2.5 Year Old Banging Everything

Updated on March 14, 2017
M.K. asks from Sterling, VA
8 answers

Anyone have any experience with their 2.5 year old banging everything on everything? My son does not play with any of his toys "normally". His vacuum cleaner – he will push it back and forth for a minute and then he just bangs on the floor, constantly. His cars – he will roll them back and forth for a minute to drive but he's constantly just banging them on the furniture, on the floors, on the walls. I know they say this is a phase but he has been doing this for about a year. I have tried and tried to teach him how to do it through correct way. I have told him to stop and I have taken the toys away. Nothing works. The thing is, he doesn't seem to be doing it to be "bad" or "defiant". This is just the way he plays. I am at my wits end, and I do not know what to do. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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So What Happened?

FOr the record I'm. Not trying to put any "labels" on him. Yes I had concerns in the past. But that has all subsided. I'm just trying to get advice on how to get him to stop banging on my furniture and hardwood floors. He can bang on his toy box all day for all I care. It's not the noise that's bothersome it's the damage. Thank you. He has drums and other musical instruments- not interested in those. I'm sure as with everything it's a phase. Thanks fir the advice on all "nerf" toys for now. I think I will go that route.

More Answers

B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Give him nerf toys/balls.
They are soft and he can't hurt anything by banging them around.
Find him a set of foam blocks.
He can't have much in the way of hard toys until he's over this phase.
If he still likes banging things by the time he's ready for middle school - consider you might have a budding drummer in your midst - and sign him up for band.

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G.♣.

answers from Springfield on

There isn't really a "correct" way to play with toys. If he likes to bang toys, get him toys he can bang without hurting himself or anyone or anything else.

It's not like he doesn't understand what a car is. He just prefers to play with toys this way. he's using his imagination.

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

They all play differently.

I only had one son who would actually do the vroom vroom make the train or car go along the track or actually drive.

ETA: I might have misunderstood. Is he hurting the toys or furniture?

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J.M.

answers from San Francisco on

You said it - that is just the way he plays. He might not be playing with his toys according to the packaging label, but he is certainly playing, and learning.

If you don't want him banging a particular toy, take it away and tell him no banging with this toy. If you don't want him banging things on the walls and furniture, tell him no banging on the walls and furniture. If he keeps it up, take those toys away. And then get him some toys that are MEANT to be banged. Small hand drums, one of those tool benches with the wooden pegs you can bang, etc. Try reintroducing the toys you took away in a few weeks and see if the impulse to bang has been transferred to the new banging toys.

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S.S.

answers from Atlanta on

Why are you looking for a label for your son? I've looked at your past questions and you seem to want your son to be labeled as something.

This is normal. Stop trying to correct him. It's how he plays. I've got 4 boys and not once have they each used the same toy the same way. Each one of them is different. Why let this bother you? He's playing He's not hurting himself or anyone else, right? So let him play.

If it's about noise or banging? Give him a set of drums to play with. Get him involved in music. It's not too early.

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C.C.

answers from New York on

You would never tell your son not to draw with crayons - but, it is fine to tell him not to draw on your walls!

Similarly, just work on keeping his banging confined to areas where it is okay for him to bang. Identify a "playroom" area, if you have not created one in your home already. Redirect his banging, keep him away from delicate furniture.

D.B.

answers from Boston on

He doesn't need those toys. Take them all away and put them in the attic. If he's been doing it for a year, it's not a phase. I don't think you can teach a child to play "correctly" (such as showing him the "right way" to push a car, and I don't think telling a young child to stop does much good, frankly.

You may be taking the toys away (which is what I would do), but you are giving them back either too soon or too often. You've done this over the course of a year with no change in behavior? Stop doing it and expecting a different result.

I agree with B about Nerf and foam toys. After a month or so, I think you can consider one of those hammer toys where you hammer the balls (or whatever shape) into the hole, or a toy workbench. But if he takes the hammer to the walls or the furniture, just take them away for a day the first time, and for a week the second time. Don't discuss it. Just say exactly (and yes, exactly) the same words each time, such as "We don't bang toys." Choose your own phrase, but make it 4-5 words at the absolute most. That's it. Nothing more, and nothing different the next time.

When the weather is good enough to be outside, I think a sandbox might be fine. I'd get some old metal bowls, a sieve or colander, and a pot at a yard sale, and skip the plastic/breakable buckets. I'd also use some heavy outdoor toys (kiddie cars, etc.) and let him burn off some energy that way.

Does he do the same thing with household objects? Does he grab a wooden spoon or a sauce pan from the cabinet and do that too? Does he climb up and take the phone or the stapler from the desk and do that? Or is it limited to "his" things? That would be interesting to know. If it's just his own things, then it's the way he views toys and what they are for.

Is he meeting all his milestones in every other area? Is he appropriately verbal, with good hearing? Does he engage with other kids at the same rate as you would expect at this age? Has he developed and changed in other ways, at an appropriate pace, in the past year? Is he free of any signs of sensory issues? If not, I'd discuss the entire matter with the pediatrician.

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H.W.

answers from Portland on

My goodness, get that kiddo a couple small drums and a soft drumstick (one with a soft rubber ball head)!

He may like the sounds the banging makes. Or he may like the sensation in his body of the impact and pressure of banging. This may be a phase or it may be self-seeking/soothing sensory feedback that he's getting from the sensation of hitting.

Diane B.'s suggestions for sensory play activities (sandbox. water) are right on as well as B's nerf ball/foam blocks suggestions. Use containers with lids to make recyclable 'drums' for your son to hit or bang on the floor. Maybe put small 'jingle bells' in one, or beans or rice in other ones, tape them up well (so he can't open them) for some variety in his 'banging'.

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