I was delighted to recently read that Dyson had made a vacuum cleaner for children that actually works!
"The replica design features real working suction, realistic sounds, bright colours, twist and turn action just like the real thing! There is also a removable dustbin at the back to empty the debris." - The Daily Mail (November 2018).
Otto is obsessed with our adult's Dyson vacuum. Vacuuming can be difficult because he always wants to use the vacuum. So I brought him a little dust buster. He loves and uses the dust buster but it still didn't compare to the vacuum.
It should be noted that Montessori believed in providing children with real tools, tools that work. Montessori from the Start authors do not recommend giving dust busters or vacuums to young children "We do not recommend a vacuum cleaner or Dustbuster, because the child cannot see the mechanism by which they work", they recommend a carpet sweeper which we've used successfully in our previous homes.
This Dyson is a close replica of our adult's vacuum (ours is a different colour) and I know that is a big part of the appeal to Otto. It also moves like our Dyson, the head swivels the same and it's fun to use. It is a lot quieter and lighter than Otto's dust buster. Otto absolutely loves it and on the first night he took it to bed (I removed it as he was getting sleepy). He vacuums with it on and off throughout the day. I can also vacuum without any interruptions.
Is there any suction? Yes! When I first started the vacuum I was thrilled to immediately see it picking up dirt and small flecks of whatever from our carpet. Our carpet is short, and I am not sure it would work as well on long/thick carpet or on a shaggy rug. It works well on our kitchen (laminate?) floor. On a dirty area like in our entryway, you could see the vacuum was picking up the mess.
The vacuum has two on switches. One that makes the coloured balls go around in the main chamber. This is the 'toy' part. Then there is a smaller switch in the back - Otto is turning it on in the picture above. The smaller switch turns on the suction.
Would I recommend the children's Dyson? To children under three who are interested in vacuums, in a home environment, yes! But it's not for a Montessori school, it still has a toy feel and children over three may be looking for something more. It is also quite small in size, Otto above is only 17 months. It's not going to pick up a large mess, while our collection chamber (below) does fill up its mostly fine flecks of dirt, small food crumbs, and lint.