It’s a well known fact that toddlers are busy little people. At this stage, they have lots of energy and are very curious about the world around them.
If you’ve never heard of a toddler learning tower, this post will tell you everything you need to know about them. If you are are already considering buying one, there will be lots of helpful shopping tips.
What is a toddler learning tower?
You’re probably already familiar with a step stool, which is a self supporting, foldable ladder or step usually under 32 inches.
A toddler learning toddler, also called a kitchen helper, Montessori tower or toddler helper stool, is similar to a step stool in that you can use it to bring your toddler up to high spaces or counter height safely.
The major difference is that it has a four sided open frame at the top to prevent your toddler from falling.
Learning Tower vs Step Stool
If you’re wondering why you can’t just use a step stool or chair to do the job, I’ll tell you why.
A learning tower comes with safety rails, rounded edges and a non slip platform. Your toddler can climb up, in and out of the learning tool safely on their own. This encourages confidence, independence and safe exploration.
Benefits of A Learning Tower
Encourages bonding with your child. You’ll be able to have your toddler safely along side of you as you do daily chores or every day real world activities. Examples: washing dishes, preparing a meal.
Helps nurture the desire to be independent and learn in a safer way.
Allows them to participate and and engage in family activities without fear of slipping off a narrow or unstable platform.
Unlike a step stool, a learning tower has an adjustable height to grow with your toddler.
What is the recommended age?
The learning tower is designed for toddlers 18 months and older.
Here are some suggestions for learning tower use in different ages and stages:
18 months – 2 years
- Work on gross motor skills such as climbing steps
- Practice washing their hands with help from an adult
2 – 3 years
- Help prepare food, washing fruit and vegetables in the sink
- Brush their teeth
- Clear plate after meals, wash dishes, even if this is just rinsing
3 – 5 years
- Help stir ingredients for food, example pancakes or sauces
- Pour cereal or assemble foods you’ve prepared
- Rolling and cutting cookie dough
What To Look For In A Learning Tower
Buying a toddler learning tower can be an investment in furniture that you’ll use for years. To get the best use of a learning tower and the best value for your money, here are some features to consider:
Adjustable height for growing kids. Every toddler is different and one of the benefits of a learning tower is that its not a one size fits all kitchen helper stool.
Wide base for standing room and more stability.
Price-varies according to your personal budget but the range for learning towers can range from 80 dollars up to 230 dollars.
Consider the space you have in your home’s living area, particularly the kitchen and bathroom areas.
Top 5 Toddler Learning Towers
The original learning tower designed by a Montessori school principal. It has solid wood construction with a safe non toxic finish and is tested to hold up to 500 pounds.
Most parents parents that review this say that it is a well made solid piece of furniture and pretty sizeable. It comes in 7 colors, so you can pick your preferred finish or match your home decor.
Little Partners also sells learning tower accessories so that you can use it for other purposes such as a chalkboard.
While this probably the most pricey of the learning tower options, it comes highly rated an with some unique features.
Most notable, this toddler learning tower folds flat for storage, a huge plus for those with limited space. It features solid hardwood and birch plywood and adjustable heights.
A non slip mat and Kitchen Keeper Helper with clip on, clip off safety netting is included. The product is shipped mostly assembled. Many reviews stated that this is easy to assemble and easy to clean.
This learning tower features “A” shaped seating to reduce fallover risk. From the side view you can see that the base is wide and narrows towards the top where the platform in enclosed by the four sided railing.
This is a less pricier option, but does not include the adjustable height. Assembly is required and the seller does offer free lifetime replacement parts. It is less bulky and might be a good solution for small spaces. It also comes with 4 anti strip slips for the legs.
This learning tower has a removable rod for easy entry and exit. The platform adjusts to three levels and is a little bit less big and bulky.
They’ve also included matching screw covers and 4 anti slip pads. Some reviewers stated that their child was able to figure out how to remove the rod on their own.
Although this may be avoided with close supervision. Many loved that they were able to assemble it in less than half an hour.
This is one of the only learning towers that is not made from wood, so if you prefer another material, this may be the best toddler kitchen stool for you.
It’s made with double wall plastic which is easy to clean and sanitize. The tower step stool comes with three enclosed height adjustments.
If you’re concerned about the plastic material sliding, they’ve also included non skid rubber stoppers.
Since the plastic is more lightweight this would be an easier option to carry around the home if necessary. The back rail is not removable on this one.
Toddler learning towers help facilitate lots of hands-on learning, social interaction.
A toddler learning tower is definitely an investment and there are lots to choose from these days.
DIY Options: Learning Tower Plans
If you are ready to invest in an item that would encourage more independence and confidence in your toddler but you want to save money, there are plenty of tutorials and videos on line to help you tackle the project.
This toddler learning hack involves a stool from Ikea. You’ll also need to get wood cut into specific lengths which this article does include the measurements for.
If hands on projects are your thing or you don’t mind doing a little work to save money, then DIY might be the route for you.
Toddler Proof Your Kitchen
Having your toddler in the kitchen can be a wonderful learning experience, but the kitchen is a room full of safety hazards. Here are 5 ways to keep your kitchen toddler proof for your curious little explorer.
1. When you’re cooking, use the back burner on the stove. Be sure to turn pot handles inward.
2. Don’t leave towels draped on the oven handle. It can be used to pull up on.
3. Don’t leave dishes and utensils on countertops edges for toddlers to reach. It can be tempting, but put your dirty dishes in the sink. You could also load them directly into the dishwasher!
4. Cover the outlets and secure your small appliance cords.
5. Use cabinet locks or safety latches to secure cabinets. These devices can keep your toddler from exploring your cabinet with potentially dangerous consequences, while still allowing you access to them.
Hopefully this guide has given you all the info you need in order to make an informed decision.
Happy learning and discovering with your little one!
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