Whether you have been practicing play therapy for a long time or you are just starting out, it can be very helpful to have a go-to list of items and supplies to either equip or re-stock your play room so you have everything you need when you need it!

But what if you could only have 6 items for the playroom? What 6 would you choose?

There are 6 items for the playroom you simply must have. While traditionally pure child centered play therapy experts will teach that certain items have no place in the play room, I have found in my own work over the past 20+ years utilizing play therapy, these 6 items are must haves.

I teach therapists in my live webinars, my in-person workshops, recorded play therapy trainings and in supervision that the essence of child centered play therapy should always be the basis of AlL play therapy. What do I mean by that? Well, it’s essential to meet children where they are developmentally and in context of their current circumstances. It’s so important to watch, observe, listen with reflection and tracking from a place of compassion, sincere interest and curiosity in all of our play therapy. Based on this foundation, we can introduce more facilitative play based activities to support a child in having particular experiences that can be healing and foster learning and growth.

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6 Items for the Play Room

1. Legos®

If I could only take one play items with me to see a child I would take my lego collection. Building with legos® provides so many therapeutic opportunities there is actually something called Lego® -based therapy! You can use legos in individual play therapy or in groups. The benefits are countless! Here are some resources below:

Purchase this kit here!

This book  presents everything you need to know in order to set up and run a LEGO® group for children with autism spectrum disorders or related social communication difficulties and anxiety conditions.

Purchase this book HERE!

This guide explores the power of play, introduces the basics of brain plasticity and attachment theory, and shows exactly how to set up and run an effective Thera-Build group. A wide range of imaginative games and activities is included.

 

2. Fresh Crayons

I only use Crayola Brand Crayons because frankly I’ve found the off-brands just are not the same quality. I LOVE this 120 color Crayon tub!

Order YOUR Crayon tub HERE!

3. PlayDoh®

To address the hygenic concerns, I encourage you to purchase these individualized containers of PlayDoh so each child client has their own! They can mix them if they wish! You can keep each client’s PlayDoh collection in a labeled zip-loc bag and pull it out when that client visits your office!

Order your collection for your playroom HERE!

 

4. Dollhouse, people and other items

Absolutely have to have a doll house for your play therapy equipment supply and it’s important to have people and all the essential items to go inside the dollhouse. Here are several options you can find online or in your local super store. Here are some places to start.

More details about this dollhouse HERE.

This is a fold up doll house you will love!

Take a look at this doll house here!

Look for DIVERSITY to be reprsented with these collections of people for your doll house:

Black Doll house People

Asian Doll house People

Hispanic Doll house People

Diverse community People

White Family Doll house People

5. Puppets

Dr. Beth Onufrak is a Clinical Child Psychologist for children ages 3-8 and in her article called “You can tell me anything! I’m a puppet!” Why Play Therapy Works she explains how and why puppets are so effective in the course of play therapy. I don’t know what a play room would be without puppets. You can grow your collection of puppets over time and you can start with these resources below.

Order your people puppets HERE!

 

 

And be sure to have some animal puppets with moving mouths like these!

Order these animal puppets HERE!

The puppet that has gotten utilized the most in my play room is my turtle. His head can pull into his shell when he’s feeling shy.

Order YOUR turtle puppet HERE!

6. BALLS of all Sizes!

I couldn’t have done all the great play therapy I have done over the 20+ years of my career without balls! Here are some of my favorites to have on hand for serve-and-return connecting games and activities and so much more!

Texured knobby balls!

Buy knobby balls HERE!

Fill a baby-pool with ball pit balls for your playroom!

Buy ball pit balls HERE!

OR get the full set HERE!

 

Now it’s your turn! What would YOUR 5 top picks be if you could only have 5 items in your play room? Comment below!