When it’s clean up time in the playroom, kids are nowhere to be found. But when mom busts out the big cleaning devices like a mop or a powerful vacuum cleaner, suddenly the little ones want to pitch in, too. Why? Because while housework is hardly fun and games for adults, toddlers find the most pleasure in mimicking mommy and daddy doing chores. So the next time you find yourself brainstorming gift ideas for your favorite tot, you might want to consider investing in a toy vacuum.
There’s arguably nothing more adorable than watching your mini me pretend to dust the lampshade with a tissue or sweep with a broom that’s twice their size, but vacuum cleaners aren’t kid-friendly. Their little limbs can’t handle the weight or hulking size, and when electric chords and suction power are involved, it’s best for your baby’s safety to steer clear.
That’s why toy vacuums are so brilliant: They satisfy their desire to clean house like mama sans the hazard risk. Some toy vacuums even have a little suction, so your child can play and pick up debris in the process (mommy’s little helper, indeed). Of course, these play vacuums don’t actually get the real job done, but at least the best toy vacuums can train them for legitimate chores in the future.
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1. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Light-Up Vacuum
Your little one’s smile is bound to match the cheeky grin painted on this Fisher-Price toy vacuum as they scour the floors of their playroom “picking up dirt” (or so they think). Unfortunately this vacuum wasn’t designed to clean up debris, but rather the faux cleaning device is part toy, part learning tool.
It features an on and off switch that emits fun songs and phrases your child can sing along to (which is a much more pleasant sound compared to the gurgling roar of your model). What’s more, this toy vacuum also includes a light-up feature that, when switched on, sings even more tunes. But while this toy vacuum is awesome for toddlers, note that because the toy tilts up and down like a real vacuum, it doesn’t offer much support for new walkers.
2. Play Circle by Battat Home Neat Home Vacuum Set
Sorry, mom: This toy vacuum from Battat won’t make your floors spotless. However, you can’t deny that the details on this device, such as its whirling “dust” beads and realistic sound effects, are eerily spot-on. Plus, the two-in-one set gives kids the option to play with a full-sized vacuum or handheld dust-buster, so they can learn situations where either one is most appropriate to use.
3. Black+Decker Junior Dustbuster
Some kids are fascinated by the power of a full-sized vacuum cleaner; others find the loud device kind of scary. If your child is nowhere to be found when the roar of your vacuum suction sounds, but they still enjoy shadowing mom and dad when you’re doing chores, Black+Decker’s toy dustbuster is probably more their speed.
This trusty handheld toy delivers authentic role play for kids with realistic whirring sounds a la swirling beads that make it seem like they’re actually tidying up the area. Plus, this battery-operated toy was modeled after Black+Decker’s iconic dustbuster, so it’ll be awhile before your little one realizes their cleaning device isn’t actually the real deal.
4. Casdon Dyson Ball Vacuum
If you’re going for authenticity, you won’t find a toy vacuum that looks and feels more legit than Casdon’s kid-friendly replica of the Dyson Ball vacuum. Even if the aesthetic doesn’t sell you, this highlighted feature definitely will: Unlike most toy vacuums that appear to pick up dirt, this children’s device was made with working suction, so it actually picks up pieces of paper and debris. It also features whizzing color balls that whirl and twirl in a cyclonic motion as your child moves it across the floor. Plus, it twists and turns so your little helper can get into hard-to-reach places.
5. PlayGo My Light Up Vacuum Cleaner
PlayGo’s toy vacuum cleaning is both adorable and functional. The two-in-one toy converts from an upright vacuum to a dust-buster, both of which light up while your little one plays. It does pick up small bits and pieces of debris (a bonus feature just for you, mom) and even features a lifelike rotary brush and removable cleaning case so your little one can feel like they’re really helping out.