March 27, 2012

Looking for sand for your sandtray?

There are many sources, most of them online, that sell sand that can be used in sandtrays. The prices vary as much as the color and texture of the sand. I replace my sand frequently so I need affordable sand that doesn't stretch my budget.

I found exactly what I need at Toys R Us. They carry a play sand from Fairmount Minerals that they profess to be the cleanest, highest quality play sand offered. Fairmount likes to refer to it as 100% clean, pure and fun! The smooth grains are thoroughly washed and dried to remove all contaminants and dirt. I've never had any issues with dust since I've been using this sand. Kids enjoy running their fingers and hands through the sand as much as they enjoy using miniatures to tell a story in the sand.

It's sold in a fifty pound bag and it's priced at only $6.49! Perfect sand at a perfect price. I just purchased a new bag last week. Now if I only had someone who could carry it from my car to the office.

How about you? Where do you get your sand and how much do you pay?

March 20, 2012

I'm featured in the Private Practice Toolbox blog of Julie Hanks, MSW, LCSW, BCD. Read about my adventures in private practice HERE.

March 13, 2012

Take a Tour of my Play Therapy Room

Take a peek inside the play therapy room of Registered Play Therapist Pam Dyson. Learn what toys and materials a child needs to explore their world, express their feelings and find creative solutions to problems.

March 12, 2012

Take What You Need

I find there is great value in giving a child a transitional item that bridges the work we do in the play therapy room to home, school and other settings. I've recently begun making some transitional items that are gaining positive feedback from both children and their caregivers. They're also affordable and easy to make.

I draw these free-handed, copy onto colored card stock and hang them on the bulletin board in my office waiting room. A parent and child often engage in a brief discussing over which tabs they will tear off and take with them when they leave my office. I've encouraged parents to make these and use them at home. And since I believe strongly in doing the things I encourage my clients to do I too am tearing off these tabs and putting them in my car, on my mirror, etc. as a reminder of what I need to be an emotionally healthy person.

DISCLAIMER:  I need to mention that these are not my original ideas. If I knew the originator I would give them credit and thanks for a simple concept that has a powerful I have stumbled upon variations of these on the internet and found this simple idea to have a powerful impact. 

Are you using this idea or plan to use it? I'd welcome your feedback on how you've adapted it to your setting and how it's been received.

March 8, 2012

Let's go on a Magic Carpet ride

Children in my play room can use their imagination to create places to visit that are unreachable in the real world. A visit to another place can be a catalyst for change.

A simple way to help a child travel to another world is with a magic carpet. I made this one using an inexpensive door mat I purchased at a discount store. I traced around a star-shaped cookie cutter with gold glitter paint and I free-handed some simple lines. No ride is complete without a genie lamp. Children love pretending to fly on this magic carpet. Problems seem smaller and more manageable when you're soaring above them.

March 6, 2012

Parenting Metaphors

Metaphors are in an integral part of play therapy and it's not limited to working with children. When parents consult with me regarding problematic behaviors it's vital for me to understand exactly what the parent is feeling. I will ask them to select an object that symbolizes their parenting experiences. Their explanation of why they chose that item helps me empathize with them and create an alliance with them.