Our story

Hills Community Toy Library (HCTL) started in 1979 and was originally known as Hills Community Toy Library Resource Centre (HCTLRC). The HCTLRC was run by four local Kindergartens: Stirling District, Stirling East, Aldgate and Bridgewater with voluntary support from parents.

In 1987 the HCTLRC moved to its current premises in Aldgate.

In 1991, the toy library became incorporated and became known as the Hills Community Toy Library Inc. (HCTL).

Play is the way

Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important for healthy brain development. Children use play from a very early age to engage with and interact in the world around them.

We select our toys carefully, focusing on quality, design, durability and toys that will encourage active learning and imagination.

Where we can, we avoid toys that may be seen to promote gender stereotypes or toys that are commercialised (i.e. Dora, Superheroes).

What is a toy library?

A toy library allows members to borrow toys, games and puzzles from a selection carefully chosen to support your child’s development. Toy libraries aim to support families and encourage togetherness with quality time spent playing with children.

The Hills Community Toy Library:

  • is an inexpensive way of accessing a wide variety of toys,
  • has quality educational items for loan,
  • offers a range of items covering all stages of growth and development,
  • provides an opportunity to meet other parents and caregivers, and
  • is an avenue for individuals to volunteer in their community.


The Hills Community Toy Library (HCTL) is a 100% volunteer-run organisation.

If you, or someone you know, are interested in volunteering but not needing or wanting to join the toy library we would still be keen to hear from you. Please contact us so that we can match your skills and interests to a small job or task.

Research indicates that volunteering enhances social networks, strengthens communities and provides benefits to the volunteer themselves so come and help us out!