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fluthernutter's avatar

What kind of weird non-toy did your kids like to play with?

Asked by fluthernutter (6323points) August 25th, 2014
65 responses
“Great Question” (13points)

Most kids seem to love car keys, remotes, pots and pans. But did your kid(s) ever obsess about other weird stuff?

When my first kid was two, she used to have an obsession with bento boxes.

Her little brother used to love our vertical chicken roaster. Now he likes to walk around with boxes of soap.
He found our costco stash. Now there are boxes of soap left all over the house. He also likes to hold them when we go out to run errands. Ha.

Kids are so weird.

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Dutchess_III's avatar

Aden, who is 8 now, used to constantly need to have something in his hand. His favorite was an old eyelash curler. Not only could he hold it easily, it MOVED!

ucme's avatar

My son would play with fertiliser, but he soon grew out of it.
My daughter once sold our vacuum cleaner, said it was just collecting dust.

janbb's avatar

The boxes that the toys came in. My older son called the pictures on the back “the map.”

talljasperman's avatar

I don’t have any kids, but I would play spaceship with the Hugh cardboard boxes, and I would make forts out of the couch pillows.

dxs's avatar

I used to collect and play with those size tags that were on the hangers at Marshalls and Tj Maxx. They came with many different numbers/words written on them in all sorts of colors. I think they ended up changing the tags recently, though.

dxs (15160points)“Great Answer” (1points)
zenzen's avatar

Anything became a musical instrument, fortunately, as it paved my way to being a semi-famous and semi-professional musician, that is, I enjoy music most of the time – never made and money or fame from it.

GQ by the way. Anything with weird gets my attention.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I don’t have a child, so please excuse me for adding to the thread. I just can’t help it.

My friends and I loved to play with the clothes chute in my parents’ house. We would create forts at each location; second floor, first floor and basement. Then we would talk to each other through the small doors. We would go visit each other’s ‘homes’ to see what they created with whatever was available in their immediate surroundings.

LuckyGuy's avatar

One son loved duct tape. When he was about 5 we found him on the floor in the living room with his legs taped together and his arms bound to his side. What the hell?! He was just lying there!!!
“How did you do this?” I asked trying to sound calm.
“First I wrapped up my legs. Then I put the tape on my stomach and started to roll on the floor. Can you help me?”

Dutchess_III's avatar

OMG @LuckyGuy! Man, with my luck the police would show up on my doorstep right at that moment to ask me if I knew whose cat this was, and see my kid!

Dutchess_III's avatar

We used to play with the clothes chute too!

LuckyGuy's avatar

He is lucky it did not roll over his nose and mouth. Actually I am lucky it did not roll over his nose and mouth. How would I explain that to the police?
“Honest officer. We found him that way!”

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I don’t have kids, and I have a weird thing I loved to do as a kid: Plow. Yes the moldboard plow and turn the ground over. A tractor with over 100 HP and a five bottom plow and I’d go all day.

ibstubro's avatar

I don’t have kids, but I can still remember how excited I was when I found and old glass car headlight lens. My first petri dish…I was all about being a scientist until I learned the amount of math involved.

Don’t ask me what became of the lens.

kevbo's avatar

My sister and I would grab all the blankets and sleeping bags in the house and take turns wrapping each other in what probably amounted to 10–15 layers. When the wrapping was done, whichever of us was sweating to death inside would break free.

We’d also grab food from the kitchen and make the other one taste it blindfolded. (Often stuff like horseradish.) Once, I made my sister eat a black Cheeto.

Probably the worst game we played was raiding the medicine cabinet and dumping various medicines into my sister’s Fisher Price blender and then making each other taste it. I don’t remember what was in the concoctions beyond cough syrup and Pepto Bismol, but it’s probably a small miracle that we weren’t hospitalized.

ibstubro's avatar

We fought over who got to eat the burned bits, @kevbo. The darker the tater chip, the earlier it was eaten.

