Pave the way. It's time to play!

South Dakota State University Play Therapy Program

  • $1,775

    pledged of $5,000

    • 10


    • 0


This project received pledges on Sat 05 Dec 2020

Pave the way. it's time to play!

South Dakota State University's play therapy program is expanding to meet the growing needs of our communities in a new play therapy training space. We are raising $5,000 to furnish toys and supplies for our new training space for the next generation of SDSU play therapists!

our story

South Dakota State University’s Department of Counseling and Human Development is the first program in the state to gain approval as a center for play therapy education by the Association for Play Therapy (APT). SDSU’s Institute for Play Therapy Education was approved and began offering play therapy coursework in 2017. As one of only two APT-approved educating centers in the upper Midwest and one of only 28 in the nation, SDSU’s Institute for Play Therapy Education is a monumental milestone for the Counseling and Human Development program and for the region overall.

Play therapy education at SDSU focuses on working with children who have social/emotional, behavioral, and developmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders. A major focus of play therapy includes helping children learn to communicate and interact with others in a healthy and appropriate manner while also developing problem-solving skills. Play therapy can also be used with adult clients.

SDSU’s Institute for Play Therapy Education is currently expanding to a new training space to accommodate the growing needs of the program. The new space will provide state-of-the-art equipment and training experiences for current and future play therapy students. 

Where will the money go?

Your gift at work within SDSU's play therapy training room:

  • Your gift of $25 will purchase a farm animal toy set for sand tray therapy, a medical set for imaginative occupational play, or life-size paper kids to explore the self-image.
  • Your gift of $50 will purchase the Don’t Feed the WorryBug book set with a WorryBug plush, an 8-piece multicultural character set, kinetic sand, or an emotions mask set.  
  • Your gift of $100 will purchase a 16-family member character set, multiethnic career puppets set, or the Social Emotional Competence game. 
  • Your gift of $250 will purchase a 24-in sand table and lid, a 62-piece dollhouse character set, a complete Meebie set, or a crash pad.
  • Your gift of $500 or more will fund scholarships for Counseling and Human Development play therapy students at SDSU!

We need you to create a brighter future for your community with healthier kids through the next generation of play therapists!

Former SDSU Play Therapy Students: Where are they now? What does play therapy mean to them and their community?

Katelyn Tilstra - Licensed Professional Counselor, MS, LPC, RPT, NCC

Holly Kelly - Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC, RPT, NCC

Find us here

To learn more about SDSU's Institute for Play Therapy Education, visit us at

For cash or check donations, you can mail your donation to:

SDSU Foundation

815 Medary Avenue/Box 525

Brookings, SD 57007

If you have any questions about the fundraiser, please email the head of SDSU play therapy coursework: 

Help us succeed!

There are many ways to help us succeed! 

Spread the word and share this project on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, or phone to anyone you know who would help us reach our goal!