27 March 2009

Roomba: Vacuuming + entertainment

Since when is vacuuming fun? Since Roomba, apparently! So says Amberlynn:

My husband scored me a Roomba for my birthday! Besides being great competition for Baby Hoover who eats anything he can find on the floor, it is also seriously entertaining. I make a point to run it when the kids are awake. They will spend the whole time chasing it, running from it, and inventing games (who's side of the couch will it go into/come out from).

Additionally, we've discovered a few noteworthy hacks. First, baby in the doorway in his Johnny Jump-up makes a great barrier to keep Roomba in the room. Second, when our Roomba runs out of batteries, we have at least 10 more minutes of pre-schooler entertainment. Our son discovered that "Roomby" will run a few more minutes if he turns the power off and back on again. ("First it runned out of batteries, then it runned into batteries!") We let the kid have full control until Roomby is completely dead. Today was especially fun, as the preschooler played Roomba-keep-away from the crawler.

If you can score an affordable Roomba, I suggest you do it... if only for the children. :)

Related: Roomba to the rescue

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Woot.com sells refurbished roombas regularly which is where we got ours for a deep discount so do what we did ... keep an eye on it and grab when it comes up. We also have our kids run around after it. They find the game "chase the robot" utterly hilarious and I need to film their giggles!

My boys love the robot vacs. In fact, they are named; Mr. Circle Vacuum Cleaner and Mr. Kitchen Floor Wash Circle Vacuum Cleaner. A big treat for them is to pick up the family room so they can sit on the sofa and watch.

Just to correct my husband Greg above. It is "Mr Circle Vaccuum Cleaner Kitchen Washer". Got to get it right or our 5 year old will get upset.

We've had our Roomba about a year now and I looove it! Kid-entertainment factor is nice, but not-stepping-on-crumbs-every-morning factor is outstanding!

There's one up on Woot.com at this very moment, as a matter of fact.

http://www.woot.com/

Our kids (6&8) have gotten a lot better at keeping their floors picked up and "Roomba-ready" since we got one. Now if only there was something for the tops of their dressers...

While I did love the Roomba we have, with a large dog and 3 hairy cats, it could not keep up. So if anyone in the Nashville area wants a Roomba - cheap (!) they are welcome to it. It did a great job on regular stuff but the massive amount of hair that is produced in our house beat it down - I spent more time cleaning the hair out of the brushes than actually having it run.

I completely agree with this! When we run Roomba in our bedroom, our 2 year old love to sit on the bed and watch. She squeals and we make a big deal when it goes under the bed to see where it comes out.

Unfortunately our Roomba could not stand up to the attentions of our then-baby-now-toddler. His favorite game was to chase it and press all the buttons to make sounds, and the battery was dead (wouldn't hold a charge) in a matter of weeks. We replaced the battery (which cost as much as buying a whole new non-Roomba vacuum!) and the same thing happened again. We sadly decided it wasn't worth replacing a third time and let the Roomba go to the big hardwood floor in the sky.

Never mind the robotic vacuum cleaner topic... I'm intrigued that a former porn star is reading and posting on ParentHacks!

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