Mimishu1995's avatar

When I was young, I invented a game called: “My little Hollywood”. I imagined my room to be a movie studio, and let the room function like a real studio. Of course the studio’s main aim was to make movies, and in order to make movies, you need a lot: actors, cameraman, director, (which was always me :p), costumes, sets… And the most interesting parts were the costumes and sets. I could easily “recruit” the cast with my dolls and used them over and over, but the costumes and sets changed constantly. So I had to use everything in the house that I found. Some of them turned out to be really bizzare like toothpicks, clippers, scissors, dust tapes… One day my father accidentally stepped on the toothpick and couldn’t walk for 2 days! I still feel bad about it

snowberry's avatar

My son used to play with an old door knob on a string. He loved to swing it around in circles.

ibstubro's avatar

That reminds me from Klick-Klacks, a toy of my childhood that caused death or disability, @snowberry

snowberry's avatar

@ibstubro Yep, that’s just about what the thing did to us. We’d get rid of it, and he’d make another out of something else. If nothing else, he liked to toss stuff up in the air and have it land all around and on him. It often hit the rest of us. Blocks, toy cars, rocks, it didn’t matter. He was “easily amused”. The rest of us weren’t.

rojo's avatar

My granddaughter likes rocks.

My daughter says, and I quote: “This is your fault Dad!”.

she is probably right as you could plainly see if you could look at my library and bedroom

RocketGuy's avatar

My mom sold Avon when I was a kid. 2 boxes would become a Jetsons’ flying car, with the top box becoming the movable canopy.

My girls used big boxes as indoor tents, so would bring in pillows and toys.

ibstubro's avatar

Spooner, @snowberry. You need to read the book Spooner.

longgone's avatar

During one almost toy-less vacation, my sister and I started to play with marshmallow mice. We had five at first, but quickly expanded our collection. We must’ve had 200 by the end. They all had names taped to their bellies and were fed regularly. When we went to live in Korea for two years, we passed them on to our best friends, who promised to take good care of them. After that, they went mouldy, and we were (rather heartlessly) forced to throw them out.

I still can’t eat marshmallow mice.

Coloma's avatar

@LuckyGuy LMAO!!!!! That is the funniest thing ever, glad your son was okay, but how funny is that!!!

Coloma's avatar

My daughter liked bugs, I guess you could say they were non-toys. haha
Once, when she about 5 I opened her dresser drawer to put some things away and wasps flew out. She would collect bug eggs and cocoons and lined her dresser drawer with dixie cups covered in tin foil with holes poked in them. All sorts of things morphed in that drawer, it was a science lab amidst the Little Mermaid underwear. lol

LuckyGuy's avatar

What amazed me was that he was just there, on the floor, not moving. He didn’t call for help or cry or even make a sound. I guess he knew he did something stupid.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It reminded me of the opening to the show “Malcolm in the Middle” where little Dewey is tied up and left hanging from a coat hook in the boys’ bedroom.

Coloma's avatar

@LuckyGuy Well..I sure hope you never left your kid home alone. lol

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@LuckyGuy Well if you’re going out and can’t find a babysitter that would do the job in a pinch.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Another time in the middle of the night he decided he needed to open a package of something, maybe a toy or food. I don’t remember. He took a knife from the kitchen drawer (with childproof latches by the way) and tried to cut it open, naturally cutting himself in the process. When I got up to go to work there was blood on the hallway floor and walls, on the bathroom counter and floor, the kitchen, and of course all over his bed and bedroom.

He knew he was not supposed to use a knife so he did not say anything. What the ?!?!?!

LuckyGuy's avatar

Ooo! Another time when he was a little older and we were living overseas, he decided to take apart many fireworks and put them all together into one. He knew that it was unsafe to use a hard casing* so he used a toilet paper roll and stuffed it with all kinds of goodies. He was playing outside quietly when all of a sudden there was this loud boom and a cloud of smoke about the size of the house rolled out into the street and down the road.
What the ?!?!?!
Thankfully, none of the neighbors complained.

* Fireworks were legal and cheap there. I made the mistake of teaching him that fireworks should only have paper as the casing so the shrapnel does not injure or do property damage. I showed him how firecrackers and other devices are all paper casings with powder and fuse on the inside. Sometimes you can even unroll the paper and read the Chinese characters.

