GIANT doll’s houses, trikes, games and puppets can be hired to help families save money and give children a chance to play with something different.

Halton Toy Library charges just 50 pence a fortnight for any item, big or small.

It is part of Halton Play Council, a registered charity, which offers a range of services for parents, carers and anyone working with children.

Hale mum-of-two Joyce Reilly, aged 50, the new toy library worker, said: “I absolutely love it. I go out and about to children’s centres to run play and learn sessions.

“I have lots of contact with parents, child minders and children. It is very rewarding.”

The library in Mersey Road, Runcorn, also has a range of bigger toys for outside use or parties.

Joyce said: “One mum hired four large items for her child’s birthday party and it only cost £2.

“Some parents may wish to buy toys, such as a doll’s house, but are not sure if their children will play with them.

“They can hire it from us for a trial. Others may not have the permanent space for big toys but can have them for a short period.

“The library gives children the chance to develop their learning, share and socialise.”

The resource centre has a shop open Monday to Friday selling arts, crafts, games, stationery, and learning materials, and hires equipment to help community groups raise funds, such as, bingo machines and table games.

Meeting rooms are available for hire.

The library, play schemes and short breaks for children with additional needs are among services commissioned by Halton Council.

For details of the toy library call Joyce on 07814 298483 or e-mail and for information on Halton Play Council, call 01928 574087.