Kids have an active imagination and are able to make up fun little games and activities to entertain themselves. At the time, everything seems so innocent and fun. As they get older, however, they might notice there's something a little odd about what they used to do.
People on Reddit share the things they did as kids they now realize is weird. Content has been edited for clarity.
"When I was four or so, we lived in a flat in the USA that had this massive concrete structure behind it. I've no idea what it was, but at the bottom of it was at least a foot of dank water, trees, etc. I was convinced it was a swimming pool and begged my mum to let me swim in it.
'No, absolutely not,' she said. 'It's full of snapping turtles, and they will snap off your fingers.'
I also wanted to eat all these berries that were on local bushes.
'No, absolutely not. Those are poisonous. They'll make you very sick and then dead,' I was told.
Clever me, I put the two ideas together and thus spent that summer throwing poison berries into the swamp structure in order to kill all the turtles. Four years old, stuck on murder mode for three months."
"I used to eat tissues as a kid. My mum found out one day and yelled at me to stop, (as any sane parent would do). So I started eating them in secret. Sneaking away with a tissue box to another room to eat a tissue or two.
Until one day when I was about 5-years-old, I had to go to the hospital. I had no idea what was going on; all I knew was that I had trouble breathing through my nose. Before my operation I was in the hospital, and I overheard one of the nurses say that they just needed to remove the excess tissue in my nose.
Naturally, I thought the tissues I had eaten had started getting clogged up in my nose and I never ate a tissue again. I made the realization at 14 that it was muscle tissue in my nose and not the actual tissues I was eating."
"When I was a kid, in the '80s, I had very strict teachers. Any form of back-talking or, god forbid, swearing would get you a quick slap and a fast march to the head teacher's office to explain yourself.
My teacher once sat me down for 'a talk,' as happened fairly often, which was basically her just berating me. In the middle of this, she suddenly stopped and told me I needed to keep my eyes under control because I had this terrible nervous habit of twitching my eyes when she was talking to me.
In actual fact, I was tracing out imaginary swear words with my eyes. Basically, drawing out things like 'Get bent,' and 'Shut up,' tracing the letters with my eyes as if they were right in front of her face.
I didn't realize she could see my eye movements - I mean, I don't know why, as an adult, it's obvious my eyes were darting all over the place and looking crazy. Child me thought it was subtle enough that it was unnoticeable, and I was being super sneaky.
As soon as I realized she could see it, I stopped, but looking back, probably the funniest part to me now is how much it must have unnerved her. And she never did know the reason for it. To her, I must've just been the weird kid with the crazy eyes."
"A few years ago, I was visiting my aunt and uncle, and they had some old film from the '80s of my extended family on a camping trip. There was a full playset there, including a trampoline, and my mother was filming my cousins and I playing. I'm not sure why my aunt and uncle had the tape instead of my mother, but whatever.
I was about three at the time, and my mother panned the camera away from my cousins playing on a swing set towards me on the trampoline. Except I was lying face down on the trampoline, full-on thrusting my hips into it as hard as I could.
Now, I don't specifically remember doing that, but I have a pretty good idea of how my little mind worked at the time. I'm certain that I was just trying to see if I could build up enough force to lift myself off the trampoline mat or flip myself over. Still, not exactly the best thing to be watching with your aunt and uncle, who threatened to save it and show at my wedding.
Jokes on them; I pocketed the tape when they weren't looking."
"I used to run a 'purified dust' cartel. My school had a sandbox area with eucalyptus trees, and I’d assign workers to throw sand over the trees so that the larger pieces would get filtered out by the bark. The remaining powder was labeled 'purified dust.'
Surprisingly, a huge number of kids were interested in buying our purified dust. Our currency was plastic BB pellets, and a pinch of dust was worth five pink pellets. Different colored pellets had different values, and freshly made dust cost more than old dust.
There were even different 'companies' of people creating purified dust at different trees. We’d devise plans to sabotage each other so our own company could earn more profit. We were basically six-year-old kids running a fake crack business.
