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Today’s Hint: A Frugal (Play) Sweeper for Your Little Helper

My daughter loves to clean – or at least, try to clean. Whenever the tot gets into our hall closet, she takes out our broom or our Swiffer Sweeper and begins trying to sweep the floor. The large handles, however, are hard for her to maneuver without knocking something or tripping herself up.

So today’s hint is an easy (and free if you have a Swiffer) trick we used to transform our Swiffer into a toddler-friendly toy of sorts. We took the middle sections of the Swiffer pole out and voilà, we created a sweeper the perfect size for our little helper to play cleanup.

IMG_2979It turns out that I’m not the only fan of this trick. MaryAnne, who blogs at Mama Smiles, did a similar transformation, turning her Swiffer into a “child-adapted cleaning supply,” noting that her daughter now “sweeps the floor for me every morning.” Parent Hacks has also covered the hack as have the Rookie Moms and moms discussing on the nest site.

In addition to helping you teach your child early to take part in household chores, using an item you already have around the house for both play cleaning and actual cleaning can save you from spending $20 or so on special toy cleaning supplies (yes, toy Swiffer-like sweepers exist).

Don’t have a Swiffer – or an extra Swiffer you’re willing to share with your toddler — but still looking for a frugal cleaning toy option?

Back in 2007, Parent Hacks covered how to turn a cheap broom with a wooden handle into an affordable play broom, a trick shared by Sara Brumfield. Or you could opt for a small handheld broom that you could still use to clean after your child graduates to other older kid toys. Finally, if you trust your toddler around grass and string, you could make a simple broom out of grass and a stick, like Jen at Naturemummy did.

What are your tricks for transforming cleaning supplies into, or making, frugal toddler-friendly non-toy cleaning toys? If you’re a fan of special cleaning toys, which do you recommend?

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  1. Lindsay Waltman says

    Love this – we did the same thing with our swiffer (as you know!). Our little guy also loves the handheld broom and dustpan… If only he could use it effectively and actually help clean up! Maybe someday :)

  2. Mandi says

    This was a lifesaver! My 2 yr old has a fascination with our swiffer and I was fearful she would hurt herself (or the TV, lol). I was searching for a toy one when I saw your blog. In about 2 seconds, I removed the center pieces and now have a happy girl. She loves her “new” sweeper! Thank you!

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