December 19, 2011

Emotion Scale

A number scale is a great tool for helping children describe the intensity of their emotions.

December 13, 2011

Want to Learn More About Play Therapy?

Then check out our upcoming 2012 Play Therapy Training Schedule. We offer a variety of trainings for both beginning and advanced mental health professionals that will encourage and support you as you develop the skills needed to be an effective play therapist.

All trainings are presented in a relaxed, experiential atmosphere. You'll have an opportunity to network with other playful minded people and there's always chocolate to snack on during breaks.

The majority of our trainings are held in St. Louis, MO but if you can't come to us we can come to you! Contact us concerning your training needs and we can bring a play therapy training to your agency, organization or state play therapy branch. We offer a variety of topics from which to choose.

We also offer consulting services. Whether it's case consultations, help with setting up a play therapy room and selecting toys or marketing your play therapy practice we can help you achieve your professional goals.

What attendees are saying.....

“The training was great!  I learned so much helpful information and wanted to thank
you for offering affordable and relevant material.”

"Wonderful training with a lot of great information. The small group setting made it comfortable."

"It's nice to go away with ideas, concepts and techniques that can be implemented

"I'm definitely signing up for another training!"

The St. Louis Center for Play Therapy Training is an approved provider for the Association for Play Therapy #10-269

December 11, 2011

Photos from our December 10th training "Fun in the Sand: The Healing Power of Sandtray Play Therapy"

 Community sandtray
A second community sandtray

 Attendees creating personal sandtrays
 Personal sandtray being created
 Miniatures from which attendees could choose to create a sandtray
 Miniatures to use to create personal and community sandtrays
 Miniatures for sale at the training
 More miniatures that were available for purchase during the training
Pam Dyson, MA, LPC, RPT - director of the St. Louis Center for Play Therapy Training and Tammi Van Hollander, LCSW, RPT - our presenter

If you're interested in attending a future training event go to www.stlplaytherapy.com for more information and to register.

December 8, 2011


If you're just beginning to use sandtrays or you're on a budget there are many variations of trays. Here's a look at just a few.

December 5, 2011

December 2, 2011

Box of Feelings

Put some everyday objects into a box and have children come up with ways they can use those objects to manage their feelings.

November 28, 2011

Anger Sponge

Grab a sponge and an eye dropper you have a play therapy technique to help children deal with their anger.

November 27, 2011

Grab some ping pong balls, a permanent marker, a bowl of water and a slotted spoon or tongs to make Floating Feelings.

November 21, 2011

Thumbprint Feelings Book

All you need is a stamp pad, some paper and a marker and you can create a Thumbprint Feelings Book.

November 20, 2011

Let's Make Play-dough!

Play-dough is easy and inexpensive to make and it lasts longer than commercial products.


November 19, 2011

Let's Make Feelings Dice!

I found this blank dice pattern at Sparkle Box
 I had these stampers from Melissa and Doug.
I stamped six different expressions onto the dice pattern that I printed on card stock.
I cut it out, folded it and taped it together using double-sided tape.

 A child rolls the dice and the emotion that lands on top is identified. The child also shares a time when they experienced that feeling.

November 18, 2011

Using the Game "Don't Break the Ice" as a Play Therapy Tool

The more tools you have in your play therapy tool box the more likely you will be to select an activity that meets the needs of a specific child.
The book, Techniques-Techniques-Techniques: Play-Based Activities for Children, Adolescents & Families by Sueann Kenney-Noziska features a tool for assessment and engagement that I use often in my practice. It's called, "Ice Breaker" and it utilizes the Hasbro game, Don't Break the Ice.  

The basic premise of the game is that colored stickers are placed on the underside of the game ice cubes with each color corresponding to one of six categories. As players knock ice cubes out of the game, they shared something about themselves based on the color of the the sticker. You can read specific details of how to make and use the game on the Infinity Publishing web site. 

I've made some minor adaptations to the game to fit the specific needs of my clients. While playing this game a child's defenses are down and they're more likely to communicate their thoughts and feelings. 

This is an easy and affordable technique to create and it's adaptable to the population you work with. The only challenge to this game is actually setting the game up and putting the ice cubes into position. Many young children find this difficult so I use that as an opportunity to discuss frustration tolerance.

If you use this technique I'd enjoy hearing your comments on how variations of this game and how you find it helpful in regards to assessment and engagement strategies.

November 17, 2011

Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Attend the December 10 Training, "Fun in the Sand: The Healing Power of Sandtray Play Therapy."

10. Network with other therapists
9.   Experience your own sandtray
8.   Earn APT CE hours
7.   You’ll leave with a gift bag
6.   Door prizes during breaks
5.   One therapist will win a free training in 2012
4.   Sandtray miniatures will be for sale
3.   It’s an interactive training
2.   Tammi Van Hollander is an excellent presenter
1.   You’ll have FUN!


November 16, 2011

A Puppet Stage Made From a Tri-Fold Display Board and a Puppet Storage Solution

Here's an easy and inexpensive way to make a puppet stage.

It can be challenging to store puppets. I found a way to solve that problem.

November 15, 2011

Using Jenga as a Play Therapy Tool

The game of Jenga can be adapted for use in play therapy. This video clip describes several some therapeutic variations of this game.