"When I was in fourth grade (so around 9 or 10) at a private school, we used Pinto beans as counters during math. Well, one day someone realized if you put a bean in water, it would sprout. So, it became incredibly fashionable to keep a couple living bean sprouts hidden in your desk at all times.
This turned into a whole industry. Sneaking to the cabinet in the back and stealing the beans was risky, so people took on those roles. The beans were old, so getting them to actually sprout was valuable. Others would sneak the sprouts in and out of class to get sun.
A boy's grandparents had bought him a science experiment kit that came with hundreds of these little plastic vials that stood up on their own. They were the perfect size for keeping a sprouted Pinto bean, so he started trading them. Another two kids had water bottles with a straw that fit neatly into the vials and made it easy to water the sprouts. They turned it into a service.
One pretty talented group of girls started making houses out of paper and cardboard for the sprouts to 'live' in. This allowed bean 'families' to become a thing. Another girl realized that the houses meant there was a market for bean sprout furniture. Kids starting pulling textbooks out of their desks and stashing them around the classroom to make space for larger and larger houses.
The houses were a turning point because they ran anywhere from $5 to $10, which was the first time anyone had charged real money for something instead of bartering. In addition, demand for sprouts went through the roof, since you could fit four or five in a house. The kid who had been successfully sprouting the beans is under immense pressure to produce, and we've crossed a threshold so people are willing to pay real money now.
Into this high-pressure situation walks my classmate Julia. Julia brings a tiny bottle of purple liquid one day and tells the bean-sprouter kid that it's the diluted slime of an extremely rare snail from the forests up north she collected herself while camping with her family. It's such a strong fertilizer, even diluted, that one drop in each vial will guarantee that a bean will sprout; in addition, a drop to each already-sprouted bean will ensure a nice, green plant. There's enough for around 50 sprouts in there, but it's going to cost him $20 for the whole bottle.
Well, if you're selling the sprouts at $1 each, $20 is a steal. So the kid comes back the next day with the cash, Julia gives him the fertilizer, and he puts a drop in each vial just before we leave to go home.
The next day, all his bean sprouts are dead, and he's mad. Turns out the fertilizer was just Julia's mom's perfume, and it killed all the plants. Well, the bean-sprouter kid is not the kind of person to take this laying down, so he goes to the teacher to tell her that he got conned.
And the whole thing unravels. The teacher is upset that her students have been devoting hours of in-class time to beans. Parents are upset the money they thought was for snacks or field trips was for beans. The principal has to announce to the whole school that growing plants in your desk is now banned, which just confuses everyone else. And my class is angry at the poor bean-sprouting kid for snitching and ruining everything. All their hard work is now in the trash.
The bean sprout industry never recovered."
"When I was a really young kid, I was totally convinced I only had one nostril. I could clearly see everybody else had two, but for some reason, I just didn't have enough physical self-awareness to notice I had two as well. I didn't think it was anything wrong with me, I just thought some people had different amounts of nostrils for some reason. I'm pretty sure I remember asking my mom about this at one point and being amazed to discover that I, too, have two nostrils!
I also thought there were two different Earths: the one we lived on, which was flat-ish; and the one they showed in space, which was round. I didn't think they were lying about the shape of Earth or anything, I just for some strange reason thought there were two different ones. I wished that they would show the flat one we live on more often. Needless to say, I'm really glad I grew out of my flat-earther phase pretty quickly.
Boy, I was one odd child sometimes."
"I grew up in rural Arkansas. Hunting, fishing, these were normal ways of life.
My grandfather has two stocked catfish ponds. Literally anytime you wanted catfish, you just go back in his farm pasture, go fishing for 15-20 minutes and catch a few fish, go back up to the house where he had a hook mounted on a tree, and dress the fish out.
I was so used to my family hanging the catfish on this hook to skin and gut them, that it became normal.
One day, I was out in the yard playing by myself with my mom watching me out the window and doing stuff in the house. Our yard was fenced in so there was no chance of me running into the road or anything. I, like many country kids, decided to start catching as many spring frogs as I could to see how many I could get to.
