THE children of The National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM) can now enjoy playtime in their newly set up toy library at the society’s branch in Penang.
The toy library, a brightly-decorated room, looks inviting with shelves filled with soft toys, figurines, toy cars and other educational games.
It was set up under the Toys Stories programme which was co-organised by the Children & Child Heart Clinic and the Mutiara Women Organisation.
They were helped by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as the 2 Way Centre and NASOM.
Organising chairman Dr Sim Joo Seng said that play therapy was important for children at the centre.
“As they play with the toys, they learn to interact with other children. This helps them to improve their speech,” he said.
“This is the first toy library set up under the programme. We hope to open up more such libraries with other NGOs on a monthly basis.
“We have networked with other organisations and collected many unwanted toys. We clean up the toys first before giving them to the children to play,” he said.
Dr Sim also hopes to start with a similar project involving books next year.
NASOM Penang branch coordinator R. Genges expressed her happiness over the new library.
“The centre finally has a toy library. Before this, all the toys were scattered about in classrooms.
“We’ll soon come up with a timetable to set aside playtime for the children in the library,” she said.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s wife Betty Chew was present to officiate the opening of the toy library at NASOM Penang recently.
She is also the patron of the Toys Stories project.
NGOs who are interested in setting up toy libraries can contact Dr Sim at 04-658 4058.
Those who wish to donate toys can do so at NASOM, Pulau Tikus assemblyman Koay Teng Hai’s service centre, the Children & Child Heart Clinic, Montes-sori Children’s House, Penang Downs Syndrome Association, 2 Way Centre, Sim Children & Child Heart Clinic and Gama Supermarket & Departmental Store Sdn Bhd.