Well, this was a challenge.
Having a small space and having to make a super functional room for several therapists who see ALL AGES.
For many years, I’ve gotten questions about if I didn’t have ALLLL the space I do for training (see below) how would I manage it?
Now I get to tell you!
Recently, we’ve added a couple of new sandtray therapists to my group practice so we converted one of the extra rooms into another small sandtray/play room.
But knowing that we only had a super finite amount of space, what did we do? What did we consider?
Good news. I’m going to walk you through all of it WITH PICTURES!
We have two sandtrays.
Because we knew we would be seeing both littles and adults in this room, we wanted to have two different types of sand. In one tray, I bought new Sands Alive from Amazon for the younger kids. Since a ton of littles love to just mold and move the sand, we placed this type of sand since it gets used A LOT by our younger population.
As you can see from the picture, the sandtray is not completely filled with the sand. We did this because our little ones will often get this sand all over the place and so if we had less, than it’s a less chance of a mess being created.
Also note that we placed a plastic cover under the sand because this particular sand, Sands Alive, is a nightmare to get out of carpet. If it lands on the plastic, we can more easily just brush it off or pick it up.
For the other sandtray, I chose to use Stardust from Jurassic Sand.
Of course, Jurassic sand is the most premium sand and I super love the Stardust because of the texture and the way it reflects the light. Many clients call it ‘diamond sand.’
Adults and teenagers almost exclusively build in the Stardust sand; however, younger children and even adults like to use it as a regulation method using sifters, spoons, and rakes.
Shelves for miniatures.
Since we didn’t have a large amount of space for miniatures, I chose to use shallow shelves to make miniatures easy to see and organize. For my training area, I have deeper shelves, which are great for having LOTS of miniatures but it will get messy SUPER easy.
This shelving unit I purchased from Amazon is a multi-tiered media unit. These media storage units are not as easy to find as several years ago but they are still around.
Also, a couple of other items to note, my husband screwed these into the wall for safety (don’t want them coming down on littles) and I purchased WHITE shelves since the darker colors show sand way more easily and make the room look messy faster.
Although we chose to do open shelving, we utilize LOTS of baskets for some of the items commonly used by smaller children. Baskets are your friends for animals, rocks, transportation etc.
Never doubt the power of a basket!
Types of miniatures
Again, this room will be used for all ages, so we wanted to have miniatures appropriate for ALL ages.
What does this mean?
We have animals, people, families, bridges, fantasy figures (yes even Elsa – read this post to find out why), nature, abstract symbols, and a variety of other miniatures that seem to land in trays with all types of clients.
Other items included
I’ve often been asked, “If you only had a small amount of room to create a safe space for children (which I do for this particular challenge), what would you put in the space?”
The answer is really simple: art supplies and a dollhouse.
Check them out below.
Younger clients will often use the dollhouse and the nurture toys to create environments to help them work/play out their feelings. Many miniatures get placed in the dollhouse and the dollhouse often lands in the sandtray as well.
Art supplies allow for clients to create and learn coping skills through directive activities or use the art materials as an expression of what is going on inside.
There you have it folks – a well-equipped, functioning sandtray and play therapy area to be used for ALL ages.
The verdict so far from my therapists: THEY LOVE THE SPACE.
Want even more tips about how to make your sandtray life better?
Click this link to get a one-step, no-fail sandtray technique that works every time with your clients.