What Toys Do I Need For Play Therapy? | Real Life 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. This will include the three categories of toys for Child Centered Play Therapy, real life toys, expressive/creative toys, aggressive/emotional release toys, in addition to games and books that can be used for directive play therapy!




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







If you're still with us, let's get into the real life toys!


So what are real life toys? These are quite simply toys that children see themselves or adults using in "real life."




Cars are an example of a real life toy in Child-Centered Play Therapy


What are some examples of real life toys?

  • Play Kitchen

  • Pretend Food

  • Doctor's Kit

  • Pretend Tool Kit

  • Pretend Phones

  • Cash Register

  • Pretend Money

  • Baby dolls

  • Baby bottle

  • Dollhouse

  • Animals

  • Cars, trucks, and emergency vehicles

  • People


Why are real life toys helpful in play therapy? Real life toys are a necessity in your play therapy office because they help your client make sense of the world around them.


It is very common for children in play therapy to act out different experiences that they have had or observations that they have made in the world around them. This could be reenacting a phone call that mom had or even their recent appointment at the doctor's.


Real life toys provide the words for your play therapy clients to be able to communicate and process their day to day life.



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?!?)


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