My Top 10 Favorite Gifts for the Play Therapy Room


As a play therapist people are always asking me what I need to complete my play therapy room, which of course I answer a play room is never really done.  Here is a list of  10 items to give your play therapist this Christmas. Play therapists, feel free to add your top favorite gifts for your playroom in the comments!
1. Sandtray miniatures
2. Art supplies
3. Gift cards to craft stores or toy stores
4. Dollhouse furniture
5. Children’s books or activity books
6. People (can be family figures or people in the neighborhood)
7. Puppets
9. Board games
10. Sand!
You can find these items many places online, and of course at your regular retailers, like Target and Walmart.
I like:

Dolls help Women in Kenya Support their Families

I want to introduce you to Garry and Brenda Kean. Garry and Brenda Kean are missionaries in Nairobi, Kenya. You can see more of their story and ministry here. A part of there mission there is through their sewing ministry, Jacaranda Creations, helping women earn a living. Often these women would otherwise turn to prostitution or homemade beer making. Instead these women sew beautiful creations such as dolls, animal toys, bags, and purses.

They recently launched a children’s sponsorship program. For $35.00 per month a family or individual can sponsor a child from the slums to go to school. The sponsorship amount includes funds that will allow us to purchase a uniform and shoes for the child, school supplies, school fees and one meal per day. We follow up with the children in the program as well., Jacaranda Kids in this area as well.

I have posted several pictures where you can see the beautiful mother carrying her baby, and if you look closely you can see the baby peeking out from behind her mother. What a beautiful way to show the bond between a mother and child. I wanted to purchase these beautiful dolls they make which is a mother carrying a baby. I can feel confident that not only do I have a great, nurturing toy for my play room, I am also helping other women and children have better lives. Please take a look at their website and check out the Kean’s full ministry in Kenya. If you are interested in ordering their beautiful dolls please email me and I will send you Brenda Kean’s contact information. They do not have a website where you can order online. These dolls are handmade and are shipped from Kenya. To email me, you can find my address under the Referral Info tab of my blog, or if you click on my profile there is an “email me” button.

Sandtray Therapy 101

filley imageI recently attended a wonderful 2-day sandtray workshop with Denise Filley at Marietta Counseling Center for Children and Adults in Marietta, GA. I have been using sandtray work with my clients since I began this journey of becoming a play therapist, this was the most comprehensive training on sandtray work that I have attended. We covered a range of topics including materials, history of sandtray therapy, and also different perspectives of using the sandtray.

This workshop was highly experiential, including practicing with a partner, group activities, and also individual sandtrays.My favorite part of the training was a partner activity where we did mutual story telling in the sandtray. I had the privilege of practicing that activity with a co-worker, and we took turns picking a figure and adding a story line. I found that after this weekend workshop, we created about 6-7 different types of sandtrays, and I stayed with the same partner throughout the training. At the end of the training we had a larger group tray with about 4-5 different members. We all took turns adding figures until we thought the tray was finished. I found it to be very process oriented, and by the end of the training felt more relaxed and had relieved some stress that I had been experiencing at the time, in addition to feeling like I build some positive relationships with other therapists.

The staff at Marietta Counseling showed professionalism and also hospitality by providing breakfast in the morning, snacks and beverages throughout the training, answering questions, encouraging networking, and also the time they spent setting up all of the sandtray figures!

After this training I felt prepared to go back to work and utilize the techniques we learned right away. I look forward to practicing and increasing my experience using sandtray therapy. I hope to attend future trainings led by Denise Filley, as well as held at Marietta Counseling Center for Children and Adults.


Denise Filley’s Workshop Schedule

Information about Marietta Counseling Center for Children and Adults

View a Play Room

You may be wondering what a play therapy room looks like. Click on this link for the University of North Texas Center for Play Therapy and experience what a play therapy room can typically look like. Their website also is a good resource for parents who may have questions or concerns about play therapy. You may also view photos of a play room from Pam Dyson’s website. There are links to her website and blog on the right hand side of this page.