Sandtray Therapy Miniatures

As a Mental Health Professional & Registered Integrative Sandtray Therapist I love how Sandtray Therapy Miniatures help people heal.  Have you heard of the movie, Welcome to Marwen, and how miniatures can help bring healing and hope to trauma survivors?

Seriously, this movie is inspired by a true story & I have my own story of how miniatures bring healing.

Want to know how Sandtray Therapy Miniatures help Trauma Survivors heal? Read more…

This blog post:

On this page, I’ll covers the who, what, where of Sandtray Therapy & Miniatures. I’ll also post an update on my FaceBook page when I find new & unique miniatures, woohoo!  

  1. Welcome to Marwen (movie)
  2. Why Sandtray Therapy?
  3. New Miniatures & Sweet Deals
  4. Miniatures for What Ages?
  5. 14 Places to Find Miniatures
  6. When to Find Miniatures
  7. Most Popular Miniatures
  8. Your Favorite Miniatures
  9. Join Moore Wellness

Important: This article has resources about restoring wellness, and is based on my research and my experiences.  This information is not meant to take the place of counseling or therapy.  If at any time you feel uncomfortable or need to talk to someone, wellness resources can help you find a counselor and resources that may be helpful.

Welcome to Marwen (movie)

“Putting together pieces from his old and new life, Mark meticulously creates a wondrous town where he can heal and be heroic.”

Oh how I am so excited to see this movie!! Inspired by a true story, this is how how miniatures can help bring healing and hope to trauma survivors.

Universal Studios and Forest Gump’s director have created a movie about artistic imagination “restores the human spirit.” The main character, Mark (Steve Carell), finds hope again after meeting an empowering woman. He creates a fantasy world of miniatures that also equips him with strength in his real life.

This is how I help people, by having a safe space for them to create their world of miniatures. Teens and adults come to me for counseling because they are in a crisis and they’re overwhelmed.

People process their pains, their struggles, their dreams through miniatures in Sandtray Therapy. They find meaning, strength, and resiliency to bounce back from life’s adversities. They heal, they love, they live.

Why Sandtray Therapy?

Well, I was introduced to Sandtray Therapy in graduate counseling school getting my masters in Mental Health Counseling. There was one day that changed my life and specialized my calling.

I remember sitting down with my chosen miniatures representing my family. It was my turn to share about my family, and I enjoyed sharing. Then we took turns processing, one example is asking clarifying questions.

My fellow graduate counseling student asked me one simple question, “Where is your miniature?”

My Own Miniature

I was shocked, I mean, surely I was in the family. Before I could speak, tears welled up in my eyes.

I had forgotten myself, I was not in the miniatures of my family. The whole time, I had carefully chose each family member, and I had forgotten myself.

This reality was exactly what I needed. For years, in fact my whole time being a mother, I had put others first. This is all good, until you forget about yourself completely.

Miniatures are Visual Images

Nobody needed to say a word after that moment. I could clearly see that I had forgotten myself.

These miniatures represented my reality, my life, my own choices.

I had forgotten about the importance of taking care of myself so that I could take care of others.

Whenever I fly, the flight crew explain that parents need to put on the oxygen mask first. Because if you as the parent, put on your child’s oxygen mask on them first, you may pass out before getting your own oxygen mask on. Then your child will have no parent to help them survive.

During an emergency, put the oxygen mask on yourself first.

Sandtray Therapy Miniatures

Trauma Recovery & Sandtray Therapy

Sandtray Therapy Miniatures represent real life, emotions, visual images stored in our right brain.

During Trauma Recovery, this is so important to have therapy that can help survivors heal. Sandtray Therapy is a non-directive, client-centered therapy that focuses on the client’s needs, client’s strengths, and client’s goals.

Miniatures are used as tools to help client’s process what is going on in their lives, their struggles, their relationships, their dreams. Clients choose miniatures and share their interpretation of wha the miniatures represent to them.

Miniatures are safe representations, client’s can bury them in the sand, box them up, and even take them out of their world.

Sandtray Therapy & Integrative Brain Experiences

The right brain matches the visual image with what’s going on internally, then the left brain finds words to identify what the images mean. Sandtray Therapy integrates the right and left parts of the brain together, bringing healing from the start.

It’s a magical and healing experience. Client’s come away amazed at how this works. And my clients are usually adolescents and adults of all ages.

So, that is why Sandtray Therapy Miniatures mean so much to me, both personally and professionally. People can process difficult experiences and practice coping skills using miniatures for trauma recovery.

Miniatures are wonderful healing tools integrating mind-body-spirit.

Beth Moore, PLPC, Registered Integrative Sandtray Therapist

New Sandtray Therapy Miniatures

If you like to learn more about Sandtray Therapy & Miniatures, join my FaceBook page. I share wellness resources and coping tools to help with anxiety. Future posts will include trauma recovery steps.

Disclaimer: Please note that this blog contains affiliate links.  This means that if you purchase through these links, the price will be the same for you.  And I’ll receive a small commission that helps support my blog and my family.  Hope you have a blessed day!

New Deals on Miniatures

These are fantastic deals on Miniatures, which can be used for Sandtray Therapy and Play Therapy. I hope you have as much fun as I did finding favorite Miniatures for your play therapy room.

