Opinion of 18 month obsessed with spinning wheels

(25 Posts)
Lynday Sat 18-May-13 09:20:17

Hello, I'm just after some reassurance/ opinions really. My ds is 18 months and seems to be obsessed with wheels or anything that spins. His favourite thing to do in the world, since he was around 12 months, is to turn over his cars and spin the wheels. When we go for a walk he does look around but he mostly watches the wheels spin on his pram. The last time I took him to a baby group he joined in a little but then became intent on flipping over his buggy to spin those wheels. When we go for a walk/ to the shops he can pick out a fan a mile off. His favourite song is wheels on the bus. You can get my drift!

Is it normal to be this obsessed with something? He has been a bit slow with his language, only says one word clearly 'car' and has only recently started to try and communicate with us through babbling. Before that he was quite quiet. His physical development I have no worries of. I feel that he's all there, eye contact, trying to tell us what he wants etc, if you know what I mean. I was just wondering if anyone else has a lo obsessed with spinning wheels? No other baby I know does this as intently as mine?

OP’s posts: |
Sparklingbrook Sat 18-May-13 09:28:35

Hi Lynday. Sounds just like DS1 (now 13). He used to turn the buggy over to spin the wheels. He had a collection of windmills in the garden that he would go along and spin each one. First words were 'round and round'. All new toy cars had to be checked for wheel spinning.

So it isn't unheard of. And he moved on to lining things up, so we had a snake of cars round the house a lot. smile

Slowly he stopped and got more interested in none spinny stuff. Mention in to your HV if you are very concerned.

Lynday Sat 18-May-13 11:13:57

Hey, thank you for replying. Windmills, I forgot the windmills! It's good to hear that ds isn't the only little one with this obsession :-)

OP’s posts: |
Gooders79 Sat 18-May-13 14:52:00

Spinning tops, windmills, washing machine, microwave, cogs, helicopters, wheels... Our Ds now 20 mo gas been obsessed with them all for about 6 mo, he too says round and round, so much so I put the washing machine on for an extra spin cycle one day this week to keep him happy ...

piprabbit Sat 18-May-13 15:04:21

It sounds to me as though your DS is currently using a Rotation Schema to explore the world through his play. It is very normal behaviour. My DS's favourite schema was lining things up in rows - it got a bit freaky as everywhere I looked there were rows of things.

Lots of children repeat similar patterns of play again and again, it's like they are squeezing every possible drop of learning and experience from a play idea. Then they will suddenly move on to something new, or return to an old favourite schema to see if they can learn anything new from it now they are a little bit bigger with more skills.

If you want to read about schemas this is a good short article to take a look at

00poppy00 Sat 18-May-13 21:56:54

this sounds just like my son... hes 22 months and always been a bit behind his twin sister... he loves spinning wheels and thumbing/flaring pages of a thick book!? he gets ingrossed for about half hr sometimes, i am worried as his speech is slow, he says dada bird and yeah.... his sister is leaps and bounds ahead of him in every aspect not sure if i should be getting him help or if im comparing him too closely to his sister... will watch for any advice

LunaticFringe Sat 18-May-13 22:09:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mawbroon Sat 18-May-13 22:36:16

DS1 was like this. Totally obsessed. He got a hold of the salad spinner when he was around 18 months and he would play with it for up to 3 hours at a time. Any wheeled item would be upturned and the wheels spun or objects put on the wheels and spun off.

I was a bit worried about him at the time, but he's 7 now and doing fine. He does ask to spin the salad if he sees me washing it, so he probably still likes the spinner smile

TrucksAndDinosaurs Sun 19-May-13 01:45:04

If you are concerned could you take the dc to the doctor and ask them to do M-CHAT (test for autism in toddlers)? It should pick up any red flags. It may well put your mind at rest...

TrucksAndDinosaurs Sun 19-May-13 01:47:55


Mchat test link

Crusoe Sun 19-May-13 07:13:04

My son (now nearly 6) was exactly the same at this age. He loved anything that went round especially fans, helicopters, windmills, salad spinners, spinning tops and wheels. Getting him past fans in shops or cafes was a nightmare. I got quite worried about his obsession but he eventually out grew it and has moved on to other things and is perfectly normal for his age. He is still interested in helicopters and windmills etc but in a "how they work" kind of way rather than just the spinning aspect.
Spinning seemed to rule our life for a year or so but it all passed - please don't worry I'm sure your son is fine.

Crusoe Sun 19-May-13 07:20:26

Oh just wanted to add and this may sound bonkers but I think it's true - my ds seemed to find spinning comforting and reasuring. Spinning is predictable the child knows what to expect, their are no surprises. My son has been able to express recently that this was part of the appeal for him.

Ragusa Sun 19-May-13 10:14:28

My DS was and is the same. Obsessed from a young age- in fact I remember him staring very intently at the rotaying bit of his baby swing when he was 8 weeks old. He's now 2.5 and developmentally neurotypical as far as I can see.

