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A virtual sandtray


The tray is equivalent to the physical portion of the sandtray. It consists of a table, a surround for the tray and sand inside the tray.


As with a physical sandtray, the user can create a world in the Virtual Sandtray App. By default, there are two levels up (to create topography) and two down (to get to water). Once the user digs down to the bottom level a fluid layer appears. The eraser is used to reset the sand level to default, which is quite useful for fixing inadvertant errors. The user can change the size of the digging, by long pressing on the digging icon and choosing the size of shovel to change the active digging size. For more advanced users and those desiring more detail, the option exists to enable four levels of digging, which is found in user options menu.

Fluid Layer

As with some physical sandtrays, if the user digs down far enough, they are presented with a fluid. Unlike a physical sandtray, where it is likely blue paint to represent water, the user can modify the "liquid" within the app. There are several styles of water, poison, lava and psychadelic liquid which can be found within the environment options in the settings folder.


Unlike a physical sandtray, the user can paint the sand to create various ground covers. There are currently 11 unique textures that are available. They are accesssed by tapping on the paint bucket. In a manner similar to digging, the user can long press and choose the size of their paint brush. Zoom in far enough and you will see the fading between the painting textures.

In action

Navigate over to the demonstration videos to see these concepts in action. The example sandtrays show the impact that textures have on the aesthetics and mood of the sandtray.