Updated January 2022
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Buying guide for Best kids cleaning toys

Young children imitate their elders, including when their elders clean. If they see you vacuuming, they want to vacuum. If they see you washing dishes, they want to wash dishes. Why not encourage this positive behavior? You can’t give them access to your entire cleaning arsenal, but you can give them a cleaning toy.

There are several compelling reasons to give your child a cleaning toy. First, they aren’t highly expensive. With this affordable toy, you teach kids that they can contribute to the household. Playing with these toys also helps develop fine motor skills, teaches multiple children to share with each other, and instills a sense of discipline and accomplishment.

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Don’t throw away your child’s pretend cleaning set when they outgrow it. The set can be handed down to another child or gifted to a friend. Cleaning toys never go out of style.

Key considerations


The most common age range for kids’ cleaning toys is two to six. Of course, some children may be interested when they are younger or older, but each toy or set of toys should offer a recommended age range for safety purposes. For example, if there are small pieces that could pose a choking hazard, a toy simply won’t be recommended for a two-year-old.

Certain toys, such as mops and brooms, are somewhat self-explanatory as to age range. If the broom is four feet tall, for instance, it would be difficult for a toddler to operate and maneuver it.

Items included

You will find toys that relate to various household tasks, including the following.

  • Laundry-related chores: washing machine, ironing board, iron, play detergent
  • Kitchen-related chores: play kitchen sink, play kitchen appliances, table, dishes
  • Water-related chores: Squeegees, buckets
  • General cleaning chores: mops, brooms, dustpans, dusters, vacuums

Consider what items are included in the play cleaning set. Some sets have more than a dozen pieces; others are more simple with just a broom and dustpan (two pieces) or even just one toy vacuum cleaner.

Also, keep your child’s interests in mind. If all they like to do is pretend vacuum, it may be prudent to pay a little more money for a more a quality individual vacuum than a set that includes a cheaply made one.

If you’re unsure which toys your child would be interested in, a large set with lots of pieces may be your best choice. Your child can try them all out and explore.


It’s likely that toys made from brittle plastic will not last as long as toys crafted from wood or tougher plastic. Low-cost sets with numerous pieces aren’t going to be as durable as sets that cost more money per piece. It’s quite easy to break a cleaning bucket or a dustpan if your child plays roughly with it. It’s more difficult to break a broom or mop with a wooden handle.


Actual use

Some “pretend” cleaning toy sets can be actually used to help parents clean. For instance, a dust rag is a simple piece that a child can use to dust the objects in the house that are at their level, such as an end table or coffee table. A toy broom could actually sweep a floor, and a toy dustpan could actually collect debris to be discarded.

Color and character

Some kids’ cleaning toys look just like the adult version of the item: simple and utilitarian with perhaps one bright color. Other kids’ cleaning toys are much more ornate, with multiple eye-catching colors and fun designs, including cute animal faces or other characters. The choice is yours; what would your child like the most?

Kids’ cleaning toy prices

The most affordable kids’ cleaning toy sets cost $20 or less. If you go this route, be aware that some of the toys in this range are made from cheap plastic and will not last as long as pricier toys. This is especially true if your child is rough with toys.

Spending between $25 and $35 will get you a more substantial set, especially if the set contains few pieces. It’s also possible to find singular cleaning items in this price range, such as one solid vacuum or washing machine.

If you want something made of sturdy wood, anticipate spending $35 or more. Some of these toys come with a case or stand to store the items. These toys often withstand the test of time and can be handed down to future generations. What’s more, these toys never go out of style.

"Don’t worry about the gender roles ingrained with the use of cleaning supplies. All children should learn to clean, and there’s no harm in letting their imaginations run wild. "


  • Start teaching your children that chores are a part of daily life early on. That way, they won’t be as resistant to helping around the house when they hit their teenage years.
  • Make a game out of cleaning. When you sweep the kitchen floor, designate a small area for your child to help you clean.
  • If you have multiple children, assign each child a toy and a task. As the children age, the tasks may become more intricate or more difficult.
  • If your child is younger, ages three to four, consider toys that light up and make noise. These will most likely keep them engaged for a longer period of time.
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Before a child uses a toy to help you clean, be sure all breakable or sharp objects are removed from the area to decrease the chance of the child getting hurt or breaking something.


Q. Are there any negative effects of teaching children to clean at a young age?
Not that we can find! When a child plays with a cleaning toy set, it helps develop imagination, hand-eye coordination, and other skills, as well.

Q. At what age should my child be cleaning as a chore and not pretend cleaning?
It depends on the family, but at about age three, children are able to understand that a task needs to be completed. Tasks can be small (putting clothing in a drawer) and gradually increase in difficulty and responsibility (taking out the trash or washing dishes).

Q. Why can’t I just let my child play with real cleaning supplies?
It’s unsafe for children to play with real cleaning supplies for several reasons. One major reason is that there are dangerous chemicals in cleaning applications that children should not handle. Another reason: children are a great deal shorter than adults. Real cleaning supplies are made with adult heights in mind.

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