Traditional, non-directive play therapy instructs the play therapist to withhold from labeling objects in a play therapy room until the child labels the item. The reason for this is to allow the child free reign for their imagination, which can enhance the therapeutic process. Most play therapists will agree that not labeling items takes some practice, but pays off in the end. Here are some fun examples of what common play therapy toys can become in the play room
These marbles have been bombs and precious stones.
This small Ikea ironing board has been a surf board and baby bed.
This oven has been a prison and a race track.
My sandbox has been everything from a war zone to a zoo to a place for quiet time.
My slinky has been trip wire and a jail for small dolls.
One of the virtues of being very young is that you don’t let the facts get in the way of your imagination.
A sand tray does not have to be purchased from an expensive therapy store. My husband made this sand box for me and the best part is that it’s made with love! After sanding it down really good so as not to cause splinters, I painted the outside a hunter green and inside a blue color. I bought play sand at a local Home Depot. Kids will often use this for pretend play while I am sometimes more directive in the activities with teens.