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This is a review of the Hetty Cleaning Trolley I bought for my daughter a few months back. She had become obsessed with my sweeping brush in the kitchen so I thought I would buy her own mini version!
The Hetty Cleaning Trolley is a mini version of what you see ladies using in shopping centres to clean large areas. In the toy kit you get the body of the trolley which comes on wheels but you can rest it in a standing position. You also get a long handled sweeping brush, dustpan and brush, little bottle of (pretend) cleaning solution and a fake mop. Each item has a rest or hook to hang off so it all stores away nice and tidy.
As the set comes flat packed, there is a little construction of the parts to get it working but it only took me around 10 minutes to complete. I left the sticker application for now for reasons listed in the next paragraph.
Age and suitability
As with a lot of toys, it states that the cleaning trolley is suitable for ages 3+ which we are not! But I examined the toy carefully and make sure she is supervised when playing with so we are safe. The things that can go wrong are the lid on the cleaning solution comes off so you can squeeze the bottle (which is empty) so I removed this lid and the length of the sticks on the brush and mop can come off if tugged hard so I suppose there is danger of a poke in the eye but it's more likely to be me on the receiving end of that. A paper bag is also provided to hang off the trolley and I have not added that on as it would get shredded immediately by our destructive child. I also did not apply the stickers which come separately as I thought I would save them until she is older as she likes picking off any stickers at the moment so they wouldn't last five minutes.
Price and availability
I bought our Hetty from Argos for £14.99 which I thought was a reasonable price. It is all plastic and quite hardwearing. I was lucky to win a decent amount of Argos Vouchers at Christmas and used most of them to buy gifts and toys including this set.
My daughter plays with this every day and I do find the little dustpan and brush great for sweeping crumbs from her playpen (toast for breakfast provides plenty of work!). She enjoys pretending to sweep and mop our carpet and always heads straight for the trolley when we play with her toys. Storage wise, it's not too bad when everything is tidied away and hanging from the trolley as it is quite compact and everything has a place.
This toy is ridiculously pink and obviously aimed at little girls. Every item on this trolley gets played with and we often have to retrieve all the pieces from around the house where they have been carried. I think for the price paid this was a good value for money toy and one we have had lots of mileage out of so far. I am not sure if it could be used to teach proper tidying up as the items are all toys and apart from the brushes don't really work - but perhaps I am expecting a bit too much there!
If you have a toddler who enjoys copying mummy then this is the ideal toy for them. Obviously the pink is a bit loud so this is not going to fit in with lovers of traditional and wooden toys but the proof of the toy is in the playing and my daughter loves this one. Supervision is advised whilst playing as there are a few things that could happen which I have attempted to list above.
My little girl loves helping me around the house and after the success of her toy vacuum cleaner she received for her third birthday I decided to purchase this cleaning trolley for her. I paid around £12 for this off Amazon I was a little worried about the quality with it being so cheap but reading the reviews they seemed to be rather positive so I thought I would give it a go. This set is widely available online and in most major toy stores and retails at anything between £10 and £18 so do shop around to get the best deal.
Setting it up
When you receive the toy it is flat packed and so you have to make the frame of the trolley up sliding poles together which is very easy to do and does not take much time at all. You do not need any tools and it takes all of five minutes to add all the poles together to make the trolley and also you have to add the poll to the sweeping brush and mop. While putting them together I was a little worried as the pieces felt rather thin and flimsy but once the whole set is built it feels a little better not perfectly sturdy but well made enough for a child to play with it.
Cleaning trolley - This is the frame of the set and is where everything sits while in storage. It has two wheels on the back of the trolley so when it is tipped up little one can push it around with them as they move around the house. There are also grooves in the frame which hold each piece of the set so it can all be held together without losing any of the pieces and makes it perfect for storing. The trolley itself is a good height for my three year old and although she has to bend a little it is still a great size for her to be able to use it.
Hetty-branded simulated mop- As it says this is a mop although it is a flat head mop and as I use a string mop this did not seem to appeal to my little girl she would have preferred one just like mummy's so this is probably the least used part of the set.
Long-handled Broom - This is a great sixe for little hands it is rather tall coming up past my daughter waist this needs to be assembled as above which does mean the top handle can come away a lot but my daughter loves it all the same.
Dust pan and brush - This is my daughters favourite part of the set with both parts fully functional it means she can sweep and clean up mess the two parts are very well made and have received the most use.
Simulated detergent bottle - This is a simple plastic bottle the lid does not come off and it is purely for show but again a great addition to the set and my daughter does not mind she can not have any liquid in there.
Paper debris bag - This is actually really well made and although my daughter got some good use out of it she tried tidying her toys in it and it split after a few weeks of use.
