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My son started to take an interest in the work we do around the garden fairly recently so, alongside his other play replicas of what we have (wheelbarrow, spades, watering cans etc) we purchased this broom from the Early Learning Centre. We purchased it in blue but it is also available in pink. It cost £8 and is for children of 3 years of age plus. Although my son is only 2, he is always well supervised when playing in the garden so we were happy for him to have third.
The broom has a light wooden handle that is rounded and smooth to the touch. It is lightweight and a nice length for a toddler. My son is tall for his age and this an ideal length for him. He can hold it at the top nicely and slant it at a nice angle from his body. The brush head is a light blue in colour and has lots of yellow bristles poking from it. The bristles are very resilient and have so far withstood lots of harsh toddler bashing and brushing. They are also soft to the touch so not wired or scratchy if my son runs it over my feet, as tends to happen.
This toy is great for imaginative play and teaching my son about the jobs we do. He loves to help us sweep leaves from the patio with it. It is also good for his co-ordination too. I think it is well made and well worth the £8 we paid for it although etc have frequent discounts so you can probably pick it up for cheaper than that. Recommended.
Having lino in the kitchen, both bathrooms and laminate in the porch and by the back door, I have to sweep quite often. I am known to be quite lazy and just hoover over these but it doesn't have the same cleaning ability as a good old sweep and mop. Whenever I got my broom out to have a sweep, my daughter would always pinch it from me and try and do it herself. The quick task of sweeping the floor often turned into a longwinded never ending chore. I decided to buy her a broom so she could help me without having to pinch my broom.
This broom is from the Early Learning Centre and cost me £7 a year ago. It is slightly different from Dooyoo's picture now. It has a wooden handle with a pink tie at the top so it can be hung up when it's not is use, it has a pink base with soft, yet stiff, yellow bristles. The broom is also available to buy in a blue variety.
The broom is a little too long for my daughter, she can use it fine, but sometimes struggles when carrying it around anywhere. The age recommendation is 3 years old, whilst I think it is suitable for younger children, the 3 year recommendation is about right for the height of the broom, in my opinion.
The bristles on the broom are of a fantastic quality, my daughter isn't exactly the most light handed toddler in the world and the broom has been put under some vigorous sweeping work, but all seem to be intact and still in the same shape as when I first bought it.
Despite being a toy broom, the broom still performs as well as proper full size brooms, and I can now leave my daughter to get to work and sweep the floor by herself, if she enjoys it, why not?! ;-) Of course, I have to go and finish it off, but it will still brush dirt around.
I think the broom could still be in an excellent condition because my daughter has never had the desire to play with it outside, even if I'm brushing the patio with my hard broom, she doesn't batter an eyelid. I think if it was to be used outside then it could put the bristles under an intense pressure, especially with all of the different surfaces, the bristles are a great quality, but I don't think they could handle that type of pressure.
At £7 for a toy broom it does seem quite expensive, especially when I can buy a broom for myself for only a few quid. However, the quality of the broom cannot be faulted for indoor use, it's a nice size and means I don't have to do as much sweeping!
My son has an Early Learning Centre (ELC) Broom as part of a ELC Cleaning Set which consisted of a broom, dustpan & brush and a mop. Funnily enough, he picked this out himself - which is a little ironic when you bear in mind how much he is likely to avoid such implements when he is a few years older! The whole kit cost £10.00 from my local ELC store in Cheltenham and as it contained all three household implements, I thought the value was okay, especially considering the fact that the broom itself cost £7.00 if bought by itself.
The broom does look exactly like a traditional broom, except for the fact that it is designed for little people. The broom handle is just 0.5m in height and so it's a more manageable size for toddlers to handle when compared to full size brooms which are usually around 1m tall. The broom has a pale blue wooden handle with red plastic fringing, and then bristles along the bottle which are in a typical brush style. Because the wood of the broom is lightweight, it is easy for my son to manoevere and he can sweep to his hearts content.
The broom is well made and functional in terms of the fact that it really does work as a broom - and it's sturdy so it does not fall apart when used. I have used it on a number of occasions myself when it's been the nearest thing to hand when something has needed to be swept up! The bristles are securely fitted and they do not fall out when used.
However, I have to say that my son does not play with this as much as he does many of his other toys which are designed to develop imaginative pay. If I'm in the garden with him and I ask him to sweep up some leaves or something, then he will do what he's asked - but its not something he plays with much without being prompted. I don't know if its just that he's a little too young for it as he is only two (and the recommended age is 3 years plus) but I am not sure I can see his interest changing any time soon.
We moved house just before Christmas and as the new place has laminate flooring throughout I bought a couple of brooms so we could keep up with keeping the floor clean, but without switching the vac on every two minutes. Well, Hollie loved the brooms - it's something we've never really owned before and she's a bit fascinated. That's why I ended up paying seven quid for a half size broom (my full-sized one costing £3.49!) in ELC last week.
The brooms are now designed to have a slightly more traditional look than the one in the piccie above. They now have a wooden effect handle and the broom head is a more functional shape, the pale blue (also available in pink) head makes it stand out from the utilitarian design of my broom but it definitely looks more of a useable product than a plaything.
The bristles are soft but strong enough to allow Hollie to actually sweep up dirt. She doesn't use it outside very often as I don't really want it getting wrecked just yet, but with all the laminate in this house there's always a corner that needs a sweep! The height of the broom is a bit high for her to be too comfortable running around with it, but she manages. You could cut the handle down (according to Mark) but would need to round the end off before giving it back to the child. I personally wouldn't bother as kids grow so quick that you'd end up wishing you hadn't shortened the bloody thing! heehee!
None of the bristles have fallen out, and despite some quite excessive play it doesn't look like any will. They have kept their stiff shape well and actually sweep as well as my own brooms - in fact I grabbed this ELC broom this morning to give it a quick sweep down by the PC, a place where my larger broom struggles to reach.
The main person I had to convince with this expensive mini broom was Hollie, and I succeeded. She loves it and is a real little housewife when she starts, I went upstairs the other day and found her sweeping her own bedroom after she'd made a mess sharpening her pencils. Not bad for three!
I had thought she would use the broom for imaginative play, but she actually uses it to clean. It's well made so I can't see why it shouldn't last for a long time if she carries on using it indoors, looking at the bristles I don't think using the broom on a level pavement would hurt them too much but I'd rather wait for the toy to age a bit before forcing it to brave the elements! It's well made overall actually, the handle Is secured well into the head of the broom and there doesn't seem to be any parts which could easily become broken. There's actually a tiny bit of give where the handle meets the plastic head which makes me wonder if it screws together, I can't get it to budge though and Mark's at work so I can't ask him to give it a manly twist to check!
Hollie loves the broom; it's fun enough to keep her entertained, but is also helping her to learn to pick her own mess up after herself. In the grand scheme of things, learning to use a broom isn't hugely important I guess but hopefully this is a plaything which will give Hollie a skill (although a boringly minor one!) for when she's older.
Start them learning at a young age and your kids can help keep you with keeping the yard tidy.