From wooden toys to plastic ones - and now a shift to sustainable products, the Whanganui Toy Library continues to evolve as it gears up to celebrate 40 years of service within the community.
Despite a few setbacks from Covid-19, the charity is still operating as it has done for the last four decades to provide a variety of toys for children to rent out and play with.
Chairwoman Roanna Stokes said, like all things with Covid-19, the library had gone through a few changes just as has since it opened in August 1980.
She said they have grown both in size and in membership and currently have 68 families in their system.
They have also become a registered charity and continue to receive support and grants from funders such as Whanganui Community Foundation, 4 Regions, Watt and GOME.
"We have various connections to the community depending on need. Recently these include Men's Shed kindly fixing our toys in exchange for baking, Confluence showed a film and donated the proceeds to the library and an SPCA volunteer came and judged our school holiday cake baking competition."
Stokes said the library was originally opened for children needing therapy.
"It's actually an area we are starting to look more into, purchasing toys with regards to children with higher needs. So we are trying to get a couple of grants that can fund big foam mats families aren't going to necessarily buy but they would be a great learning tool for kids with physical or learning needs," Stokes said.
She said the main thing with the library was always trying to provide opportunities for kids to have access to things they wouldn't normally have access to in their home, at an affordable price.
And the toys themselves have changed over the last 40 years, too.
Wooden toys, which were very popular all those years ago, seem to have come back into fashion and are in high demand by a lot of families.
"We're working towards buying more sustainable products where we can.
"We also try to recognise that we buy plastic toys so that other people don't have to so we buy one Barbie so 40 families don't have to go and buy a Barbie."
She said there was a huge shift in society to be more conscious of where your items were coming from and, when purchasing items, people were now factoring in more ethical and sustainable purchases.
"The toy library hits all of those notes because we're only purchasing small amounts of things that get used. We have toys in our library that have been there for 20-plus years."
*The free event will be held on August 8 from 10am to noon at 142 London S.
Weather permitting, they hope to pop up a bouncy castle and have sports equipment out for children to play with.