When I ran Play Therapy for many years, I never spent a penny on advertising. All I had to do was open the door to the therapy room during the break, and immediately a child would appear in the doorway curious about what was inside. And the child was followed by a parent.... In the kindergartens it was the same, but instead of a parent there were more children who necessarily wanted their "Special Hour", or Play Therapy session. And once they had had at least one Play Therapy session, they mostly asked when they could come again.
The Play Therapy room is clearly different from other child therapy spaces: it is bright and cheerful. There is access to water. Ideally, there should be a sink with running water in the room. The room is not necessarily always tidy. More often than not, children find something of interest as soon as they enter. All things are arranged in such a way that they are within the child's reach.
Every Play Therapy room looks different. Despite this, the types of toys, creative materials are the same all over the world.
In each Play Therapy room you will find:
- different kinds of vehicles: cars, trucks, emergency vehicles, aeroplanes, trains, boats,
- toy telephones - preferably two of the same kind (for non-direct conversations),
- movement therapy materials: ropes, pompoms, sashes, fans,
- musical instruments,
- puppets, large and small, aggressive and shy animals,
- dress-up accessories: like a crown, policeman's hat, wizard's hat, wand...,
- a doll's house,
- accessories for regressive play: dummies, baby bottles,
- accessories for dynamic play, expressing anger: foam swords, guns, foam balls, Boo bag...., boxing bag/cushion,
- books with therapeutic stories using metaphors,
- blankets and pillows,
- tray or large container for 'dirty play',
- sandbox with blue bottom and blue sides for sandbox therapy,
- miniature figures for sandbox therapy: people, animals, plants, buildings, crystals, stones...
- creative materials: paints, crayons, papers, clay, plasticine, pastry, markers.
The number of toys is not important. What is important is that they are SAFE FOR THE CHILD.
The most important thing, in turn, is that the child has freedom of choice, for it is the child who will project his or her feelings onto the toys in a way that he or she chooses for himself or herself.
As you can see, the therapist also has freedom of choice when shopping .
One last important thing: it is better to collect toys than to just collect them.