Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy is one of my top Play Therapy theories you can see me using in the Playroom! Check out more about Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy HERE! And check out some of my favorite interventions and free downloads HERE, HERE, and HERE!
During one of my Play Therapy Consult groups the topic came up of the need that Play Therapists have to limit or pair down play supplies. One of my consultees asked “if you could bring any three toys to a session, what would you bring?”, and my goodness I LOVED that question.
First off I loved it because I always love a good challenge and creativity. Secondly, I loved it because being selective with toys is a reality that many Play Therapists go through, like, in cases of sending Play Therapy Kits home with clients, Play Therapists who travel between schools, or do in-home Play Therapy.
Now, each Play Therapists is going to respond to that question differently BUT after some deep thinking here are the three that I came up with and why!
Crayons and Paper
This is a pretty classic artistic and play material. And with this one the sky is the limit. You can make all sorts of things with paper from art, drawings, fortune tellers, paper airplanes, or with some tape and a little creativity even big feeling eaters! You could draw your own Rainbow Regulation activities and play a number of different artistic games or prompts about emotional regulation.
This is a close second because there are so many games to play with a simple deck of cards. Children can demonstrate mastery or self esteem skills by being the leader and teaching you about a card game OR you can practice experiential regulation and modeling in the moment if a card game gets a bit intense. There are also so many games you can pair therapeutic rules with such as this activity HERE!
This last one was the toughest one for me. As I was thinking about a Play Therapy kit I wasn’t exactly sure if saying “sand tray and miniatures” was quite fair because that could literally mean 1,000 different toys. To keep with simplicity I went with Legos due to the dynamic nature and creative adaptability of Legos. You can build worlds, people, or other activities that help children express feelings. There are even therapists such as Althea Simpson, LCSW, RPT-S that have significant expertise in using LEGOs in Play Therapy. Check her out HERE and HERE!
What about you? If you only had three toys that you could bring with you to a Play Therapy session what would you bring and why? Share in the comments below!
AND if you are looking for more tools for your Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy Toolbox check out this training HERE!
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I'm Ann Meehan, an LPCC,