Most of the set is made of plastic a little on the thin side but still durable enough to have lasted well so far. They are all pink and black in colour and have the Hetty brand printed all over them but actually look rather adorable.
Well to start off with when you remove any of the larger pieces from the trolley it tips over straight away this includes the mop and sweeping brush so we found we had to place it up against the wall which really defeats the object having wheels to be able to move it around as it takes the fun out of her playing with it if she has to constantly place it back up on its feet and try and balance it.
My daughter does not mind too much that it has to stay in one place as the pieces of equipment are of course removable so she can still be mobile with them. Each of the pieces is well made enough and is actually functional. She likes to make mess to tidy up so she will find something to tip on the kitchen floor and then sweep with the larger broom. This has a lot of bristles and does actually sweep the mess in to a pile and then h can go and get her dustpan and brush. Again this works well it actually sweeps the mess on to the pan and she can put it in the bin and although it is only small I found it works a lot better than some of the value ranges of dustpans I have owned which I found rather amusing. Then she goes on to mop the floor by just pushing the mop over the area and pretending it is all clean.
We do find the two large items the brush and the mop as they have to be assembled and come in two pieces if she is too hard wearing on them the poles come apart and they need to be put back together again which again can be annoying when she is in the middle of her role play with the items.
Also to place the items back in the trolley you have to lift them to some height above the grooves set out on the trolley to find the thin part and allow them to sit in the trolley correctly. At first this is very tricky but after cleaning away her accessories my little girl found the best way to do it and can now do this all by herself.
My daughter likes to clean up both real messes and pretend messes with this set the detergent bottle is a good addition she likes to pretend to tip it on the floor before she cleans up and the paper bag although it did not last too long was a really fun addition to the set.
My daughter loves to play with this set and thinks it is brilliant but to be honest I have been very disappointed. I did have my worries when I first purchased the set as it was so cheap and unfortunately that has shown. So many pieces of the set could have been better made and more thought out and if it was only a little more durable it would have been the perfect set.
It suggests a recommend age range for his toy is 3 years plus but to be honest I think 2 years plus would be a little better as this would mean they could get a little more use from it and the height is perfect for my little boy about to urn two. There are no small pieces that can hurt little one and all the edges are rounded so even when the poles come out it will not hurt little one and is just a case of putting it back together.
It is flimsy but I expected that with the price I paid all the parts work perfectly but I do feel if they had put a little more support and plastic in to this set and upped the price a little it could have been a fantastic toy. All in all it has lasted ok and my daughter really does love it so would recommend it just do not expect high quality or something that will last a life time.
Casdon Hetty Cleaning Trolley
I find it quite funny that when a child grows into a teenager, they no longer want to help out around the house, yet young children are quite often more than willing to sweep, wash up, mop the floor and other jobs around the house (minus clearing away toys!!). A lot of the time, though, a child as young as my three year old daughter will struggle or even hinder the cleaning of the house as brooms and mops are just too big for them. Therefore, the only option to keep encouraging a young child to continue helping out is to get them some cleaning things of their very own! This is just what my sister did for my daughter for Christmas, and it came in the shape of the Casdon Hetty Cleaning Trolley - in princess pink of course!
Most people will know the name of 'Henry', the little red vacuum cleaner and accessories made for adults, and also for children in a smaller toy version, though some of you may not know that Henry has a sister; Hetty. Hetty is the pink version of the Henry in both adult size and children size, and just like her brother, Hetty has some very happy features on the face of all of the equipment!
This Hetty Cleaning Trolley can be bought from many different stores, both online and in the street. The average price for this toy Hetty is between £13.00 to £15.00, though Amazon does have a few at the moment for just over £10.00 which is a great price. The funny thing is, the matching red Henry cleaning trolley is slightly more expensive! Usually it is the pink items that go for a higher price, so that is a great bit of news for little princesses who love to clean! (Or rather the parents of these princesses who have to fork the bill!).
The Hetty Cleaning Trolley is the perfect height for a young child, and although the child grows, it still continues to stay at a nice height even when the child has to bend down to push it as it is more the equipment on it that is used. My daughter is three and the approximate 58cm height is just right for her. My sister is seven and although it is a little small for it, she still lokes coming to our house and playing with it so it is certainly a toy which lasts.
