Ecological and anti-inflation toys

It is now possible for children in the Lanaudière region to change toys for free when their interest in them drops. This is what the Élaine game box, in L’Assomption, offers, a new civic initiative focused on recovery and sharing.

“With us, it’s maybe 10% of the toys that are active, the others sleep in cupboards,” said Pierre-Étienne Baril, whom we met with his wife and two boys aged 3 and 11. months, a few days ago at Élaine’s game box. If all the families have the same “problem” as us, it becomes a problem for the environment.”

Thanks to this toy library, set up last March with the help of various partners, including the City of L’Assomption and the CISSS de Lanaudière, a child can borrow up to three toys and exchange them for others after of three weeks with the possibility of renewing the loan.


Ecological and anti-inflation toys

Simon Dessureault / QMI AGENCY

“The committee made up of parents is very aware of the inaccessible price of certain toys, the aim is to avoid waste and unnecessary purchases”, explained Cynthia Yale, manager of the shop, which was able to fill up with 500 toys thanks to to numerous donations and subsidies which have enabled the purchase of new toys.

“Toys are expensive, at least $30-40 sometimes, and the interest is fleeting, added Marie-Mylène Lavoie, also met on the spot with her spouse Alexandre Lainesse and their three children. There, we can try it and if the child likes it we renew it.

Five-year-old Léo Tremblay, who was accompanied by his mother Janie Laforest and his spouse, Mélissa Larocque, is already a big fan of the place.

“I never take the same toys and I understand that you have to bring them back later,” said the child who has already borrowed a four-wheeler, a motorcycle and superheroes.

“They take care of the toys more than when it’s theirs,” said Ms. Laforest. It makes them take responsibility.”


Regarding the motivation to return toys in good condition to the toy library, you should know that when a part is missing from a toy, a fee of $1 per part is expected.

The initiative also has other benefits for the children and their education, the parents told us.

“We focus more on the interests of the child, when we thought we had focused them, maintains Pierre-Étienne Baril. Sometimes by making him play something else, we realize that we could explore elsewhere.

Then there is the community aspect which should not be overlooked.

“Quietly, not quickly, we are going to clean up the toys that are still useful and we are going to share them between families,” Alexandre Lainesse told us.

“If I had known the resource before, there would be a lot of things I wouldn’t have bought,” added his spouse, Marie-Mylène Lavoie.

In addition to children from L’Assomption, those from Saint-Sulpice, L’Épiphanie, Repentigny and Charlemagne can also have access to this toy library.

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