Registered SandStory Skills® Practitioner Training Programme

Welcome to SandStory Skills® Training

Please take a moment to listen to this brief overview of the aims of the training. Thank you!

Hello there!

I am delighted to introduce myself. I'm Sarah Day and I am a Certified SandStory Skills® Trainer and SandStory Therapist and a Certified Play Therapist.

I began my teaching career 30 years ago and have also been the proprietor, manager and Senco of a Pre-school and a volunteer Youth Worker.

I am a very proud mum to three children two in their twenties and one in their teens, so have a wealth of experience of all things child and teenager related! 

I am based in Hertfordshire and work therapeutically with children using Play and the Creative Arts and of course, SandStory Therapy!

My work centres around developing and building on a child's or young person's existing strengths and qualities and accompanying them as they gain new insight and understanding about the things that trouble or worry them.

SandStory Skills® dovetails beautifully with my personal ethos and I am excited to share this with you.

So, a very warm welcome and I hope you enjoy finding out more about SandStory Skills® and why it is the perfect intervention for non-therapists to use in their work with children and young people in a range of settings.

When you tell your story you are opening the door and setting off on a wonderous journey. 

Your story comes through you, through all of you, from your past, your present and it gives a frame to your future self.

Sometimes the door is flung wide open. Sometimes the door is pushed just a little, but either way the journey begins.

SandStory Skills® guides your storyteller as they begin to tell their story and it helps turn their feelings into pictures.

SandStory Skills® Early Years

The Early Years of educating children are critical in preparing them for life at school and life in general. Much of the focus on children's mental health tends to be on children of primary age and beyond. The Mental Health of Children and Young People in England 2017 survey provided some insight into the types of mental health problems pre-school children experience. They found 5.5% of pre-school were struggling. 

I would advocate that Early Years practitioners should work on the basis that a child's mental health and emotional wellbeing is just as important as their physical health.

Storytelling and a child's natural expression- play, are the foundations of SandStory Skills® It's too soon to know the long term impact of coronavirus. However, there is a view that pre-school children may have been affected in ways such as by being socially isolated from their extended family members. 

If your role is to support the well being of children impacted in this way then SandStory Skills® offers a safe, creative and gentle way for the youngest in our care to tell their story.

Flexible, Online and On-demand Training

I am delighted and proud, in equal measure, to bring SandStory Skills® to you on this platform!

You have the flexibility to access the entire course as soon as you sign up giving you the choice of where and when you view the modules- morning, noon or night!

Each of the 9 modules are ready to go and there are checklists, planning resources and illustrated cards, all free to download, to support your sessions with your child or young person.

You also have 3 free creative coaching sessions, via Zoom, with me to help you get going.

You really do have all you need in one place to become a Registered SandStory Skills® Practitioner, so take a look inside...

What is SandStory Skills® Practitioner Training?

SandStory Skills® provides you with the skills, the structure and the support to ensure you are working safely and confidently with those in your care.

SandStory Skills® is not a therapy, so you don’t need to be a qualified therapist to deliver this  creative skills-based programme.

You will draw on and extend your existing strengths as a professional working with those in need of additional emotional support. 

How does SandStory Skills®help children?

SandStory Skills® can be beneficial for any child. Most children at some point in their lives, and perhaps now more than ever, will struggle too adjust to life's challenges. However, not all of these children will need or want therapy. Spending time each week with a gentle 'Listener' will who will  attune to their needs in a creative, responsive and safe way will be beneficial.

SandStory Skills®is particularly beneficial for those children who;

find it difficult to express themselves, or may not be ready to 'talk' through their problems

struggle with low self-esteem

struggle with low confidence/self-belief

communicate through challenging behaviours

have difficulties with peer relationships

The 5 Stages

Moving through 5 distinct stages, your storyteller is gently guided through their storytelling process.

The child or young person is held safely as they explore the issues concerning them, through the creative mediums of sand, small world play and games. In doing so they are able to express their feelings and emotions and gently and safely reveal their inner story.

Your role is to be a listener to their story as it is created and as it unfolds in the sand tray or through other forms of carefully structured play.

With your guidance the child, young person or adult can then explore and experiment within their story and by doing so, begin see things from a new perspective and gain greater understanding of the current issues they are working on.

You provide the safe and contained space and are present with your storyteller throughout their journey.

A Flexible Approach

SandStory Skills® dovetails beautifully with other creative and child-led interventions you may already be using or can be equally as effective if working this way is new to you.

SandStory Skills® connects with the child's most natural form of expression, creative play. It is through creative play that a child learns to express, explore and experiment using toys and symbols. This approach is suitable for children form the age of 4.

Who is This Course For?

SandStory Skills® is aimed at people who are responsible for the emotional well-being and personal development of children, young people and adults in their care:

Childminders, Nannies, Nursery Managers and Workers

Teachers & Teaching Assistants/One-to Ones, LSAs, Learning Mentors
SENCOs (Special Educational Needs Coordinator), ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants), Nurture Group leaders 

Pastoral Teams, Social Work Assistants

Emotional Wellbeing Practitioners, Behaviour Support Practitioners/ PRU (Pupil Referral Unit) Teams, Residential Support Workers, Youth Workers, Youth Offending Team Officers, Play Workers and Therapeutic Play Workers

Parents and Foster carers

Your Role as a Practitioner

As a Registered SandStory Skills® Practitioner you will be able to guide your storyteller safely as they express their thoughts and feelings through play.

Through gentle and careful questioning you enable your storyteller to connect with their thoughts and feelings. As they grow in understanding and confidence they are able to experiment and make positive changes to their story.

