Narrator: Listen to part of a lecture in a Psychology class.
Professor: Children like to play, everybody knows that.
When kids play, they have fun.
But there is more to play than just having fun.
Play's also important if kids are to develop in an emotionally healthy way.
From a psychological perspective, well,
let's talk about two reasons psychologists believe play benefits kids.
First, play helps children feel more in control. Why?
Well, some psychologists have suggested that small children often feel helpless.
They have to depend on other people, adults, for everything.
They've got very little control over their own lives.
Parents decide when they eat, what they eat, what they wear.
This constant state of dependency can make kids feel uneasy and anxious.
But when kids play, they are able to control their world of play, they decide...oh...
which toy they're going to play with and how they're going to play with it.
Maybe they take some building blocks and make a building out of them.
They're constructing something with no help at all.
So according to this theory,
playing gives children a sense of being in control,
and they don't feel so helpless.
And here's another way play contributes to healthy psychological development.
It gives children a safe way to explore certain urges, desires they have,
but ones that don't represent, well, typically acceptable behavior.
For example, take the urge to be destructive.
All kids have this urge.
But if they try to act on it and start actually breaking things or messing things up around the house,
their parents will get upset.
But kids are naturally curious.
They want to explore what it's like to be destructive,
but they don't want their parents to be upset with them.
So by acting out destructive behaviors during play, the problem is solved.
'Cause in play, they're allowed to be destructive.
Think about it.
Think of the example before, where a kid builds something out of blocks,
isn't it really common to see a kid build a tower or something and then just smash it all down?
Destructive, in a way, but no harm done right?