Ragusa Sun 19-May-13 10:14:43


BabiesAreLikeBuses Sun 19-May-13 19:59:27

Dt1 also on the spinning schema from a young age as well as obsessive lining up. Toys with wheels, huge helicopter and car transporter obsession (soooo many wheels!). Now 5yo guess how he likes to spend his time at the park? On the roundabout. Soft play? That spinning disc on a pole. He's perfectly normal, he just likes spinning!!

Ragusa Sun 19-May-13 23:14:11

Babiesarelikebuses, I think your and my son are twins separated at birth. DS also loves the roundabout and that spinning disc on a pole thing. Other favourites (from a v young age) include the ceiling fan in the chip shop and the rotating sprayer thing in the dishwasher. How odd.

I remember worrying myself to death because I'd read an obsession with wheels could be indicative of autism. Little did I know it was a common boy thing.

Lynday Tue 21-May-13 10:33:21

Thank you for the link TrucksAndDinosaurs, I am now almost completely convinced that there is nothing wrong with ds, he just reeeaaalllyyyy liks spinny things!

OP’s posts: |
mylilangel2 Sat 15-Jun-13 01:31:01

My son (23 months old) is obsessed with trains he will go all day saying train , looking out the window for the train, whenever we go outside he wants to go with the train etc, guess ive played Thomas for him too many times. Lol it never worried me actually I find it amusing that he gets so happy with something so small. I really don't think there's anything wrong with small children being obsessed with something.

w10643899 Wed 12-Sep-18 10:58:27

Hi I realise this is a VERY old thread, however, I googled to find toys for my toddler who loves spinning wheels and generally spinning objects and toys. Sounded exactly like your child, but I just wondered if they grew out of this? My toddler is 16 months next week and developmentally, according to others around the same age seems slightly slower. I wondered if yOu had any autism concerns or if they just grew out of the spinning objects fascination. Thank you x

Natty2102 Fri 20-Sep-19 12:40:22

My son is exactly the same. He is almost two years old and is obsessed with spinning wheels and other toys he has and loves circles! He has been like this since he was around 16 months old. He loves to jump in the front seat of our family car and pretend to drive it, flips his bike over to spin the wheels, loves watching fans spin - always points to buses and cars and says wheels, loves the microwave and washing machine. Have no issues with his physically development and is talking ok (has around 100 words in his vocabulary and has just begun to combine two words together). Since this thread was created 6 years ago, I’m just wondering how your kids are now? When I google the question it always relates to autism. I did the M-CHAT test on line and the results were fine.

CakeRattleandRoll Tue 24-Sep-19 14:50:42

My DS is now 7, definitely nowhere on spectrum, highly intelligent, emotionally intelligent, socially very capable, etc, etc.

He was absolutely obsessed with wheels from about 8 months to about 24 months. Every toy had to have wheels or he just wasn't interested. He would pick out pictures of wheels to show us, well before he could talk eg on CD covers, doormats, etc. During rhyme time sessions at local library, when other children happily sitting on parent's lap, he would have bum-shuffled off to the collection of parked buggies and be busily inspecting the wheels on each one. We are in Australia, so lots of ceiling fans - nothing could happen in any house until he had found and shown us where all of the fans were. I could go on.

He later went on to be obsessed by bins (around 2yo), car lights (around 5yo) and our new washing machine (around 6yo). These obsessions came and went, like passionate love affairs. However, wheels remain the true love of his life.

I find it very interesting that it seems to be very much a 'boy' thing. Why isn't it 50:50 between boys and girls? Why should a young male brain be so different?

AladdinMum Tue 24-Sep-19 17:06:00

Spinning wheels while it can be linked to autism (spinning wheels or any other repetitive behavior) it can equally be linked to normal behavior as it can be fun and interesting to spin wheels. If autism is present then there would be many other signs apart from spinning wheel, more reliable and credible signs. So if your our only concern is spinning wheels then it is likely that it is not concerning. We need to remember that autism is a social communication disorder and not a "spinning wheels" disorder.

Caroline818 Mon 26-Apr-21 00:40:25

Any update? I’m in the exact same position. My 18 month old still loves to spin wheels.

Stringervest Mon 10-May-21 18:11:06

It seems lots of people have found this old thread! My DS is 14 months and obsessed. Our very experienced childminder mentioned it to me today. She says there are no other signs of autism. He has good eye contact and is very relaxed about eg last minute changes in routine. She doesn't think we should be concerned about autism - she thinks it's just a schema, and I tend to agree.

Jannt86 Mon 10-May-21 20:34:41

It can be just a play schema. I was reading about them recently and it's fascinating. As well as rotational there's enveloping and transportation. Interestingly my 3YO seems to do almost all of them to a moderate degree eg she loves spinning things and sometimes lines things up but also loves moving things in her play buggy from one place to another and in the past few days has become obsessed with carrying a tin teapot we have around and filling it with random crap and then asking me if I want a 'surprise' and producing the same toy helicopter every time grin She also plays very nicely and is very social though btw. I find it interesting that she demonstrates quite a liking off ALL the schemas and wondering if anyone that's knowledgeable might know what that means? lol x

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