I couldn't figure out how to contain them once I caught them. I didn't have a bucket nearby that was tall enough for them not to jump out of, But I remembered Grandpa and the catfish. So I would catch a couple of frogs... Walk over to the barbed wire fence, and hang the frogs up.
I probably caught and murdered 50 frogs by impaling them on barbed wire before my mom realized what I was doing."
"When I was in middle school, a buddy and I had an idea to sell Kool-Aid in straws. We would buy a box of 100 straws, fill it with Kool-Aid, and staple the ends shut. Depending on the flavor (limited edition), we would charge 5-10 cents. What did we call it? 'YOPE.'
We went on to hand out little flyers that said, 'Get all the YOPE you need for as little as five cents!'
We would make a killing in homeroom before the classes began.
Our business was good for a few weeks until a teacher asked us about it. Next thing you know the principal came over the loudspeaker and said that selling anything in school was against the rules - 'fair warning.'
We abruptly stopped but went on to cut out rectangles of shoeboxes and glue thick paper on the bottom. They slid so excellently down the hallways like a dirt skateboard."
"So my Dad used to do this to me every night for maybe a good six months or so (probably longer because I was a dumb child).
But after dinner, he would ask me if I wanted to go to the 'blanket show,' and heck yes! Five-year-old me was so excited to find out what the blanket show was. I remember in my mind I was picturing some Wiggles/Hooley Dooley's type performance show.
I would rush around to brush my teeth and put my PJ's on- as per his directions- so that we could get to the 'blanket show' as soon as possible. Then at the end, he'd tell me that I needed to get into bed and that he'd wake me up when it was time to go. That time never came. He'd never wake me up. The blanket show was bedtime. I'm pretty sure he even had a theme song for the blanket show that he'd sing to me, the evil genius.
I also used to cover my nose when picking my nose, because I thought people would think that seven-year-old me was pretending to smoke and find me super cool. I think I'd seen someone shield their joint from the wind once while lighting it."
"I used to draw on the pavement with a special white crayon when I was a kid. I also told all my friends about these special crayons you could find all around the neighborhood.
Unfortunately, one of my friends broke the news to me that my special white crayons were nothing more than a dried piece of dog poop."
"When I was about eight-years-old, I used to take those standard pink erasers and tenaciously rub them on my desk or pieces of paper in order to make a massive pile of eraser shavings. I’d then take a pencil, coat it in glue, and roll it in the eraser shaving pile in order to make what I called, 'fuzzy pencils.'
After they dried, they were essentially furry fun pencils and the kids in my class took an interest in them. I’d sell them at my desk for a quarter each, but my teacher caught me selling them and told me to cut it out.
I also took books from the classroom, relocated them at my desk, and placed them in a bin to make my own 'library.' I purposely picked the favorites of most people in my class so they had no choice but to pay me a quarter if they wanted to rent it out. I even had a checkout log to track who had what book.
My teacher also shut that down and told me I couldn’t 'have a library from her own library.' I honestly don’t know what I was thinking."
"When I was around five, I was madly in love with Peter Pan. So at night when everyone was asleep I would dress in my most beautiful pjs, (it was a dress with butterflies and flowers as far as I can remember), and walk to my window to open the curtains. The moonlight would fall, straight into my face, and then Peter Pan would notice me.
I would walk to the table that was standing right in front of the window in my room, stand on it, and spread my arms. I stood there, waiting for Peter Pan to open the window so he could take me to Neverland and we could live happily ever after.
I always waited 10 minutes for him to show up, but guess what, he never did. And I did this probably for a month, every night. After that month I realized he would never come and get me. Since that realization moment, I never wore those butterfly and flower pjs again."
"When I was maybe six or seven, my mom took me to her workplace. Her job was inside a long bright room, the windows were closed, the air was off, and she was standing in front of me doing her business at a table. I was on the floor just curiously inspecting things. About five feet in front of me was a shelf with stacks of neatly folded pants. I noticed a stringed tag hanging from one of the pants, and for some reason, I began to focus on this tag. Weirdly enough, and I don't know why a six-year-old would try this, I decided to try to move it with my mind (weird, I know).
