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Reserved Play Sessions

We are thrilled to give members the chance to play in our space again!

We are welcoming back PTLL members who would like to play at the PTLL.

We're not taking this step lightly or without significant precautions to protect our members' health and safety. We are taking this step with a tremendous amount of joy and hope.

We know there is A LOT of information on this page. Please read it over carefully; it's all important. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Here's how it works:

  • Before signing up for a play slot, members must complete a brief training session. This applies even to members who have completed VOD training in the past.

  • Members who would like to can sign up for a slot. Reserving a slot in advance is required.


  • When you sign up, the form will ask how many people are in your group. We are operating at limited capacity, so please answer this accurately! If additional family members decide to join you, you must sign up again for additional slots. Please include all children, even the tiniest babies.

  • Our current capacity limit is 40 people. This represents 50% of the PTLL's normal operating capacity and is intended to allow people from separate households to physically distance while in the space.

  • When you sign up, you can see how many slots are available. If you're looking for an emptier time slot, feel free to sign up at the last minute.

  • Slots are for three hours in the morning, afternoon, or evening. You don't have to be at the toy library for the entire three hours. Still, since signing up for a slot makes it unavailable to others, we really encourage you not to sign up for times when you can only plan to be at the PTLL for just a few minutes.

  • You'll be on your own in the space (no VOD staff) and responsible for opening/closing type duties as needed. We'll make sure you have all of this information in an easy-to-access format.

  • Remember that the PTLL belongs to all of us but it also belongs to each of us. We want, always, for our members to feel a sense of collective ownership over the space. And we know that collective responsibility can sometimes create the feeling that "someone else" will take whatever action is needed. If you find yourself thinking that "someone should do something" -- remember that you are someone. Every member should feel empowered to take action that's needed, whether that means cleaning up a spill or dealing with a problem that comes up. (If you aren't sure how to handle an issue, please do be the someone who shoots an email to our Board -- -- so that we can take action quickly.)

We hope your kids will love playing at the PTLL again, and we're so excited to enjoy each other's company again!

But we also know that COVID is not yet over, and we still need to take precautions to keep us all safe.

So here's the less fun rule-type stuff that we expect from you:

  • Everyone should clean up after themselves. Work with your children to put away any toys they take out, so that others do not need to do it for you.

  • You may use the general play space, bathrooms, and kitchen. The art room is currently in use as a toy quarantine area; please stay out of this space. Please also stay out of the office and the back closet.

  • Masks: We are currently following the Pittsburgh Public Schools' masking policy: masks are required of all guests ages 2 and up while community transmission rates are HIGH; masking is recommended during periods of moderate transmission; and masking is optional when rates are LOW. COVID-19 Community Level information is pulled from the CDC’s COVID-19 County Check for Allegheny County. For more information, click here.

  • Hand hygiene: Please wash your hands/your children's hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering the space and regularly throughout your visit (especially before eating).

  • Physical Distancing: Do your best to maintain 6 feet of distance between your household and other households.

  • Eating/drinking: All food and drink should be consumed at the tables behind the front desk (this was always the rule!). Since masks must be removed, please try to eat at times when other families are not -- or sit at opposite ends if it cannot be avoided. Snacks remain available for purchase in our kitchen! Please wash/sanitize your hands prior to getting snacks/handling the cash box.

  • Surface disinfecting: Sanitizing wipes will be available, and we encourage you to wipe down surfaces as you see fit and especially before leaving. If any toy or surface comes into contact with your child's mouth, it must be sanitized right away or removed from other children's reach and sanitized before you leave the play space.​

  • Skip the play session if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of any illness, including but not limited to fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Skip the play session if you've been in contact (within the past two weeks) with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Cancel your reservation, and please do make a new one at a later time!

  • The PTLL is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive space for all families and children. We realize that COVID safety requirements can be a struggle for many children and especially for neurodivergent children. We care about the needs of these children (and adults) as well as the needs of children (and adults) who have medical conditions that put them at high risk of serious illness from COVID. Sometimes it can feel like these are competing needs, but our guidelines are designed for the protection of everyone.

    • We want to emphasize that we expect members who come for in-person play to abide by these guidelines and do their absolute best to help their children comply as well. We do not expect perfection from children, but we do expect effort from adults.

    • If your family includes a child (or adult) who is at high risk, and you'd like to schedule a private play session (with no other households), please contact our Board of Directors by emailing, and we will do our very best to accommodate you.

    • Families that include children who have a lot of trouble with our guidelines may find that visiting the PTLL at this time is not very enjoyable. We hope very much that conditions will improve soon and we may be able to relax the guidelines. In the meantime, contact-free toy lending remains available!

  • These rules apply regardless of your vaccination status! We realize that many grown-ups are now fully vaccinated (and we're so happy about that!), and we know that CDC has relaxed many recommendations for fully vaccinated folks. However, we are not verifying anyone's vaccination status upon sign up. For everyone's safety and peace of mind, please follow these rules while in the play space.

As we take begin to take baby steps back toward something that looks vaguely like our old lives, we recognize that everyone has their own experience of this past year. Each of us has a different story, a different journey, and a different starting point. Some of us might have kids who have been back in the classroom for months, or kids who never stopped attending daycare because we're essential workers...or kids who will be virtual until next fall. We all have different levels of comfort, different concerns, different risk assessments, different fears.

Our biggest ask of you, as we begin to share a play space once again, is this:

Please show respect, kindness, empathy, and compassion to one another.

Let's care for each other as our PTLL community does so well. Let's show our children how it's done. Let's all take a moment to have patience with those who are trying, and to have patience with these young children who have been through a really difficult year...some of whom are young enough that they've never had the chance to experience life without a pandemic. Some families will want to interact with others as much as possible, and some families will want to avoid others as much as possible, and some will be in-between. All are okay, all are welcome. When you're sharing the play space with another family, do your best to understand and respect their comfort level, and help your kids to do the same. Let's work together to make these play sessions a wonderful time for all of us!

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