Q&A: toys for a 2-year-old deconstructionist

Hey, by now I'm sure you've all fallen victim to this Quechup scam, but if you haven't, don't join. It goes through your email and spams everyone there.

Now for today's question. Dawn writes:

"I have a question I hope you can help me with. This is my third child and he’s the first who is taking everything in the house apart.

He has taken knobs off of furniture, unscrews all the caps off of the bottles in the fridge & piles them up in the middle of the top shelf,

Climbs up to the counters and the armoire with a chair that he pulls over from the dining room and tries to reconfigure my computer

click on icons when I step away for a moment. We know he’s trying to test his limits but "no" doesn’t seem to be working.

I can’t keep him from opening up the fridge (I tried the fridge lock but he broke it the first week) and am consistent on saying no but he

Still goes back and does it. I have tried redirecting him but he seems to be focused on dismantling the house.

It was suggested to get him toys that he could take apart & put back together that are age appropriate but

I can’t seem to locate ones that don’t cost a fortune or aren’t at about age 5 like the ikea toolbench."

Think about how proud you're going to be of him when he's a rich and happy adult doing something involving taking things apart and figuring out how they work! He'll probably support you in your old age.

But you're in a tough spot right now, because all the obvious things you could be giving him to take apart--old computer keyboards, old computers, broken electronic equipment--have parts that are too small for a 2-year-old.

I wonder if it would be possible to make him some kind of 2-year-old-appropriate workboard with a sheet of pegboard, some rope, a bunch of huge washers (too big for him to swallow), some shorter lengths of PVC pipe, and a bunch of other things you find at the hardware store. I'm thinking there has to be a way to affix the rope to the board in loops that you could twist and tie things to, so you could switch up the configuration of things. He could take it apart and reassemble the washers and other stuff, and you could keep changing it so he wouldn't get too bored.

Or you could just get him a Rubik's cube.

Anyone else?