What Toys Do I Need For Play Therapy? | Expressive & Creative 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.



Last week, I talked about the real life category of toys used in Child Centered Play Therapy.


This week's post will talk about the expressive and creative category of toys that are used in Child Centered Play Therapy. Let's get playing!




Arts and craft supplies are at the core of the expressive and creative toy category



So what are creative and expressive toys? These are toys that children can use to express themselves creatively and release emotions.



What are some examples of creative and expressive toys?

  • Art supplies (paint, crayons, markers, colored pencils)

  • Clay

  • Play dough

  • Plain white paper

  • Colored paper

  • Stickers

  • Glue

  • Tape

  • Glitter glue

  • Glitter

  • Puppets

  • Puppet theater

  • Dress up clothes

  • Masks


Why are creative and expressive toys helpful in play therapy? These toys are great to have in your play therapy space because they can help lead the way for both non-directive and directive therapeutic work.


For example, your client could gravitate towards the art supplies and start drawing their emotional experience or in a more directive setting, you can prompt them to do the same.


Puppets and dress up clothes are also incredibly valuable in that children can try on different roles and see how they fit in their life. Puppets can also be a great way for children to put some space between themselves and the therapeutic work in an appropriate way. It can be so much easier for a monkey puppet to talk about his feelings versus the child themselves!


The sky is the limit for what you and your clients can with creative and expressive toys!



Want all of the content from the toys in play therapy series in one place? To make it that much easier, I made the ULTIMATE Child Therapy Supplies handout just for you! Click here to get your copy today!







Until next time, Play On!











Do you have the therapeutic skills but not the business know how to start a private practice? (because who is even taught the business side of therapy in graduate school?!?)


Schedule a FREE Playful Private Practice Strategy Session with me today to get you support and strategy you need to have a playful and prosperous child therapy private practice