In a wonderful (full of wonder) article in the Spring 1992 issue of the Journal of Sandplay, Gretchen Hegeman writes about the meaning and construction of a sandplay collection. She discusses the importance of the process of discovery and the relationship of a therapist’s collection to themselves and their souls. She also states that while "each sandplay collection is unique and personal”, she offers guidelines for starting a collection.
earth – rocks, stones, mountains, crystals
ocean – coral, shells, sea glass, driftwood
plants – trees, shrubs, sticks, moss, flowers
wild – world-wide birds, snakes, mammals, fish, insects
domestic – horses, cows, sheep, chickens, dogs, cats
prehistoric – dinosaurs
fantasy – dragons, unicorns, monsters
ordinary – working, walking, sitting, playing, families
occupations – farmers, doctors, nurses, firefighters, clergy, athletes, police officers
fantasy – wizards, witches, dwarves, sci-fi, scary figures
different cultures – different races and levels of society throughout the ages
religious - figures form many cultures
land, sea, air vehicles
military and work equipment
transportation throughout the ages
Buildings: churches, schools, stores, houses, lighthouses, windmills, castles, tepee, igloo, tent, straw houses, log home
Structures: bridges, fences, wells, towers
Equipment: work, farm, household, musical instruments
Furniture: doll house, bath, kitchen, living room, bed
Miscellaneous: mirrors, flags, umbrella, feathers, candles, bonfires, string
Items I would include:
bride and groom, babies, knights, royalty, gargoyles, huts, tunnels, gates, pagodas, fountains, cacti, emergency vehicles, road/construction signs, pinecones, pods, nests, eggs, containers, ladder, clock, keys, lamps, lanterns, treasures (jewels, marbles, glass pebbles), ribbons, celestial bodies (moon, sun, stars), animal bones.
In talking with other sandplay therapists and in viewing collections in person or in presentations, the variety is amazing and exciting. Once we begin to bring together basic and personal items, we can choose to add special items to enhance and to expand our sandplay miniature collection.