Coloma's avatar

@LuckyGuy No Chemistry sets for that one! lol

LuckyGuy's avatar

He was a very “inquisitive and creative” kid. (The nut does not fall from the tree.) When he was a young teenager he captured and perfectly euthanized a Luna moth. He proudly showed me what a good job he did. It was spectacular. Curious, I asked how he did it without damaging the wings.
He matter of factly said he just used some of my laboratory chloroform! What the ?!?!?!

snowberry's avatar

When I was little I turned over flat rocks until I collected a bunch of potato bugs. Then with a box of colored chalk, I turned our patio into a board game. I invited a bunch of friends over and everyone picked out their own color chalk and potato bug. I drew a circle on the concrete and everyone set their bug in the circle. Then the “race” began! As the potato bugs uncurled and began to crawl away, we followed with our chalk. There were two winners. One was the one whose potato bug made it to the edge of the patio first. The other was the one with the longest trail.

Once I forgot what I was doing and followed my bug a little too closely with my chalk. Ooops!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@LuckyGuy That sounds so much like the things my son would have done, if he’d thought of it! Fortunately he thought of other dastardly things to do instead.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My daughter once rescued an earthworm. Some where in the process it got pulled in half, so she tried to tape it back together.

dxs's avatar

@snowberry That sounds fun!

dxs (15160points)“Great Answer” (0points)
talljasperman's avatar

I used a coking gun as a bazooka/machine gun.

ibstubro's avatar

Okay, admit it folks, this is a GQ! Rate it as such at the top of the page, maybe there will be more like it.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

My kids all loved padlocks, and calculators. Each can be purchased at the Dollar store, so, lucky me. When I was a kid, we lived on a farm.. Outdoor play tended to get intense, and nothing was safe from being confiscated for play. Folding window screens were taken to our enormous sandpile. We would sift the sand into different sizes, to play quarry with my brothers dump truck. Fifteen years later I did the same thing for the DOT in an aggregate lab! My job involved going to quarries, taking samples of rock and sand, putting a portion through a complete sifting process, cleaning it carefully with pure water, cooking it to dry, but not too hot, or it would shatter pieces, and make the sample useless. Each portion of aggregate must then be weighed, and its percentage of the total weight calculated. All was carefully and scientifically done, to ensure the integrity of concrete and asphalt to be used for construction. I also stress tested concrete bars, which meant SLOWLY adding pressure to see exactly when they would break. COOL JOB! Who knew, when I stole the window screens what it would lead to!
We also stole flatware from the kitchen to be artistic when the sand was wet. I found a few antique keys in an attic corner. Those were a lot of fun. I remembered that, so I got a bunch of mistakes from a key copy place for my son to play with. He became angry when he realized they didnt fit anything. That was when I decided to get him a padlock, the heaviest, bulkiest looking one my local dollar store had. OMG!!!! He so loved that thing!
Cheap calculaters are great, because they have easy press buttons, and do something. I got one for my daughter when she was a year old. Her fingers were not strong enough for the buttons on her toys. She loved it, and loved seeing the shapes appear, change, and disappear. It has stood the test of time, and she now uses the same one for jr high homework.
Some look at non toy playthings, and think weird, but I like to consider the possibilities.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

@LuckyGuy, I am feeling better, suddenly, about life with my daughter. I have to take my rod and reel out back later, see if I can get that hula hoop out of the tree.
I imagine it will be easier than dealing with the many things I have found tied up over the years, and with various types of ribbon, string, chains, cords, you name it.
I can’t imagine waking to find such a blood spill from my kid. I would be in such a panic.
Thanks for sharing such delightful stories.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Jonesn4burgers I think we should introduce our kids to each other!

I thought of something he did to me when he was 5! I was sitting in a office chair working on my computer while he was playing on the floor with a piece of rope. He used to tie my legs a little and I would pretend he got me. But, really, I could get out in a second.
Anyway. I was working and felt him “secretly” tying me to the chair. No problem…Except this time was different! He had taken the string and slipped it though the belt loop in the back of my pants and tied it to the center post of the chair back. I could not turn around to reach it and couldn’t get my arms down there to cut myself out!
He got me! And he was 5!!!

snowberry's avatar

When my kids were little we’d take turns holding small small kitchen sieves up to each of our eyes. Then we’d pretend we had “flies’ eyes!”.