DC Comics Multiverse Justice League Mera Figure, 6″

The Incredibles 2 Mr. Incredible 6″ Action Figure

Calico Critters Families and Cottage

Sandtray Therapy Miniatures for what ages?

It’s important to know who the Miniatures are for, so you know what specific miniatures can be the most helpful.

Yes, I find treasures for me and I find Miniatures for my clients, too!  You don’t want a therapy room full of stuff you don’t use or need, so it’s important to know who you client is and will be in the future.

What ages are your clients?

Think about your average client population. What population group do you usually see in therapy sessions?

Miniatures by Age Group

Developmentally, if you see young children vs. teenagers, you’d choose different types of resources.  So, let’s look at a few resources examples from various populations.

  • Children: animals, babies
  • Teens: fantasy, princesses
  • Adults: gardens, mystery

I see a lot of teens and adults, so I am always looking for abstract miniatures. It’s great to think creatively and be flexible, so I look for miniatures that represent emotions & struggles.

What culture(s) would your clients identify with?

We live in southern Louisiana so the Mardi Gras culture is very big. Be sure to have spiritual & religious miniatures to represent your community where you practice.

This all matters because the type of Sandtray Therapy Miniatures will depend on your clients’ age group, interests, and culture.

14 Places to find Miniatures

I’m still growing my collection and I’ve been doing this for a few years.

There are tons of places to find Sandtray Therapy Miniatures!!  Everywhere I go I look for miniatures. Here’s my list of where to look for those awesome treasures, and this list is always growing.

1. Estate Sales — I find the most unique miniatures at estate sales: collectibles, small houses, metal animals, fairy houses, garden miniatures

2. Garage Sales — This is the cheapest place to find miniatures, I usually pay 25 cents per miniature at garage sales. Sometimes there’s a box of McDonald’s toys that can be perfect for Sandtray Therapy.

You can find garage sales in your local newspaper, and through garage sales apps.

3. Children’s toys — when you’re kids or a friend’s kids outgrow their toys and don’t play with them anymore, they may be more than happy to give them to you for free or a good deal

Local U.S. Stores to Find Miniatures

4. Grocery Stores — We all have to eat & we all go to grocery stores often, or at least I do!  Well, check out your grocery store toy aisle, they’ll occasionally mark down toys on clearance to make way for new toys.

5. Thrift Stores & Goodwill –– this can be a great place to find amazing deals because miniatures go for $1-$2, just have to keep your eyes open

6. Pharmacy — clearance toys and miniatures can be found here

7. Gas Stations — you can find tourist miniatures, like state emblems, state animal, college mascots, cultural miniatures

8. 2nd hand stores (Once Upon a Child) — I love to shop at Once Upon A Child in the toy section! I can find Sandtray Therapy Miniatures and children’s books, blocks and play therapy toys here.

9. Hardware & Garden Stores — Great garden miniatures & cool Sandtray Therapy tools, such as specialty sand buckets & shovels.

National U.S. Stores with Miniatures

10. Hobby Lobby — Fantastic toys and miniatures here at one of my favorite stores, yeah!!! You can always find Toob miniatures for $10 each, use the 40% off coupon on one, so it will be $6.

There are phenomenal animals, fantasy, and dinosaurs, plus other miniatures here! Good quality and anywhere from $4-$10 each. I just bought a beautiful unicorn and a pegasus here.

Every time I go to Hobby Lobby, I buy one miniature and use the 40% coupon on their webpage.

11. Dollar Store — Great toys and miniatures here, you just have to look for the good ones the will last for awhile. I just bought some Incredible miniatures and Winnie the Pooh miniatures recently for $1 each.

In the summer, this is a great place to get sand buckets & shovels.

Also, buckets or baskets are great here for your clients to carry around while they choose what miniatures to put in the Sand Tray.

12. Big Lots — I love the fairy miniatures here in the garden section, plus pretty cool miniatures in the home section sometimes.

13. Walmart & Target –– popular toys and classic miniatures are almost always stocked: family figures, Disney characters, DC Comic Superheroes, Legos, doll houses, dress up clothes, play kitchens

14. Sam’s Club & Costco — here’s where popular toys will be at good prices usually: doll houses, Marvel characters, cars, play kitchens & houses

When to find Sandtray Therapy Miniatures

The best time to find deals is around holidays, on clearance or close-outs, and online. 

Holiday Seasons

Look before, during, and after Holidays, that’s when Miniatures will go on sale.  The biggest clearance sales will be after the holidays.  Just know that’s also when there are less items.  

So, if you have any particular items you really want & need, get it when you find it, even if it’s before the holiday.

  • New Years
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Mardi Gras
  • Easter
  • Independence Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • Hanukkah

Look for Themes in Stores & Online

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Vacation
  • Fall
  • School
  • Halloween
  • Winter

Clearance section at stores — check out stores’ clearance sections for deals

Coupons at stores — Hobby Lobby has a 40% coupon on their website’s home page, you can pull it up on your phone while checking out and they’ll apply it to one regular price item

Most Popular Sandtray Therapy Miniatures

 What are Your Favorite Miniatures?

What are some of your favorite miniatures?  Do you have any other places or ways to find great miniatures? Please share on our FaceBook page, we’d love to help find more miniatures for all.

If this information is helpful, please share it with a friend.  

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