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3.5 yr old DS has no interest in anything without wheels!

(19 Posts)
kittycartier Thu 15-Aug-13 21:41:24

Hi, I'm hoping that someone can shed some light on this but I am really at my wit's end with my son's car/train/lorry obsession!

He was bought a set of Matchbox cars when he was about 18 months old and he seems to have developed a deep and slightly unhealthy (IMO) obsession with all things vehicular!

We're now at the stage where he will not do anything else. He lays on the floor and moves the cars around, parking them, piling them up, crashing them. He asks me to play with him, I try to but I just don't know how to do this car thing. If i try to move a car and make a car noise then he says "nooooo not like that". I want to sit with him and read, draw, do something creative but he just seems to want to be on his own with the cars.

I have been concerned that there was maybe autism issues but he doesn't seem to have any other signs at all.

He does 2 days at Montessori nursery and doesn't seem to have the obsession whilst there but when asked what he's done there that day replies, "nothing"!

What it does do is leave me more time to do chores around the house which, while helpful sometimes, is making me think he plays cars because I can't play with him, vicious circle??!

Any advice?

mawbroon Thu 15-Aug-13 21:48:46

DS1 was like that for a long time. Anything with wheels or anything that would spin. He spent hours and hours doing this, even at nursery. His teacher wasn't worried when I asked about it and she said that the obsessive kids stick at things until they have exhausted them entirely and in some ways, it is a positive trait.

He's almost 8yo now and is NT. He still is a bit obsessive in that he finds one thing that interests him and he tends to stick with the one thing then move on, but not to a worrying level.

AnythingNotEverything Thu 15-Aug-13 21:52:16

Sounds completely normal to me - we did nothing but cars and teams for a long time when DS was small. I found trains easier to join in with.

Lots of toddler play is much more complex than it looks - lining up cars or sorting them is actually maths apparently grin

exoticfruits Thu 15-Aug-13 21:52:39

DS1 was like that- it was a phase. I was quite happy with it, it amused him for hours.

FreakoidOrganisoid Thu 15-Aug-13 21:59:19

You can use the cars to do pictures etc-trays of paint, drive them through it onto paper. Have brushes and rollers etc available for if he decides he wants to use them.

Get him to construct bridges, ramps or garages for the cars, either from bricks or scrap.

Use the cars in playdo or sand

Get a big bit of paper and help him draw a town, roads, shops etc. You might need to do all the drawing but he can tell you what he wants where and use the paper to drive his cars around on.

Basically use the cars to introduce him to, and hopefully spark an interest in, different types of play.

FreakoidOrganisoid Thu 15-Aug-13 22:01:17

(But at 3.5 I really wouldn't worry, loads of children have one thing they play non stop at that age)

LynetteScavo Thu 15-Aug-13 22:01:52

DS1 loved his vehicles.

He loved lining them up and recognised pretty much every make of car by his 3rd birthday. Trains were also fascinating for him (You want to test me on Thomas The Tank Engine Characters?)

Yes, he is on the autistic spectrum. (well someone was going to post it before long, sorry!)

No advice. If he wan't to play with cars, why not?

Fishandjam Thu 15-Aug-13 22:15:54

My DS is 3y8m and is obsessed (or at least intensely interested) in toadstools, of all things. It's been going on for about a year. As far as I know he's NT, and it's giving me the opportunity to passively performance parent grin when he recites some of the names to anyone who's passing (and being wildly inaccurate about the ones which are edible). He couldn't give a shiny shit about cars though.

I wouldn't worry. Not all kids are into creative stuff. It sounds like your DS's imaginary play skills are pretty good, and many mums (myself among them) would be very grateful for a DC who played by themselves!

Fishandjam Thu 15-Aug-13 22:17:05

freakoid has some great ideas BTW!

Dozeynoo Fri 16-Aug-13 09:22:01

Ds1 was the similar at that age. We were quite concerned about the hours he spent pushing one car at a time backwards and forwards across his plastic table, and yes we did always do it wrong when we joined in! Just go with the theme and move it on slightly. As suggested use the bricks to build bridges, ramps, define the race track. Get books out of the library with photos of cars in, spot car badges whilst you are out, are there any like he has at home? Get some age appropriate Lego to build cars with. We found any activity too far removed from cars would just be rejected.
Ds1 is now 10 and still loves cars, he's very creative, very bright and wants to be a car designer when he grows up.

kittycartier Fri 16-Aug-13 10:38:02

Thank you all for your replies. Really really helpful. Will try and get some car related creative projects on the go!

PeterParkerSays Fri 16-Aug-13 10:43:41

Brio train may be good here. Wheels but he has to put the track together. Then you can start him on car / train puzzles from there.

kittycartier Fri 16-Aug-13 12:25:18

Excuse my ignorance but what does NT mean?

I remember that, and at now nearly 8 DS hasn't changed at all. It is still cars, cars, cars (or tractors). He now builds and designs new ones, photographs them if we are out, all school projects (no matter what the subject) are on wheeled objects. I am learning to go with the flow! And must confess I have even signed up for a stocking filler for Christmas - 5 copies of Top gear for £5!

Goldmandra Fri 16-Aug-13 19:15:24

NT means Neurotypical, i.e. does not have Autism.

BikeRunSki Fri 16-Aug-13 19:22:30

Sounds normal. DS ( v nearly 5) was obssessed with things with wheels and sirens at a similar age. Similar.problems, but noisier.

MaMattoo Sat 17-Aug-13 10:04:28

Mine is 3.2 and its the same. Cars, trucks an emergency vehicles - and that's it. He is noisy and silent in parts.
He does like drawing cars now and also likes making tunnels with Lego for the cars to go through.

Sounds like my 4.4 year old DS1. His first word was car, he will play with his cars and car mat all day if he could, and he wants to be a bus driver when he grows up.

I agree with those up thread who have suggested using cars as a gateway to other activities. DS1 learnt to recognise numbers from the front of buses and his first proper drawing was of a London bus. I can get him to do anything, as long as I link it to some form of transport (my personal favourite is getting him to be an Eddie Stobart lorry to deliver the dirty washing to the washing machine)

The only time I've really worried was after DS2 was born, when DS1 became obsessive with lining his cars up and playing traffic jams-he could not be distracted and would scream if anyone touched his cars. He calmed down after a while though, so I think it was just his way of coping with the new baby.

Shesparkles Sat 17-Aug-13 19:04:41

My ds was like this from when he received his first toy car at 7months right up till he was about 9!
He's now a football daft 11year old!

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