And there’s nuttin’ funner than spraying straight ammonia on a big ol’ ant nest. The ammonia reacts with the formic acid in the ants’ bodies and makes them steam. Loads of fun for a kid, not so much for the ants.

I used to keep bugs when I was little. I liked to pick a leaf and force feed it to my pet caterpillar. I’d hold it by the middle and sort of jam the edge of the leaf into its mouth. It would chew away huge chunks of leaves. I never got tired of that.

I used to have a pet black widow spider. I kept it sealed up in a jar with holes poked in the lid, but the family wouldn’t let me feed it. I have NO idea why. One day I think it made a trip into the trash can on garbage day. I never saw it again.

snowberry's avatar

And here’s the best ever fun activity. Great fun for kids and adults who are young at heart: It’s best if you have a child to help you. First get the kid to help you catch a bunch of grasshoppers and imprison them somehow- a narrow necked container with straight sides and a screw off top such as this one is ideal. Then you take the family cat and put it in a shower with sliding glass doors. Dump the grasshoppers into the tub, shut the door, and sit back and laugh. It’s wonderful fun.

Dutchess_III's avatar

God. We used to burn ants with a magnifying glass. :(

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III Ah Hah! Your latent serial killer side shows up. lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

I know!

dxs's avatar

At least you didn’t eat them as a snack.

dxs (15160points)“Great Answer” (1points)
Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, that brings to mind my son, about 3.
“Chris! How many times have I told you, you don’t eat bugs!”
“Oh, thath not bugths. Thaths juth a mothquito.”

snowberry's avatar

Not exactly a toy, but it fits here: My neighbor’s little boy was outside playing and he had a fistful of raisins in one hand. With the other hand he was picking up potato bugs (you know, rolly polly’s). After a while he forgot which hand had the raisins and ate the bugs.

fluthernutter's avatar

@Dutchess_III You know? Before I had kids, I was like what the heck is a holding toy? Now I realize they really just like to hold stuff. And you got to admit eyelash curlers are kind of fascinating.

@dxs Do you still have them? If you collected a bunch, I bet they’d look kind of cool if you mounted the whole collection together.

@Pied_Pfeffer I’m having clothing chute envy. Would totally play with one as an adult. Can it be the time-out chute? Ha…just kidding.

@LuckyGuy I was cackling to myself while trying to picture this these scenario(s) in my head. Your kid is hilarious.

@ibstubro Darn it! I was totally about to ask about the lens! A hint?

@kevbo We love that game too! Usually play it whenever we stay in a hotel. (More floor room for some real good rolling.) One kid = taquito. Two or more = burrito

Speaking of sweating, in college my roommate and I tried to see which one of us could wear the most articles of clothing. We had so much clothes on that we could barely move our arms and legs to get the next piece on. We were both laughing hysterically which only made it a gajillion times hotter. Then I thought it’d be funny to push her over. She kind of just rolled over—and she couldn’t get up! We were both laughing so hard, I thought we were going to pass out from heat exhaustion.

Dear lord, you win the prize for scariest game though.

@Mimishu1995 Did you actually record anything in your studio?

@snowberry I think we did something similar as kids. Heavy object on a string? It’s the allure of centripetal force. Heck, we even did the bucket of water on a string experiment as kids. You know every kid that’s ever seen that done is thinking I’m so going to try that at home!

@rojo My kids like rocks too. They’ve been fighting over this one rock that the older one asked me to draw Llama Llama on (from the books). They just like to carry it around. Kids are funny.

@longgone A moment of silence for your moldy mice.

[...] <—anime silence

@Coloma We used to put chrysalis in jars to watch them become butterflies. Then we’d let them go. It was so cool to watch it up close. Magical even.

@LuckyGuy Ha! Can’t blame him though. Your lab sounds way more fun than a toy store.

