5 Benefits of Sand Play Therapy for Children
As far as child therapy products go, sand trays are among the most frequently recommended. In addition, they provide a level of versatility that helps children express themselves in multiple ways. Here's a short look at some of the other benefits sand play items can offer for children. Sensory Experiences
One of the best things about safe sand trays is the different sensory experiences they can offer to children. A tray of white sand and a tray filled with moon sand provide very different sensations, and children often comment on how they can interact with each one. In addition to differentiating between the types of sand, children can comment on how the sand is different from potting or backyard soil. Creative Expression
No matter what kind of sand you have, it's an excellent medium to let children express their creativity. Moon sand can be built up, smashed down, and molded into a variety of shapes that white sand can't be. In addition, items like seashells, castle towers, and other therapy toys can enhance the experience. A play therapy session can last anywhere from 30 to 50 minutes, and sand play could be a large portion of that.Social Skills
When children are busying their hands and letting their minds wander, it opens up lines of communication that they might not have pursued otherwise. Even young adolescents can benefit from a small sand tray or some form of putty during conversation. It's especially useful in a group setting, as sand creates an opportunity for children to build something together. Learning Through Play
Learning through play is something children do every day, and sand play therapy is another way for them to do just that. In addition to opening up creative avenues, more directed activities can foster reasoning skills, as well as giving children an activity to focus their attention on. Theraputic Benefits
Child therapist Kim Peterson says she couldn't imagine her practice without a sand tray. She explains that her tray is often used to help children "process, communicate, and create." Whether through recreating events or having creative freedom, it's a therapy item Peterson swears by.
"The sand can be a powerful tool for any therapist," she says. For more child therapy products and therapy sand resources, visit ChildTherapyToys.com.