Does your child love cleaning? Toy expert reveals why this chore is 'magical to little ones' plus we share 6 fun cleaning toys they won't want to put down

We asked a toy expert why cleaning toys hold such appeal with kids and share 6 brilliant buys to get their imagination thriving

Collage of kids cleaning toys including Hetty and Henry and Dyson replicas
(Image credit: Future)

With such an array of toys to choose from, it's no wonder that it can sometimes be hard to pin down exactly why kids love the toys they do. For example, a child's love of gross-sounding games could be down to the reactions they elicit from grown-ups, while an obsession with the best dinosaur toys could stem from their other-worldly looks and size, or even just the fact that dinosaurs are everywhere, be it in the toy box, on the telly or kids clothing.

We recently visited the Toy Fair in London and spotted an entire range of toy replica versions of items that grown-ups definitely do not use for fun (think Dyson's cordless vacuum or the iconic Henry vacuum cleaner). As different types of toys encourage different types of play, it got us thinking about why kids seem to enjoy cleaning-based toys so much, when they represent only a chore for adults. To find out more, we took a closer look at some of the options available, including toy vacuums, and spoke to the experts at Casdon, the number one manufacturer of role-play toys in the UK, and to a real-life mum to discover why these types of toys hold such an appeal.

6 cleaning-based toys kids absolutely love

Why do kids love cleaning-inspired toys so much?

There are a few reasons why children love playing with cleaning-based toys. Firstly, it's a way for your child to engage in role-play, mimicking the actions they see a grown up do on a regular basis.

Managing Director at cleaning toy manufacturer Casdon, Phil Cassidy says: "We know children love to mirror their parents, carers and grandparents, and what is often considered a chore to many grown-ups appears magical to little ones."

Mum-of-two Charlotte agrees, saying: "I was frantically trying to clean the house before my in-laws arrived and the kids were playing with their toys in the living room. But as soon as they saw I was cleaning, my eldest in particular got all excited and asked if she could help with the dusting - she was having a wail of a time, and then my youngest wanted to join in!"

This is a form of imaginative play and is key for nurturing a child's creativity and narrative skills, as well as boosting their empathy and abstract thinking. “Children develop their sense of independence from an early age – often mimicking what their role models at home do on a daily or weekly basis and making it a natural way to learn through play while also developing those all-important core motor skills,” adds Phil Cassidy from Casdon

Child playing with toy version of handheld Dyson vacuum cleaner

(Image credit: Casdon)

Beyond providing a child with the opportunity to get creative and play-pretend, lots of the toys mentioned above are packed with functions and features that make them particularly appealing to children. Take the Henry and Hetty replica vacuums for example. Not only do they feature the same bright colours and recognisable faces found on the real thing, but the toys also offer working suction functionality (although not as intense as the real vacuum), which adds a sense of realism to play time.

Similarly with the replica Dyson toys, not only will little ones love the realistic sound effects and the ability to suck up lightweight debris, like small bits of shredded paper, but the replica vacuum can also switch from the long handle version to hand-held, just like the real thing.

While encouraging a child's imagination, mini replicas also encourage play between parent and child. While you're doing the chores, encourage your little one to come along - they'll love copying you and being helpful, and you can keep an eye on them while ticking chores off your to-do list.

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Sarah Handley
Consumer Writer & Money Editor, GoodtoKnow

Sarah is GoodtoKnow’s Consumer Writer & Money Editor and is passionate about helping mums save money wherever they can - whether that's spending wisely on toys and kidswear or keeping on top of the latest news around childcare costs, child benefit, the motherhood penalty. A writer, journalist and editor with more than 15 years' experience, Sarah is all about the latest toy trends and is always on the look out for toys for her nephew or Goddaughters so that she remains one of their favourite grown ups. When not writing about money or best buys, Sarah can be found hanging out with her rockstar dog Pepsi, getting opinionated about a movie or learning British Sign Language.