People Share the Dumbest Ideas They Had As Kids

April 25, 2023 | Henry Gomes

People Share the Dumbest Ideas They Had As Kids


Crazy kitchen concoctions, wild explanations to questions about biology and technology, and ideas that were simply not fully thought through are the hallmarks of any curious and innocent childhood. Your mind definitely thinks differently when you’re a child. What may seem an innocuous idea can actually be pretty stupid and in some cases, even pretty dangerous. But of course, hindsight is 20/20. So sit back and enjoy as these people share the dumbest ideas they had when they were kids.


1. Could’ve Been Worse

I think I was about five. There was a rock quarry/gravel pit about a mile from my home that my parents didn't want me going to because a bunch of unseemly youths hung out there. So, of course, this is where my flying experiment took place. I tied four kites to my bike and thought if I rode fast enough and then took my bike off the steepest bank of the quarry, the kites would lift me off and I'll glide to the bottom.

Probably lucky for me, but the strings of the kite wound into the bike spokes and completely locked it, throwing me and I slid all the way down the edge of the gravel pit rather than make a measured jump. Scraped up to my elbows and from my knees down, all I could think on that painful walk home dragging my busted bike full of kites was how my mom was going to kill me.

Suffice to say, when your five-year-old walks in looking like the finale of Carrie, you don't immediately jump to punishment. You just start screaming.

dumb ideas as kids

2. A “Hole” Lot of Trouble

I dug a hole in the backyard thinking I could build an underground house. My mom ended up falling into it when she went to hang some laundry on the clothesline. Luckily she didn't get hurt.

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

3. Curiosity Killed The Kid’s Idea

I wondered what would happen if I stapled my thumb. The answer was that it freaking hurt and I bled.

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

4. When a Campfire is Out of Reach

I tried to roast marshmallows on steam from the dishwasher.

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

5. This Isn’t How Cruise Control Works?

I had a period where I was convinced cars were static, and the Earth rotated beneath it. I did not consider how every other car moved around.

Dumbest Idea FactsPexels

6. Losing Sleep Over a Not-So Bright Idea

I thought the world was stupid for thinking 6-8 hours of sleep was necessary. For about an entire academic year, I stayed up till about 3am playing games or watching movies or even doing last minute homework and woke up at 6am for school. I was falling asleep in the afternoon lessons every day but I got back home and perked up again.

Most of that year is a blur. I think it also coincided with the time when I stopped growing taller.

Frivolous Lawsuits FactsShutterstock

7. Dull Mind Meet Sharp Blade

I thought licking a knife was a bright idea. All the old knives we had in the house, you could lick without any problems if there was a smear of cut food on it. We had recently gotten some new white-handled knives. My dad told me that they were really sharp, but I didn't believe him, I guess? After someone cut an avocado, I saw the smeared food on the white-handled knife and went to go lick it.

Surprise, pain, and panic ensued. Don't worry, I fixed it with my kid brain. Later that day, my mother asked why I had a paper towel in my mouth.

Raised a Monster FactsShutterstock

8. IRL RollerCoaster Tycoon

When I was little I thought it would be a good idea to create my own amusement park in my basement. I started with a slide and I made it by taking our mini indoor trampoline and setting part of it on the wall to create an incline. I got to the top of the trampoline and slid down. The bars holding the thing up went into the paint and created a large dent in the wall. Not my best idea.

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

9. A Fishy Idea

I got this idea in my head that if I set my deceased fish on fire it would come back to life. I don't know why I thought that. All I know is that the house smelled bad and my fish was still definitely not coming back to life.

Surrounded by Idiots FactsPxHere

10. Not Exactly What Gertrude Chandler Warner Had in Mind

I remember reading The Boxcar Children and I was convinced that anyone who was like 13 years old was basically an adult, and could survive on their own. My parents were constantly finding the hoard of canned goods and camping supplies that I was trying to squirrel away in order to just peace out and try to live in the woods.

Left Life Behind factsPixabay

11. The Wonders of a Child’s Imagination

I thought my life was some sort of television show or play or something. I would talk to the “audience” sometimes, which I now realize was really creepy. Also, I thought everyone was an alien but me, and whenever people knew I'd be near them they had to wear their human suits so I wouldn't find out.

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

12. A Hair-Brained Idea

All your hair for your whole life is stored inside your head. Your hair grows because as you get older your brain grows as you learn more so it pushes the hair out. Old people are bald because their hair has run out.

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

13. An Interesting Answer to an Age-Old Question

I believed my mom when she told me that she forgot how babies were made. I'm an only child so it made sense to me.

Kid's Home Life FactsShutterstock

14. This Would Be an Awesome Graphic Novel

When I learned about Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves it took years for me to learn that it actually did not mean that Lincoln, himself, ran into some large, supermax type prison complex, under fire, while the whole place was engulfed in flames, and literally broke people out from behind bars and lead them all outside to their freedom. What an imagination.

