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Kids love to help their parents out around the house, whether it’s making cookies with mom or in the shop with dad. The difficulty for them is that they are shorter than the countertops!
This makes life as a kid helper harder to function at an optimal pace. With that said, this is where you’ll find furniture like a kitchen helper helpful.
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What Is A Learning Tower And A Stepping Stool?
You might be wondering at this point, why parents can’t just pull up the old’ dining room chair and have their child stand on it to help out?
The convenience of having a learning tower or a kitchen helper is prominent. I’ll go ahead and explain the key aspects you can expect to find if you choose to invest in one.
Short On Time? Here Are Our Top Three Choices
|Top||Guidecraft Contemporary Kitchen Helper Stool||Prime||Buy Now|
|Top||Guidecraft Kitchen Helper High-Rise Step-Up||Prime||Buy Now|
|Top||Simplay3 Toddler Tower Childrens Step Stool with Three Adjustable Heights, Gray||Prime||Buy Now|
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Learning towers and kitchen helpers are built with rounded edges, plus a non-slip platform to minimize falls. They are designed to give kids the freedom to climb in and out of the tower at their own will.
They won’t scoot around when kids climb in and out of them due to the non-slip functions. Regular chairs can be quite dangerous for kids to stand on. Climbing up and down a chair at home presents possible tip-over and other accidents.
When I was a kid, I stood on a folding chair so I could have my sister teach me how to finish my own hair in our bathroom mirror. Not soon after it folded up on me, I landed face-first on our porcelain sink and split my lip open with my bottom front teeth.
These are the instances when a learning tower comes in handy. It never folds down.
There are rails, and safety bars built into the appropriate places that secure your child while they are helping cut vegetables. Parents get peace-of-mind when their child is holding a knife or a dangerous tool.
Kitchen helpers and learning towers are made with smooth non-toxic materials, whether it be plastic or sanded wood. You won’t have to worry about anything catching your child’s clothing or skin when they are utilizing it.
Why You Need a Learning Tower in Your Home
Having a learning tower in your home makes it possible for your child to grow with you – doing adultlike things even as a young kid.
Many kids don’t get to help out with cutting vegetables due to safety reasons, if there are younger kids in the house it’s especially hard to even pull up a chair without everyone wanting to climb on board.
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A kitchen helper is built for one child to stand alone, so there will be no confusion between whose turn it is to help out if there are brothers or sisters involved.
They bring your child up to your height at the counter, making it simple for you to show them what you need to. Your back won’t hurt from having to bend down to your kid’s height.
Kids can help set-up their stools easily giving them more responsibility for helping out with tasks.
How Old Does a Child Need to Be to Use One?
You’ll get the longest use out of a learning tower if you purchase one when your child is 18 months old, then they can use it until they simply grow out of it – maybe around age 7-8.
18 months to 2 years old
You can work with your child on climbing the stairs and washing their hands. During this stage, gross motor skills are flying off the charts, so teaching them their body space and how to properly utilize their own climbing skills is a necessary introduction to using a learning tower.
2 – 3 years old
Your child can do tasks like; preparing vegetables, brushing their teeth, and begin rinsing dishes at the kitchen sink.
3 – 5 years of age
Your kids can help stir and pour their own foods and drinks. They can also better help prepare baked goods at this stage.
The Specifics to Look for When Buying One
Having a kitchen helper to keep these tasks at the kitchen counter, where you can attend to them is the best approach to keep the spills to a minimum and messes less likely to occur.
Even though it seems minor, cleaning up spills frequently and tending to falls with your child often make parenthood harder and less than ideal.
The neat part about buying a learning tower is the fact that it will grow with your family. You can store it away easily if your child grows out of it.
You will end up using your chosen kitchen helper for years to come, creating many important childhood memories in the process.
They are built to last, but you should do some research on how long the specific model you’re deciding on will potentially last.
If they are made from sanded wood, then you might find chipping, cracks, or loose screws to become a cause of concern at the aging point for the product.
If you invest in a hard-plastic model then color warping, dipping, and the securing points popping out of the legs might become a cause for concern as it gets used and worn down.
