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Toys from child psychotherapist Margaret Lowenfeld's 'Wonder Box', England, 1920-1970

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Psychologist Margaret Lowenfeld (1890-1973) devised the ‘Lowenfeld World Technique’ in the late 1920s. It let children create a play world through which they conveyed experiences via non-verbal communication. These 32 toys formed part of the ‘Wonder Box’. Children selected toys from the box to create a scene within a sandbox. Lowenfeld was a paediatrician. She became a pioneer of child psychology and psychotherapy. She recognised language is often unsatisfactory or even impossible as an expressive medium for children. This is particularly the case with traumatised children. She also recognised play is essential to their development. Her development and use of non-verbal play therapy for children remains influential.

Object number:

2005-9

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Glossary:

Glossary: psychiatry

A branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illness.

Glossary: toy - recreational artefact

Toys that provide visual stimulus and entertainment through various optical principles, such as persistence of vision, projection and other optical effects and demonstrations.

Glossary: psychology

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