The 5 stages of SandStory Skills® can be woven into other types of play such as small world play, board games and card games.

Course Structure

SandStory Skills® training is a flexible 14-hour on demand training and is currently available online, and will be offered as 'in person' training when it is safe to do face to face training. 

The training offers a complete package of support for participants including:

Rich and enjoyable theoretical and experiential training modules

Practitioner creative coaching support (3 sessions included)

Assessment and certification as a Registered SandStory Skills® Practitioner

Resources to support the planning and delivery of the sessions

A personalised logo for you to use

      The 9 Modules

      o Module 1 - Introduction

      o Module 2 - The Power of Sand and Water

      o Module 3 - The Power of Symbols and Stories

      o Module 4 - The Genesis of SSS

      o Module 5 - Theory & Remit of SSS Part 1

      o Module 6 - Theory & Remit of SSS Part 2

      o Module 7 - The 5 Stages of SSS

      o Module 8 - The SSS Starter Set

      o Module 9 - Drawing to a close and next steps

      Qualifying and Certification

      To qualify as a Registered SandStory Skills® Practitioner you will need to successfully complete the course by watching the 9 recorded webinars and completing the experiential exercises in each one. 

      Once all the modules have been completed, you are asked to submit a 500 word reflection on your training.

      I will assess your submission and once you have passed the course you will receive a certificate and 14 CPD points. I will create your own personal logo which you can add to your letterhead or business card.

      Is this Course For Me?

      The answer is almost certainly YES! 

      SandStory Skills® will empower you as a practitioner already working with children and young people. This approach builds upon and extends the skills you already have and will enable you to work safely and creatively in a child-led way.

      If you are looking to deepen your insight and understanding of working in a safe, contained and effective way with children, through the exciting mediums of sand, small world play and games, then this course provides you will the theory backed knowledge to do so.

      This course qualifies you as a Registered SandStory Skills® Practitioner able to deliver this programme to the children and young people you work with. It allows you to take that next step in your own personal and career development.

      Your Next Steps

      Thank you so much for reading this far!

      I hope you are feeling excited about the course and I am very much looking forward to supporting you through your training to become a SandStory Skills® Practitioner.

      Remember, the support I offer extends beyond qualification. I will be there for you as you take your first 'steps in the sand' through the 3 free coaching calls designed to help you find your feet as you begin your creative work with children. 

      The beautifully illustrated resources I have designed for you will help you plan and structure your sessions.

      You will have everything you need in terms of support and resources to begin your work with your child or young person.

      I look forward to working with you!

      If you have any questions, or would like to chat about the course then please do get in touch;

      One-Time Payment

      £300 once

      Payment Plan

      2 payments of £150/month

      Payment Plan

      3 payments of £100/month

      Payment Plan

      6 payments of £50/month

      Course Fees

      Your investment to become a SandStory Skills® Practitioner including;

      On demand access to the 9 modules

      Free downloadable illustrated resources and planning tools

      On-going support once qualified  

      14 CPD points awarded by the International SandStory Association and

      Qualification as a Registered SandStory Skills® Practitioner

      is £300 or two instalments of £150 or three instalments of £100

      Enroll now to begin your empowering journey into sand and stories

      One-Time Payment

      £300 once

      Payment Plan

      2 payments of £150/month

      Payment Plan

      3 payments of £100/month

      Payment Plan

      6 payments of £50/month


      I wanted to find a new approach, more gentle and playful to help and support young children express their thoughts and experiences. I cannot recommend this course enough not only for the content and skills you gain to be a Sand Story Practioner but the knowledge and understanding of your own role and responsibilities. I have gained so much knowledge and confidence on how to work safely and effectively in my everyday work. I will now re-evaluate and reconstruct my practice and how I work with the knowledge I have gained from this course.
      Fantastic course and resources.

      Michelle Hore Registered SandStory Skills® Practitioner 2021

       SandStory Skills® was so useful. It re-informed my practice and provided me with a framework to create a safe and contained space in which my patients could be held. Thank you Sarah for your gentle guidance.

      Josephine Sama  Registered SandStory Skills® Practitioner 2021

      A very warm CONGRATULATIONS to Sarah Day for qualifying as a 'Certified SandStory Skills® Trainer'!
      Sarah has worked incredibly hard and has created a really bespoke training package where she has thoughtfully considered the needs and how to support her participant group. It's a beautiful training, rich in content and with her warm approachable style!      

        Lara Kasza SandStory Skills® creator

      My fellow play therapist, Sarah Day, has developed an online course that offers a creative and therapeutic way of offering children support.

      Sarah is a kind, gentle, sincere person and this content will have been lovingly created.

       Angela Gillen Certified Play Therapist

      Frequently Asked Questions

      How long do I have access to the course?

      Once you've enrolled and paid, you'll have access to the course material for as long as you need. So devour it all in one weekend or take things slow. It's your choice! The coaching sessions should be taken within 6 months of enrollment. Should you require extra coaching, no problem, we can arrange that!

      What if I'm unhappy with my purchase?

      Well, I would be sad. But if you're really unhappy with the course, just email me after you have watched the first Module for a full refund minus a necessary admin fee.

      Can SandStory Skills® be used with groups of children?

      SandStory Skills® is designed with safe working in mind so it is to be used with one listener and one storyteller at a time.

      I have another question?

      I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. Send me an email at

      One-Time Payment

      £300 once

      Payment Plan

      2 payments of £150/month

      Payment Plan

      3 payments of £100/month

      Payment Plan

      6 payments of £50/month