The trolley itself is in black, silver and pink, a colour scheme which continues onto the rest of the equipment and looks rather attractive when put together. The base of the trolley has a slightly angled front part to hold the mop with two large wheels at the back which allows the child to tip it back and push it along easily. The recommended age for this toy is three, though in my opinion, as long as the child is walking perfectly then a younger child will be able to use it, though care needs to be given to the fact that the trolley is quite light and therefore can tip backwards on the wheels easily, knocking the trolley on top of a child who is not as steady on their feet. Part way up the trolley is another base which has groves and hooks in place in order to click the equipment into or hang them from. There are three main grooves which hold the mop handle and the broom handle, and another which holds the cleaning fluid bottle (minus any real fluid of course). There is a small, safe, hook either side to hang the small brush and perhaps another brush or dustpan your child may have. My daughter has a spare dustpan and brush toy which finds its way onto the other hook which is quite handy. On the back there are three raised parts, two of which are more for decoration, though the centre on holds the rubbish bag which comes with the trolley. The handle lacks a lot of grip and is quite slippery, though older children from the age of three seem fine with this. The trolley is very light, though is also very durable with no parts at risk from breaking off.
Although instructions came with the trolley to help put it together, we all know that instructions can sometimes be written in a foreign language for all the sense they make! We found it a lot easier to just follow the picture on the box when putting the base together, and found that it only took us about five minutes if that. There are a few fiddly parts though nothing taxing. The cleaning trolley comes complete with six pieces of equipment, and as already mentioned, all fit nicely onto the trolley;
* Mop (plus one mop cover)
* Dustpan and Brush
* Cleaning Fluid Bottle
* Rubbish Bag
The mop and broom do need to be slotted together when you first get this, though like the trolley itself, it is simple to sort out. The broom is in pink and silver with some quite rough bristles on the end. The bristles are very firmly attached and so far, none have fallen out of my daughter broom. The mop covers all three colours of the trolley and has a bulky bottom end, though still very light. The bottom is able to move around like an adult mop and so the child can mop in those awkward places! It comes with one mop cover which is basically a slightly thicker piece of kitchen roll. This fits on the mop is a peculiar way and took us a few minutes to realise how it fits on. The main part of the cover goes underneath to make the mop end and then the edges curl around loosely to the top where it can be pushed into four suction cups to hold it in place. This does not hold it in place very well, though, and ours was lost pretty soon after my daughter opened it. This is not too much of a problem, though, as kitchen roll can work just as well. I think that it is made this way in order for young children to take it on and off themselves, though they did not foresee the design flaw of it falling off so easily! The dustpan and brush are in proportion to the broom and mop and so are a bit smaller, though just as well made. Like the broom, the bristles on the brush are secure and safe and the dustpan has the added lovely smiley face of Hetty to make the child smile! This smiley face is also mirrored on the front of the broom, though in that case is a funny lopsided face which always makes my daughter laugh!
The cleaning fluid bottle obviously comes empty (and also comes with that smiley face again!) though the lid can be twisted off easily and if the parent does not mind a little mess, water can be put into it. The water will squirt out quite fast, though, so be prepared for a little mess! Isn't that always the way, though, when young children want to help mummy and daddy - more mess made!!
The final piece of equipment which comes with this trolley is the quite large paper rubbish bag, complete with handles to hang it on the trolley. This is literally a paper bag and so is very flimsy and easily ripped. My daughter loves collecting bits of rubbish in here, though, which is certainly a help until she decides another part of the floor is the bin!
CLEANING LIKE MUMMY
When my daughter opened her present, she was so excited and could not wait to start playing with it. Everything is easily recognisable so my daughter knew exactly how to use everything, and every day will sweep the kitchen floor for me or use the broom to hunt for cobwebs! As I have already mentioned, the mop cover has been lost, though this does not worry my daughter as we simply replace it with a piece of kitchen roll in which she then puts in her rubbish bag after use. She absolutely loves copying me when I am cleaning, and the cleaning trolley alongside her toy hoover really helps keep her entertained whilst I have to clean, at the same time as spending time together rather than being in separate rooms.
I personally think that this is a brilliant buy. Even at its higher price of £15.00, I feel that it is a perfect purchase for a young child. It is very durable in the main, apart from those couple of extras I have already mentioned, and very lightweight which is perfect for young children. It is a toy in which grows with the child and is enjoyed as much by my seven year old sister as it is by my three year old daughter.
The only question is whether the child will actually clean up or make more of a mess!? My daughter loves cleaning though I do find my piles of mess I have swept up, suddenly all over the floor again, and rubbish she picked up, tipped near the bin though not quite in it, though I am one of those parents who is happy as long as my child is happy, and she certainly is with this cleaning trolley.
So the question is, do I recommend this cleaning trolley?
I think you probably already know the answer to this! The price is perfect for the toy; it is well made in the main, and provides a lot of entertainment for the young child. If you are lucky, it may even be a tool to get your child used to helping around the house! I am very thankful to my sister for buying my daughter this cleaning trolley, and it is certainly a toy in which will last.
Fully recommended with honours!