This actually worked and I tested it a few times to make sure. The tag would move back and forth like a fast pendulum, I would will it to stop and it did. Full stop. I began again making it quickly swing side to side, will it to stop. Full stop. At this point, I look around and there is no source of airflow or breeze. My mom was oblivious to what I was doing. I try this one more time, telepathically swinging it and it actually goes. I get a feeling that I shouldn't be doing this, at this point, I'm actually scared. I remember feeling unsettled very vividly.
I tried to hone this ability later on in life but to no avail. I honestly think it just had something to do with me being a child and some type of childhood innocence energy, I don't know. I still think about it and wonder what the heck that was all about. I live a relatively normal life now."
"I grew up on a farm. For some reason when I was about eight, I went through a phase of moving small dead animals out of the rain. I remember moving a dead rabbit into a little spot, but the worst was I put a collection of dead birds into the car shed in a spot my parents couldn’t see. I remember them finding the pile of maggots weeks later and thinking I was going to be in huge trouble.
I guess they just thought the cat put it there though because I didn’t get in trouble. And to be fair why would they have suspected me? So strange.?
"I used to make up songs about a situation that irritated me, and sing them in a passive-aggressive way.
I remember fighting with my brother and I'd sing stuff like 'Someone's got a big head and smells like poop, I don't know why he gets an extra scoop'.
I did this to my parents too, my dad says I made up a song when my mum spanked me and it was just me saying 'I wish I wasn't born' the whole time.
Best believe it landed me another spanking.
I distinctly remember when our house was getting renovated, and I noticed that one of the construction guys was doing a lot more work than the others. I made up a song about how he was 'doing all the work and it wasn't fair.'
I think I made him cry? Really freaking weird phase, that was."
"My brother and I used to play a game called 'stuck' in the car when our mom went shopping. We’d stay in the car while she went into the shop, then we’d get ourselves stuck in various small places inside the car. The goal was to get ‘unstuck’ before she got back. I distinctly remember being wedged halfway between the front and back sets of seats and seeing her walk out of Aldi. Of course, we found it hilarious
We also used to play the light switch game, when there were two switches for our kitchen. Basically my goal was to have the lights on, my brother’s goal was for them to be off, and we’d flip the switches as fast as we could in our light war. Our parents were rather annoyed."
"In primary school, we had this tradition of 'marrying' couples during recess behind a huge tree in the garden. It was known as the wedding tree, and as soon as two children liked each other, they would instantly be married. There would be witnesses, a speech, and a small kiss on the lips. Sometimes it would even be forced because it was a one-way likeship, and the pressure of the other children forced the ceremony.
Weird thing was that teachers and parents knew about it and never said anything. It was not even a game performed because of religious traditions, it was just a way to make a relationship official; even if it was only for two days and with different people throughout the year."
"Every time my mom would take my siblings and me to a shopping center, we would eat the ice from those ice beds fish are chilled on before they're sold. My mom would always try to stop us but we would go crazy for the ice. We would always get some eventually. Once you've got a taste, you can't stop. Life loses all meaning except for the acquisition of ice.
I never knew why they didn't cover those fish counters with a screen or something. Maybe they didn't expect a bunch of crazy little children would come and steal their ice."
"When my twin sister and I were little, we absolutely loved shows like Kim Possible, Totally Spies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Shuriken School. Because of this, we aspired to be spies/ninjas. The toy store sold all this kind of cheap spy toys, which I loved. Then we would make up some conspiracy theory or create missions for ourselves and pretend we had to take action or else.
We lived in a small village with less than a thousand people so we could go wherever we would like, unlike kids who live in a big city. So we would run around the village, sneak in people’s backyards, and 'spy' on them. Kind of weird if I think about it now.
The epitome was us sitting in someone else’s treehouse in the backyard, and using it as a look outpost. It was dark out so no one saw us, and because the lights in the houses were on (and interestingly, few people in The Netherlands have curtains or close them if they have them) it was the perfect lookout spot.
Fun then, but sort of creepy now."