Pros: Quality construction, functional, inexpensive, great teaching tool
Tyler (our 19 month old) loves to clean. He still wont pick up his toys yet, but the kid loves to sweep, mop, vacuum, and dust. Kind of weird for a little dude, but Im not complaining let him go for it! My 13 year old boy is allergic to cleaning in any form, my 6 and 7 year old step-sons wont make a move without hearing the Barney Cleanup Song (Id rather pay a stranger good money than hear that), so this unsolicited help is a refreshing change. The problem is Tyler gets hold of my cleaning accoutrements, which are obviously much bigger than he, and cause more harm than good. A broom handle upside the head is definitely not pleasant, and our bird has developed a nervous condition from his cage being whacked so much (poor Englebird).
Tyler squeals from disappointment when we tell him, no, or put them away. I hate to quash his janitorial aspirations, but safety is key. I jokingly told my hubby we should get him a kiddie broom. He said, Yeah, if you can find one thats not pink, with that hairy man-ape smirk. All machismo aside, the next time I hit Wal Mart, I went looking for one. I hit pay dirt when I found the Tootsietoy O Cedar 12 Piece Housekeeping Set.
Dad was happy. . . it wasnt pink.
Description of Contents
The O Cedar 12 Pc. Housekeeping Set has a red and yellow color combination and are co-branded with the O Cedar logo. With the exception of the spray cleaners, all pieces are actually fully functional. These toys are pretty much a miniaturized version of O Cedar house cleaning products; lightweight, well-made, and durable.
Angler Broom -- This broom is 2 ft from handle top to bristles. The handle is hollow, yellow plastic tubing with a red loop hook at the top for hanging up. The bristles are soft, yellow, and densely populated plastic fibers that tape to an angle, just like the real Angler broom. The bristle housing is red molded plastic and bears the O Cedar logo.
Sponge Mop -- The mop is also 2 feet in length, bearing the same color combination and construction as the broom. The sponge is yellow and measures 6 ? X 1 X ?, and is the cheap micro-cell type. Like most sponge mops of this caliber, the sponge is glued to the base and is prone to coming loose. There is also a wringing handle attached to the mop head that snaps to the handle when not in use.
Whisk Brush -- This brush measures 7 ? in length, with a red handle and yellow bristles. The bristles are soft, like those on the broom. This is an inline brush, with the handle slightly higher than the brush head. The brush head is an inch wide, 3 ? long, and the bristles are 1 ? long.
Dust Pan -- The dust pan is all red molded and thick plastic, with the O Cedar logo. The handle measures 3 ? and the pan is 5 X 6, flared out at the end. The deepest part of the pan is almost 1 deep. There is also a plastic ring hinged on the top of the handle, I assume for hanging purposes. The hinge allows the ring to bend to the back of the pan at a 90 degree angle.
Scrub Brush -- The scrub brush follows the same construction red, angled plastic handle with hanging loop, and yellow bristles. The bristle head of this brush is round, with ? bristles.
Bottle Brush -- The bottle brush reminds me of a miniature toilet brush, actually. It is about 7 in length, with a 3 brush. The brush has thinner, shorter bristles, which are bound to a wire and coiled around like a toilet brush.
Apron -- This is the cheapest part of the set. Its simply a yellow plastic apron with cloth strings, and bears a humongous O Cedar logo. Tyler wont wear it, but he loves to string it around his Hokey Pokey Elmo. I guess he thinks thats funny.
Dust Mitts -- There are two dust mitts, made of thin, yellow terry cloth, and have a simple stretch cloth band for holding them on the hands.
Spray Bottles -- There are also two of these pretend spray bottles. They are 5: tall, and shaped like a real spray bottle, though the molded plastic is all one piece and it doesnt actually function. These bottles have red, white, and blue labels that say, All Purpose Glass, Tub, & Tile Cleaner. I, for one, am glad they dont actually work. Thats a mess waiting to happen, which kind of defeats the purpose of the set, I think.
Age recommendation: 2 years and up. The only real safety issues are the possibilities of whacking. You, them, your stuff. . . Other than that, its a safe set!
Tyler really digs this set . . . My boom (broom), and My mop! Its fun to watch him pretend to spray (complete with spraying sound effects) and wipe down everything. And I mean everything from the coffee table to my car. Hes getting quite adept with that broom, whisk brush, and dust pan, too. He actually cleans with it! He sweeps up little piles and brushes the mess into the pan, then empties it into the garbage with a hearty, YAY! He wipes everything and everyone with the dust mitts, and tries to find things to clean with the brushes, though their actual use is escaping him right now. He seems proud he is helping and I certainly encourage it. Id be a fool NOT to!
The whole macho girl thing stigma attached to this type of toy is a bunch of hooey to me. Boys should be encouraged as much as girls to be responsible, respectful and helpful, and I feel this toy is a great way to promote that. Not only are they learning a valuable skill, they get a self-esteem boost from being a real help. When Tyler is cleaning, I always give him great praise, and he feels good about himself. You can tell from the puffed-out chest, smiles, Yays, and hugs that are received in return.
So, if you have a boy or a girl, I highly recommend this product, or any of the other housekeeping sets that Tootsietoy offers. I wonder if Id have gotten this type of toy for my other boys, if they would be more helpful and responsible than they are today. Time will tell for Tyler, but I think hes definitely on the right path!
This O Cedar 12 Pc. Housekeeping Set was purchased at Wal Mart for a little over $10, which I consider a real bargain. Its quite a quality set for the price. If you cant find this locally, you can go online at Tootsietoys web site: www.tootsietoy.com. All of their products have links to sites where you can buy online. Much quicker than searching on your own!
Im going now to put some cup hooks in the garage at Tyler-level, so he can have a good place to store his new tools!