, very few toys have longevity when it comes to novelty and enjoyment for a toddler. As most homes in Seoul, our home is small. I can't fathom the thought of fitting in one more toy that will quickly become yesterday's news in our home. Once I heard of a toy library here in Seoul, I rushed to find more information. Toys that can be play with for a week, and when she tires of them I can exchange them for new ones.... SIGN ME UP! From what I gathered each district has it's own toy library. Some districts have more requirements for use than others. For example in Jamsil there is an income requirement. In our district of Yongsan there are no requirements other than residency in the district. The first time I went I was given an informational leaflet from the staff in English about the program and the requirements. (Sign up is free, as is rental, but there are steep late fees!) At the time I still did not have my Alien Registration Card so I had to come back after I got it. (If you need one check out my blog post HERE.) Applicants must also bring a "family relationship letter". I just went to the Yongsan-gu building and got one from the foreigner assistance window. On-line registration is also required. The website is all in Korean so the staff was kind enough to assist me during my visit to fill it out. There is a computer inside the library for patron use. The Toy Library for the Yongsan area is located inside the Samgakji subway station. We headed over on the 6 line and stopped to take some pictures inside the subway station.
Heading towards the Toy Library there is a nursing room which makes a perfect pit stop for feeding, or changing a little sippy cup sojourner.
The library itself is very nice. It has a large showroom filled with toys and in the back there is a padded playroom where Sam got to test out some of the larger toys for rent. (Yes, you can rent a toddler car, a basketball hoop, or a toddler slide!) If you are coming to Samgakji station from the 6 line you will not see it as soon as you exit. Start walking towards exit 7/8 and you will walk right by the Toy Library. (Directions on the website HERE.)
For a list of several of the toys available click HERE.
For a list of all the books and DVDs available click HERE.
For more pictures of the library click HERE.