Surrounded by Idiots FactsShutterstock

15. A Kid’s Imagination Will Not Go Quietly Into the Night

I was five years old when the movie Independence Day came out. That movie was a big deal in my entire family and it's all my dad ever watched. What I didn't know, however, is what was actually celebrated on Independence Day. I came under the impression that it was some kind of intergalactic treaty between earth and the rest of the universe where if aliens decided they wanted to invade us they were only allowed to do so on that day.

The reason we set off fireworks at night is to celebrate that we've gone another year without being invaded.

Dumbest Idea FactsPxHere

16. “I am Not a Flooder”

I thought Watergate was when President Nixon accidentally opened a gate and flooded a town or something.

Dumbest Idea FactsWikimedia Commons, Indutiomarus

17. Not Quite How the Digestive System Works

I had the idea that when you ate and drank, it fills you up from the feet first like you were an empty shell. It would gradually fill up your legs and then when it reached your bum it would overflow and that's how poo happened.

Michelle Obama FactsShutterstock

18. I Had This Idea, Too!

I thought the world used to actually be black and white when I saw my parent's old photos. I even asked them what it was like when the world switched to color.

Dumbest Idea FactsFlickr

19. PSA: Don’t Emulate Video Games

I once ate a mushroom growing from some grass near my house and went home and told my dad how the mushroom was going to allow me to grow bigger like Mario. My dad went berserk and demanded I show him where I found the mushroom. It wasn't until I grew up that I realized how dangerous it could have been.

Dumbest Idea FactsLibreShot

20. When Snacktime Goes Wrong

I decided to get “creative” with making popcorn on the stove. First, when I pulled the pan off the burner, I set it directly on our laminate countertops. Turned away for a second to get the melted butter and I heard a “crack!” The hot pan had cracked a chunk of the laminate off. In my panic, I then moved the pan to another part of the counter on the other side of the kitchen.

This time it just burned the laminate instead of cracking it. To top it off, I decided to mix in a bunch of random stuff into the butter to try something besides just plain butter and a little salt. I put paprika, garlic powder, garlic salt, oregano, cinnamon, and the pièce de resistance...peppermint oil. Needless to say the popcorn wasn’t remotely edible.

Not even my vacuum cleaner of a dog would touch it.

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

21. Soup’s On!

I really enjoyed drinking milk, orange juice, and apple juice. It was all good stuff, yeah? So if you made a soup with all these things that were good on their own, surely it'd be like the best soup ever, right?

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

22. Rooftop Sessions

I for some reason thought that when you listened to music on the radio, someone would be playing the music live on the car roof.

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

23. Your Path of Wisdom Will Be Met With Indigestion

I used to eat the little paper fortunes in fortune cookies because I thought the fortune had to, like, be part of me to happen. I did this until I was 14 or 15.

Eating Sins FactsPixabay

24. Food for Thought

I thought ground beef came from the ground, like a vegetable. I didn't know it came from an animal. I also thought they were “girled” cheese sandwiches instead of grilled cheese sandwiches and I wanted my mom to make me a boy cheese sandwich because I was a boy.

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

25. Electronics and Butter Don’t Mix

My sisters and I thought that our VCR got hungry, so we fed ours blocks of butter over the space of a few weeks and we pushed it in as far as it would go. Eventually, my mom tried to play a VHS tape and it wouldn't work. She got someone to fix it, they opened it up, and found a bucket load of butter in there. Safe to say, our mom was not pleased.

Significant Other Was "The One FactsShutterstock

26. Never a Good Idea to Experiment in the Kitchen

My mom left to go to the store when I was about 7 or 8. For some reason, I thought it’d be a great idea to try cooking. Having no idea what I was doing, I put milk in a pan and then threw an onion in it. It smelled terrible and I couldn’t explain to mom why it smelled so bad.

Anything And Everything FactsShutterstock

27. Trampolines and Ice: A Lethal Combination

When I was living overseas due to my dad’s work, I would always go over to a friend’s house and play on the trampoline regardless of the weather. Well, this one time it was snowing outside and there were massive blocks of ice on the trampoline. The trampoline was next to a wall—the house was gated, which is pretty common in certain places in Seoul—and so we jumped on the trampoline to break up the ice.

Then, we had a really dumb idea to throw these blocks over the wall while jumping on the trampoline. Naturally, we picked the biggest block first. With a huff and a puff, we launched it over the wall…and straight into a windshield of a car that was parked on the road outside. The car alarm went off, a local man came outside of the neighboring house screaming at us.

Let’s just say that it didn’t end well for me or my friend when our parents heard.

Vegas factsGetty Images

28. It’s The Thought that Counts, Right?

As a kid, I decided it would be a good idea to melt a crayon on the stove and write “I LOVE YOU MOMMY” on the carpet while she was in the shower. Shortly after I finished my “wholesome” message, I realized I messed up. Long story short, my mom wasn’t very happy having to find me hiding under the table after she got out.

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

29. Kids’ Brains Work in Mysterious Ways

When I was about 5 or 6, I was told, as most kids are, not to swallow gum because it'll stay in your stomach for seven years. My brilliant idea: “Eat enough gum until you're stomach is full and you won't have to eat again for seven years.” I thought I would save so much time and didn't really like most food at the time anyway I guess.

