Recommended Toys for the Playroom


  • Hannah Robinson


When working with children in counseling, it is often difficult to decide which toys to include in the playroom. Landreth (2012) recommends that toys be intentionally selected instead of collected. Play is a child’s universal language and toys are their words; therefore; each and every toy should be purposeful (Landreth, 2012). The carefully chosen toys allow children an ability to express a full range of emotions, with toy categories including the following: real-life toys, acting-out aggressive-release toys, and toys for reactive expression and emotional release. Real-life toys may include toys that can represent figures and materials in the child’s life such as puppets, dolls, vehicles, a play kitchen, a cash register, and food. Acting-out aggressive release toys include toys such as a bop bag, play guns, and a shark. Finally, toys for reactive expression and emotional release may include paints, sand, and Play Doh. With these toys in the playroom, the therapist is able to establish a positive relationship with the child in which the child can express a wide range of feelings, explore real-life experiences, test limits, develop a positive self-image, develop self-understanding, and develop self-control (Landreth, 2012). Further recommendations for specific toys to include in your playroom as well as detailed information regarding structuring your playroom can be found in Landreth (2012).


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