They were completely unstable, possessing multiple personalities and disorders. They were often seen imitating chickens, meowing like cats, impersonating a dog, swatting away bugs, dancing madly, or literally beating themselves up. Some display signs of bipolar disorder, crying one second, and then laughing in hysterics the next. While they appeared disturbing, they were completely harmless. Unfortunately, Alice cannot do anything to help them either, despite the fact that they often plead with her to do so.
However, in the Majestic Maze, one of the children helped Alice in advancing to the Queen's palace by following her to a switch that opened the next level, provided that he was found in the maze.
Throughout the Vale of Tears and the Crockery, a small red-headed girl was seen running ahead of Alice giggling. She disappeared in the Foundry,[source?] and Alice only met her again in Hyde Park, before the hallucination of Alice's burning house, bleeding to death. She had been bisected, and the lower part of her body was unseen. With her dying breath, she implored Alice to help the other children. Alice stated that she did not think the children were in danger anymore as the Queen of Hearts had been defeated, which symbolized her failure to recognize and act upon the abuse happening to the orphans she lived with at Houndstitch. The little girl then told her that they have many different enemies, but the new one was far worse than the Queen, before dying.
The other Insane Children were in the Dollhouse, with both genders instead of just the males. They were the ones responsible for leaving Alice various warnings and pointers via Shrink Sense scribbles. While visually even more disturbing and mangled, they appeared to act quite lucid.
Their leader was a scar-faced little girl holding a teddy bear, who told Alice that she was not sane enough to be rejected by the Dollmaker. Their base was a large fort made out of building blocks with the symbolic name of Fort Resistance. They used the location to take shelter from the sinister toys that lurked amongst the fields of colorful playthings. However, in actuality, they were also trying to hide from the Dollmaker, who turned the children into dolls.
When Alice returned to Fort Resistance, she found out that the fort had been conquered, symbolizing the loss of her innocence, and that the Insane Children were captured and converted into dolls by the Dollmaker, with the exception of the leader, who was found dead near the door with her eyes gouged out. However, the leader was found alive again lurking near the main Looking Glass Railway station.
The top half of children's skull might be removed or they may wear lobotomizing head gear. They wear pants in color blue or green but no shoes or shirts. They had tacks on each of the end of their mouths as if smiling.
It is revealed during Alice's conversation with March Hare and Dormouse that the Mad Hatter puts these children into his killer machines, the Automatons, to patrol his domain. These children are possible renditions of fellow patients of Rutledge who have also been heavily mistreated by staff and patient alike in Rutledge Asylum.
The Insane Children are symbolic of the fellow orphans at Houndsditch Home for Wayward Youth that bully Alice about her past, despite the fact their background may have been worse than hers. The only child from Houndsditch that seems to give a clue about Bumby's intentions is a girl in London who recites a rendition of Dollmaker's poem (The Sandman's coming in his train of cars/ with moonbeam windows and with wheels of stars./ So hush my little ones, have no fear / the man in the moon, he is the engineer.) while her gaze is fixated on the wall, possibly out of shame or Bumby's mental programming.
The player can use the Jackbomb to spew flames on any Insane Child. It won't hurt them at all, but they will briefly catch on fire and still carry on their random activities as if nothing had happened.
In addition to the Jackbomb, the player can smack the Insane Children with the Croquet Mallet, which will briefly electrocute them. Again, this has no effect on their actions.
In Queen of Hearts Land, one of the Insane Children will follow Alice around, throwing his hands up and screaming at her.
After Alice defeats the first Doll Girl and looks at the Fort Resistance, the player can see the Insane Children looking out of the windows. They appear stuck in Figure T's, as they have no animation here.
If the player looks down at the floor of the Infernal Train's engine just before the player enters the Train's boiler room, the Insane Children's bodies are floating in the Ruin.
It is unknown why all Insane Children in the first game are male.