Raise your hand if your little one is always attached to you when you’re cooking. 🙋♀️ Toddlers are curious by nature and they always look to see the magic that happens in the kitchen. I know my toddlers love to see me cooking or baking or even washing the dishes. 😊 They look forward to being my sous chefs, adding ingredients, mixing everything up, or taste-testing when I’m not looking!
Our family always struggled with getting Remy right in the middle of the action. We usually just have him sit on the island, but then it becomes uncomfortable for him to be in that position for very long, crouching over mixing bowls or the sink. Not to mention a little unsafe. 😬
Then we finally got one. A learning tower! And all of our kitchen woes with our toddler have been solved! Have you heard of a learning tower before? Keep reading to see what a learning tower even is, its benefits, and why your family should consider getting one.
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What is a Learning Tower?
A learning tower, also known as a kitchen helper or Montessori tower, is a type of step stool for kids that has a four-sided safety rail to prevent falls. Unlike a typical step stool, a learning tower sits higher, elevating toddlers to counter height, while keeping them contained. Toddlers can easily climb in and out, encouraging their independence and confidence.
A learning tower elevates your toddler to kitchen counter height to encourage bonding, independence, and fun learning!
What is the best age for a learning tower?
The ideal age range for using a learning tower is between 18 months to 3 years. However, learning towers can be used as soon as your little one becomes confident in walking and climbing up a few steps. The tower could also be used up to age 5 or 6.
Heck, I use the learning tower to reach the very top cabinets (but I’m also 5’ on the dot 🤣).
Benefits of a learning tower
There are many benefits to a learning tower. Not only will toddlers feel independent when using a learning tower, they’ll have the opportunity to accelerate cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development, including fine motor skills.
Do you have a fond memory that takes place in the kitchen? Maybe baking delicious lactation brownie boobie bites with a fellow mama or showing your little one how to decorate extra gooey Rice Krispies heart treats for their class. A learning tower provides the chance for toddlers to bond with their parents and siblings by watching and helping in the kitchen at the same height as everyone else.
Share of family responsibility
If you have a toddler, you know how much they LOVE to help out with everything! Take advantage of this and demonstrate to them the importance of sharing the responsibility in a family. With a learning tower, toddlers can help with household chores such as cooking, washing dishes, and cleaning.
As moms of toddlers, we all know how independent they love to be. Or try to be. Because they don’t always have the physical ability to do things on their own. Such as reaching the toilet to go potty. But with a learning tower, toddlers have the ability to climb in and out on their own. They will only need help placing the learning tower where it needs to go.
Learning Towers Can Be Used in a Variety of Ways
Although learning towers are often used in the kitchen, they can be used in other spaces. After all, the kitchen is not the only place a toddler likes to help out and test their independence.
The learning tower can also be used in the bathroom to teach toddlers about personal hygiene. By climbing up to the right height for the sink, they can independently wash their hands or face, brush their teeth, and even copy daddy by putting gel in their hair. ????
Toddlers can be introduced on how to do basic laundry with a learning tower. The learning tower will put them at the right height to reach the buttons on a washing machine and dryer. Your toddler can also learn how to sort and fold laundry. You may even convince them to help out with their little sister’s cloth diapers. ????
Learning towers can be moved to playrooms or other areas of the house and be used as play towers – allowing for toddlers to have fun and spark their imagination.
Little Partners playhouse kits are covers that slip over the top of Little Partners learning towers, and transform them into a lemonade stand, ice cream stand, popcorn stand, or theater.
The Little Partners Limited Edition Learning Tower even incorporates a chalkboard and paper clip holders on one side, encouraging use of artistic skills and dexterity.
How to Stay Safe While Using a Learning Tower
Using a learning tower can provide a wonderful learning and bonding experience for your toddler, but precautions should still be put into place.
Always use under adult supervision
Even though toddlers gain independence while using a learning tower, they should only use the tower under adult supervision – never by themselves.
Learning towers include safety rails, which are intended to prevent falls, but they’re not fool-proof! It’s still possible for little feet to slip off the sides if toddlers are left unattended. Most learning towers do not include a silicone floor mat, but consider purchasing a non-slip mat separately to prevent toddlers from slipping.
Toddler-Proof your Kitchen
With a learning tower, toddlers are now elevated to counter height. Thus, they can more easily reach burners, sharp utensils, and fragile objects. In addition, your toddler will probably be spending a lot of time in the kitchen if you plan on incorporating a learning tower into their daily routine. Here are a few things to consider for a safe kitchen and household:
- Install magnetic child locks on lower cabinets
- Remove breakables from lower shelves
- Cover electrical outlets with clear outlet plug covers
- Install burner knob covers or stove guards
- Keep appliances that are on the counter unplugged while not in use
- Keep sharp knives and scissors in drawers or cupboards that are less accessible rather than using a knife block on the counter
What Should I Look for When Purchasing a Learning Tower?
Learning towers come in different sizes, materials, and designs – meaning they also come at different price points. Here are some features to consider when you’re comparing products:
- Adjustability – An adjustable height allows for the tower to grow with your child.
- Material – Most learning towers are made of wood, but plastic towers are available, if preferred.
- Collapsibility – Some learning towers are foldable for easy storage. However, the majority are not foldable, so you will need a good place to store the tower when not in use.
- Base size – It may be beneficial to look for a learning tower with a wide base, which is less likely to tip over, and provides more room for your little one to move around.
- Stool surface – As mentioned before, a non-slip surface, such as a silicone floor mat, will provide an extra layer of security for your little one.
Learning Tower Top Picks
Here are my top three picks for learning towers:
Learning Tower DIY Option
If you’re not yet ready to splurge on a kitchen tower purchase, there is always the option to construct one yourself! Check out this IKEA learning tower hack from Happy Grey Lucky. It’s a creative design for a DIY learning tower that costs less than $40 in materials. It requires purchasing an inexpensive step stool, wood, screws, paint – and using a little bit of manual labor to put everything together. However, if you’re on a budget, this may be a perfect solution for you!
A learning tower would be a great addition to any family with a toddler or young child. Your toddler will amaze you at all they can do when you encourage their independence as part of their daily routine. Because of this increased trust and spending more time together, be prepared for some incredible bonding experiences.