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

30. Would Be Impressive, If True

I used to think that everything on television was live. I don't know how I even thought this was possible, but I thought that all the live action Disney sitcom shows that I watched were happening in real time. All the actors would be on the set, and they somehow got everything right every time. Marathons were particularly impressive.

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

31. Catapulting Into A Terrible, Terrible Idea

When I was about 6, we wanted to build a catapult. So we found a long board and put one end in a ditch and the other end out of it where the ditch runs under a driveway. Then we dragged a ladder out of the garage and someone stood on it so that he could jump and send the other end flying. Well, it was then that we realized we didn't have anything to catapult.

After a very brief conversation between six-year-olds, it was decided that I should be that thing. I sat at one end, the other kid jumped onto the other end from the ladder and off I flew...and landed on my shoulder on the aforementioned driveway. Ended up breaking my collarbone.

Bad idea signShutterstock

32. Good Intentions, Not-So-Good Results

I rolled down the windows in my dad’s truck while going through an automatic car wash and got soap bubbles all in it. I thought the inside needed to be cleaned too! In my defense, I was only about five.

Weirdest Rule FactsShutterstock

33. Gentle Reminder that Mary Poppins was a Work of Fiction

If I jumped off the roof with an umbrella, the umbrella would act as a parachute and bring me gently sailing to the ground. A broken leg and disappointed mother showed me otherwise.

Dumbest Idea FactsFlickr

34. It Would Be a Cool Way to End a National Anthem

My family went to a lot of baseball games when I was little. As a result, I thought the national anthem ended with "Play ball!" and sang it that way for longer than I care to admit.

Dumb Things Believed As A Child FactsShutterstock

35. Learning the Value of a Dollar… and a Cent

I thought that one cent was the same as one dollar. I remember going up to the ice cream man with a freaking penny in my hand asking for Spider-Man ice cream. The parents of the kid behind me felt so bad and paid for me.

Dumbest Idea FactsPublic Domain Pictures

36. Saying Zip-It to Bad Ideas

I must have been about eight years old and wondered if I could fit inside a piece of carry-on luggage. I climbed inside and zipped it up. What I didn't consider is how to unzip myself out. Almost 40 years later, my mother still cracks up at how she stood in the kitchen and watched this piece of luggage move itself across the living room floor.

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

37. A Broom Never Solved Anything

One day my GameBoy stopped working. I thought it was acting up so I figure if I beat it with a broom it'll learn it's lesson. 20 seconds of four-year-old muscle power later, I had myself two halves of a GameBoy and one whole spanking from my parents.

Instant Karma factsPxHere

38. Who Didn’t Have This Idea When They Were Three

I never did it, but I would dream of getting up the gall to grab a hammer and smashing the TV open so I could go to Sesame Street. I was three.

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

39. When Dumb Ideas Actually Pay Off

I had a lot of dumb ideas as a kid, but easily the dumbest one was to make a parachute out of a trash bag and some hay string (because growing up on a farm, hay string is like duct tape in that it does everything), and jump off the roof of the house. Thankfully it was one story. I didn't break anything, but I'll bet the look on my mom's face was priceless as she saw me fall past the kitchen window.

The fact that my parents were surprised when I joined the Army and went airborne 10 years later is one of the most mind-blowing things ever. Like, what else does a kid who jumped off the roof with a trash bag strapped to her back do when she turns 19 and finds out they pay you to jump out of airplanes?

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

40. When Your Seemingly Genius Plan Goes “Bust”

I thought booby traps had something to do with boobies. So I went like a commando through the backyards in the neighborhood and took bras off the clotheslines. Since I figured that they already trap boobies at some level, they are the material needed to build my larger trap. My dad found whatever insane net I tried to build by connecting them all together stashed in the garage and was pretty confused, and then pretty upset when I told him what I was working on.

Since I had no record of where I got them from, he made me go door-to-door asking if any women in the house were missing bras, then go through my entire collection to pick out which one. No one was very happy based on my actions.

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

41. Keep Your Arms Away From Your Kids!

My younger sister locked herself in the bathroom. Despite my best attempts, I couldn't explain to her how to unlock the door. The only logical solution in my six-year-old mind was to shoot the door down. That's how they do it in the movies, right? I knew where my dad kept his shotgun and the ammo. I planned to tell my sister to hide in the bathtub.

Thankfully, I went outside, where my mother was hanging laundry on the clothesline. I simply went out to warn her to not be concerned about the loud noise she was about to hear.

People Share The Worst Things A Guest Has Done In Their HomeShutterstock

42. Not a Pleasant Sight to Come Across

I decided to bungie jump from the tree out front of my house…with a rope tied around my waist. My dad found me asleep hanging from the tree an hour later.

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

43. Mom Coming Through With a Crucial Interception

I formed a detective agency with my friends and would scour the local newspaper for cases to solve. I got really excited when I read that there were people down the street whose son just died suddenly. I was just leaving the house to go interview the departed kid’s parents, when thankfully my mom found out and stopped us.

Dumbest Idea FactsShutterstock

Sources: Reddit, ,


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