@snowberry Board game is a stroke of genius! Wish we had thought of that! We used to race lobsters and crawfish with our neighbors. The lobster was supposed to be my dinner. And the fad caught on with some of the neighborhood kids. Slowest. Race. Ever.

Sadly, my lobster met a similar ending as your potato bug.

@ibstubro Aww…that’s sweet. But the answers are really what make this question great. Since we can’t give them lurve…a salute—to LuckyGuy’s kid, to snowberry’s potato bugs, longgone’s moldy mice, etc. We salute you! [salute!]

@Jonesn4burgers I love that your play as a child related to your work as an adult. There’s so much of your core personality there that watching a kid is like getting a glimpse of their future. So cool.

@LuckyGuy Haha! How did you get out? Did you have to holler for help? If that were my husband, I would have to go find the camera first before untying him. :D

@everyone Thanks for contributing your stories to this thread. You all made me laugh so hard!

Mimishu1995's avatar

@fluthernutter My memory did the recording for me :) And actually, only I knew that I was making movies. Everyone else thought that I was talking nonsense with my toys. And the incident didn’t discourage me from making more “movies” at all, though I felt bad that one of my “cast” injured a passerby XD

I love this thread too. Makes me want to go back to those days again so that I can continue to make movies.

dxs's avatar

@fluthernutter Yeah I could make a design of some sort out of them or something haha. Unfortunately, I have no idea where they are. They’re probably scattered around my parents’ house, if not thrown away.

dxs (15160points)“Great Answer” (2points)
Coloma's avatar

I was a kid in the 60’s when western themed TV shows were popular. Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Wild West, Daniel Boone, etc.
I used to make a “stagecoach” out of our dining room chairs.
Very innovative.

I would line up the chairs, 2 abreast and 3 long for my 6 horse hitch, string ribbon through them for “reins” and then out a hassock on top of an easy chair for my drivers seat with my cowboy hat, holsters and cap guns and box of gold. haha
I loved my stagecoach. lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

One time my kids got ahold of a spool of thread. They turned my living room into one giant spiderweb that was about thigh high. For two days, every time I needed to go thru the living room I had to crawl! Since the living room was the focal point of the house, I needed to crawl very often.

I periodically give my grandkids spools of thread, with instructions, but so far they haven’t done anything with them, that I know of.

snowberry's avatar

Once we took a broken toy in the shape of a pig and turned it into a homemade action movie. We called the star Pecos (Pecos Pig), and found an awesome little song that we played every time there was “action” in the story. Part of the plot involved Pecos getting run over by a garbage truck (we made a cut out out of stiff paper). It was one of our best memories.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My dad had an HO scale trainset in the basement. It was huge. In addition to tracks, there were roads, and farms and people and houses. We set up train wrecks. Killed more people and cows and trains than any one in history.

Coloma's avatar

^^^ Driv’in’ that train high on Cocaine….. lol

LuckyGuy's avatar

My dad had a Lionel set. He cleaned the tracks with fine steel wool.
When I was a kid I discovered that a wad of steel wool would burst into flames if placed across the track.

The nut does not fall far from the tree.

Dutchess_III's avatar

lol. Ants burst into flames too. :(

snowberry's avatar

I love this question!

We had lots of June bugs where I was growing up. They hiss rather loudly if disturbed, but were completely harmless. We called them “Cuss Bugs”. They were a pretty golden brown, and if you picked them up and placed them on your clothes, they’d stay there a long time. We spent many happy hours playing dress up, adorning our clothes and accessories with the “cuss bugs” that doubled as valuable jewels.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We have this heavy cast iron cat that sits next to the fireplace. It must weigh 7 pounds. When my grand daughter was about 4 she took a serious shine to that cat. She carried it around with her. I was so afraid she was going to drop it on her toes, but she never did. She tucked it into bed and slept with it. I have a picture around here somewhere….

snowberry's avatar

I can’t think of a better way to finish up this question!
The Marvelous Toy

Coloma's avatar

@snowberry Hah! That was awesome! Man, blast from the past, they were so talented!

ibstubro's avatar

Out- freaking -standing! @snowberry

Never heard it, and it was perfect!

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