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Children love to get involved in household activities, and cleaning often becomes an opportunity for parent-child bonding. While there are no guarantees that your kids will master all messes with these fun cleaning toys, cleaning sets allow for real-world play, something that'll strengthen the developmental skills used for social connectedness and critical thinking, says Natasha Burgert, MD, FAAP, and a pediatrician in South Overland Park, Kansas.
“Although playing with a cleaning set, for example, may not seem very complicated to an observing adult, the skills a child uses during pretend play are foundational for social and emotional growth," she says.
However, many cleaning tools are too large, heavy, or awkward for a young child to use effectively or safely. These cleaning toy sets for kids feature smaller proportions and are ideal for toddlers and young children that want to do their own dusting, mopping, sweeping, vacuuming, and more. Some are functional, like a broom and dustpan you might find yourself reaching for, while others are simply for fun—such as a pretend laundry set complete with detergent, dryer sheets, and an iron.
Here, the best toy cleaning sets for kids.
Best Overall: Melissa & Doug Let's Play House! Dust, Sweep & Mop Set
If you have a child that loves to help around the house, this cleaning toy set from Melissa & Doug is a realistic option for children ages 3 and up. The set includes a mop, hand broom, duster, and dustpan along with a sturdy stand from which to hang each cleaning tool.
Top features of this cleaning toy set for kids include the quality of the components and how much they look like the real deal. Your child will really feel part of the household chore routine with these sturdy cleaning toys that feature real wood handles and realistic features like a rope mop head or broom bristles. Parents find that kids gravitate towards these cleaning toys, but they’re also functional enough to use in a pinch for sweeping up small messes—a frequent occurrence in a house with children at play!
Best Plastic: Learning Resources New Sprouts® 6 Piece Clean It Set
A set of plastic cleaning toys makes a durable and easy-to-clean option for your child’s imagination. This six-piece set includes a plastic hand vacuum, pretend spray bottle, cleaning bottle, dustpan, hand broom, and sponge. Your toddler or young child will enjoy mimicking your every action with these easy-to-grip cleaning toys.
Designed for children ages 2 and up, this cleaning set makes a great addition to your little helper’s toy chest. When your child’s cleaning session is complete, it’s easy to wash off any sticky substance or dirt, since these plastic toys are easily cleaned with a quick rinse or a soap-and-water wash.
Best Vacuum: CASDON Little Helper Dyson Cord-Free Vacuum Cleaner Toy
This vacuum is a toy replica of the iconic Dyson Cord-Free Vacuum Cleaner, but sized just right for kids to use and enjoy. The Casdon Little Helper Dyson Vacuum Toy measures about 28 inches from tip to end and features fun effects like a simulated cyclone action with brightly colored “debris” in the canister along with vacuum sounds. Fortunately, the vacuum sounds are not loud enough to be disruptive to your everyday routine.
This toy vacuum for kids also includes various attachments, and you can use it as a handheld vac as well—just like the real thing. There is real suction power, although it’s reportedly faint. Keep three AA batteries on hand so this vacuum will always be ready for hours of cleaning fun for kids. If it picks up a little stray pet hair along the way, consider it a bonus!
Best for Dusting: Fisher-Price Clean-Up and Dust Set
This dusting set for kids is super soft and includes both a small duster and a sweep mop, so your child can be a dust buster both high and low. The dust mop includes a removable, washable cleaning pad, which comes in handy since this little dust mop does pick up dirt and dust hiding around the room.
Adding to the imagination of this cleaning toy set are the included felt cobweb and dust bunny that your child can clean up any time.
Best for Toddlers: Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Light-Up Learning Vacuum
Little ones will love to play with this cleaning toy for toddlers, an interactive and educational vacuum cleaner. The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Vacuum is designed to engage children between 1 and 3 years of age with songs and sounds that teach colors, shapes, counting skills, and opposites. It also has a vacuum-only mode that revs up typical vacuum sounds, if your tot wants to use a vacuum that sounds like the real thing.
The versatile modes of this cleaning toy for toddlers ensure that it won’t become boring any time soon. Whether your child enjoys using it in learning mode or "cleaning” mode, this vacuum for toddlers is sure to be a big hit.
Best Broom: Schylling Little Helper Broom Set
Many kids love to grab the household broom and tackle dirt piles, real or imagined. But standard brooms feature a long handle that can become a hazard in the hands of a small child and knock over anything in sight.
A child’s broom, like the Schylling Littler Helper, is a great solution. This realistic-looking broom set includes both a soft-bristle broom for general sweeping and a smaller, handheld broom for small tasks. The dustpan makes it easy for little ones to capture any dirt they’ve swept up and dispose of it. It clips onto the handle of either broom for secure storage. The larger broom has a 30-inch handle and features long, soft bristles that are surprisingly good at handling real messes, too.
Best Mop: Rocky Mountain Goods Small Mop for Kids
For a mop that looks just like the real deal but is sized right for little hands and shorter heights, check out this kid-size mop from Rocky Mountain Goods. It features a cotton mop head and wooden handle that measures 36 inches.
It’s made for little moppers between the ages of 3 and 10, and it's sturdy enough to handle even robust play. You won’t be able to detach the mop head for machine washing, but it’s easy enough to spot clean the mop if a section becomes dirty.
Best Set: MaxTronic 7-Piece Kids Cleaning Set
For a set of cleaning tools that make household tasks fun and kid-friendly, check out this option from MaxTronic. This seven-piece set includes a brush, broom, mop, dustpan, duster, glass cleaner, and dishcloth. You’ll find the included stand is very handy for keeping all the cleaning tools tidy. It also features a cute dinosaur on top for a kid-friendly touch your child will appreciate—though it can also be removed if dinos aren't your kid's thing.
One of the best features about this cleaning toy set for kids is the fact that the handles on the broom and mop extend from 21 inches to 36 inches. Even the stand, which all cleaning supplies hang from, extends to accommodate the longer handle lengths. It's a set your child can grow with and enjoy for several years as his or her abilities and chores increase.
Best Laundry Set: Melissa & Doug Laundry Basket Play Set
This cleaning toy set for kids includes laundry essentials, like an iron and ironing board to tackle pretend wrinkles. Kids will also enjoy the other accessories, like detergent and softener bottles, that round out this toy laundry set along with a box of pretend dryer sheets. A small plastic laundry basket completes the set and is a great landing spot for freshly “ironed” doll clothes.
This cleaning toy set for kids is great for little ones that want to help on laundry day, and it's also popular when paired with a washer and dryer playset.
What to Look For in a Cleaning Set
Check the manufacturer’s recommended age before hitting the purchase button. These guidelines are there for a reason, and they’re a great indication as to whether the item is suitable for your child — both in safety and in engagement. In general, cleaning toys that don’t have much true function will satisfy a younger child, but probably won’t keep an older toddler entertained for long. For them, look for something with working buttons and lights, so they’ll feel more like the toy is working the way your own cleaning equipment might.
When it comes to cleaning toys, safety is important, because some are heavy or long and awkward for little ones to handle well. You’ll also want to be particularly mindful of toys labeled 3+, as these toys might have small parts which can be a choking hazard for children under three and for those who still mouth toys, says Kristin Morency Goldman, senior advisor of strategic communications for The Toy Association.
Though there are some standalone products, many cleaning toys come in sets. In general, the sets are worth the investment, since they’ll hold your child’s attention for longer — they’ll get the opportunity to mimic more of your own actions, from sweeping to mopping and beyond.