What Toys Do I Need For Play Therapy? | Aggressive & Emotional Release Toys

Almost every play therapist has heard the famous quote from Gary Landreth "Toys are children's words and play is their language."


As a play therapist, it is essential for us to have the right toys in our office so that our clients can communicate with us and do the work!


That is why today's post will be part of my series of essential toys for play therapy.


In previous weeks, I talked about the Child Centered Play Therapy categories of real life toys and expressive/creative toys.


This week's post will finish the round up of the Child-Centered Play Therapy toy necessities by discussing the various aggressive and emotional release toys that are used in Child Centered Play Therapy.


Let's get playing!




Punching bags are a great way for kids to release their anger in a safe way

So what are aggressive and emotional release toys? These are toys that children can use to express more inherently "negative" feelings (anger, frustration, irritation, anxiety, depression.....) in a safe way.



What are some examples of aggressive and emotional release toys?

  • Bop bag

  • Toy soldiers

  • Pillows

  • Stuffed animals

  • Balls

  • Egg cartons

  • Paper

  • Bubble wrap

  • Pretend swords (I personally like to use pool noodles!)

  • Pretend guns

  • Pretend shields

  • Handcuffs

  • Rubber knife

  • Scary/aggressive animals (insects, sharks, dinosaurs...)

  • Scary/aggressive puppets (bees, snakes, dragons, alligators.....)


Why are aggressive and emotional release toys helpful in play therapy? Aggressive and emotional release toys will always be a hot topic in the field of play therapy! There are many thoughts and feelings about if these toys should be in the space or not.


According to Child Centered Play Therapy, it is such an important category of toy to have.


Aggressive and emotional release toys can help children express anger, frustration, irritation, and so many more "negative" feelings that they aren't given permission to experience anywhere else.


In your play therapy office, your clients are allowed to be as mad as they want!


I personally love to have options for children to get their anger out in a safe way in my office, such as having paper to rip, pillows to hit, egg cartons to destroy and more.


That wraps up the three categories of toys necessary for Child Centered Play Therapy: real life toys , expressive/creative toys, and aggressive/emotional release toys.


Next up will be my must have games and books for your play therapy office!



Want to skip ahead and grab a list of all the goodies from my toys in play therapy series? I made the ULTIMATE Child Therapy Supplies handout just for you! Click here to get your copy today!






Until next time, Play On!









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