Having a Wilder time at home

With the help of his parents, Wilder McCullough has been making the most of the last two months.


While we’ve all been staying home the past two months, 3-year-old Wilder McCullough has been having a blast.

“Every day I try to wake up and plan out something,” said Carah Jo, Wilder’s mother. “Even if it’s little and it’s gonna take 10 minutes just so it’s more than just sitting around.”

From fruit-themed picnics to glow-in-the-dark dancing, every day is wilder than the next.

Plus, Wilder’s mom works at Ovation Studios, a dance studio ran by Melanie Perkins, so she’s been teaching all of her students through Zoom… except for her son.

Wilder’s grandparents ran a preschool in Neosho for thirty years, so his mom grew up going there and then working there – inspiring some of the countless activities they’ve been doing at home.

“I always worked with the two and three year olds so I have about every trick in the book for all kinds of toddler stuff. Obviously I follow toddler blogs on Instagram, I follow Art Feeds and I’m obsessed with them.”

They’re referring to the local non-profit Art Feeds in Joplin, which has been posting all sorts of art projects for families to do at home.

“We froze a bunch of him dinosaurs in the tub and he got to dig them out with salt. That’s another one that Art Feeds had posted, and it was just water, salt, and frozen toys​.”

Not only did Wilder try them out, at one point the organization named him ” Artist of the Week.”

Wilder’s grandfather passed away last year, his grandma currently lives at the Medicalodges in Neosho, where she hasn’t been able to have any visitors since the beginning of the pandemic. It hasn’t stopped her grandson though – but it hasn’t stopped her grandson from hopping on his bike and dropping by her window, singing her songs and keeping her company multiple times a week.
While there’s nothing wrong with watching a little TV for inspiration, it’s kids like Wilder who can make “even” this time fly.
More footage from our interview with Wilder: