SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – New sites are popping up that allow parents to rent toys for their children, instead of buying them.

Every six weeks, Hemali Zaveri receives a fresh supply of toys for her son Aditiya. Zaveri rents her toddler’s toys from an online company called, one of several that cater to the under-five crowd.

“We live in a small apartment, and it works out good for us because we don’t have to keep stocking all those toys,” Zaveri said.

Rental plans typically start around $20 a month for four toys. Most sites will allow kids to play with their toys and when they’re ready, customers return the rented playthings in a postage-paid box. After getting the toys back, the company will send another shipment.

For an even cheaper alternative, there are free toys to be found at the Children’s Council of San Francisco. The Children’s Council is one of a handful of toy libraries in the Bay Area that are open to the public.

According to Jessica Bowme of the Children’s Council, patrons can borrow up to four toys per month. Organizers will make phone calls if toys go unreturned.

For parents who find their children tiring of their toys, renting and borrowing can be a cheap alternate to having castaway toys occupy the home.

Below are more toy libraries in the Bay Area for families to check-out:

Wu Yee Children’s Services

4 C’s of Sonoma County

River Child Care in Sonoma County

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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