You should set a budget for what you’re willing to spend on a learning tower. You want to feel good about your investment, yet not overdrawn and like you spent too much on it.
A good way to do this is to find two different towers in your price-range and write down the pros and cons, then decide which one is more cost-efficient and necessary to have.
The nice part is that even the best kitchen helpers aren’t going to break your pocket. You can even invest in a few of them. For instance, one for the kitchen and bathroom, then one for the workshed or garden center at your home.
Some are made from CSPC approved wood like birch plywood or solid hardwood – making it suitable for heavier weights, meaning they’ll be sure to remain useful even as your child grows heavier.
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There are also some stools made from durable double-wall plastic which makes it easy to clean and sanitize. There are pros and cons to any of the materials used, so it’s best to consider your daily life and what will be best for your family personally.
Size and Design
This is where it gets interesting, right? We want it to look good in our house. We want it to be a nice design that compliments the area.
After all, it’s a complete piece of furniture in itself. Most learning towers are counter height, but some can be adjusted to become a seat and desk for the child and serve multi-purpose uses.
Some have metal clips that secure it in or mesh nets that provide extra safety coverage. Some have activities like shape-sorting on the outer walls – making it, even more, inviting for your child!
You will need to consider the space that you have especially in your bathroom, kitchen, and storage areas. While thinking about floor surfaces as well, some are built with a non-slip grip-feet that might scratch hardwood floors.
Some have soft padding on the feet. Keep this aspect in mind when it comes to scooting around your learning tower.
Height and Adjustability
Some are compact, making them a little on the shorter side. While some are more extravagant with a stepping stool designed to help toddlers climb into it.
The more compact designs are going to be the plastic models built for families with less room in their homes. The wider-taller models are generally made from wood, with extra features on them (playful siding, step-up area, and a larger containing space).
These all come into play when you’re looking at the height, adjustability, and build of the learning tower you might like to purchase.
5 Best Learning Towers & Kitchen Helpers for Toddlers in 2020
- SDADI Adjustable Step-Stool
- Guidecraft Adjustable Wooden Tower
- Guidecraft High-Rise Stool
- Simplay 3 Toddler Tower
- Katanabana Montessori Standing Platform
1. SDADI Adjustable Step-Stool
At a reasonable price, the SDADI is an adjustable stool for those looking for a wooden option that won’t break the budget. For a high-quality piece of furniture like this, you won’t be left disappointed.
Your child will feel extra important when he sees this friendly kitchen helper. It has a special little step-up level which makes kids feel capable, especially when they are first being introduced to their new tool.
Building climbing skills is the first and most important step to utilizing any kitchen helper. The SDADI emphasizes the importance of that first step, giving the best start to being the perfect little assistant to mom or dad.
The easy-to-clean feature is a big bonus for this specific model. It’s made of natural pine-wood, making it okay to get wet without damaging it.
Colored a natural-light tone, the mess doesn’t stand out. You don’t have to worry about watermarks being left on it after wash-down due to the protective finish.
Many customers reviewed that assembly for this piece of furniture was quite easy involving little frustration and tons of smiles. It weighs close to none lbs once completely assembled. Plus, the non-slip feet grips make it a great option for rowdy kids.
It’s so sturdy that kids have reached out the sides (to give pup a snack) with no sign of tip-over. That’s just another completely appreciated by parents, and numerous people mentioned that it’s the best money they had spent the entire year!
The cubby space that secures your child is open and spacious, truly built for the modern home. What stands out the most to customers is the three adjustable heights for this learning tower: 18-24 months, 24 – 36 months, and 36 – 48 months.
An Allen key storage system is built into the side rails making it a breeze to adjust the height on the spot.
It’s topped with a 2.0 platform design, making it less likely for your child to slip and fall off. This is a great option for families who want a high-quality pocket-friendly product.Buy on Amazon
2. Guidecraft Adjustable Wooden Tower
As far as storage space is concerned, this kitchen helper is the best option. It’ll slide nicely between the fridge and counter since it collapses into itself leaving it just a couple of inches wide.
It really has the feel of a playpen, except it’s a mini-version and made from very nice wood. It’s for toddlers who love to stand at the kitchen counter to do homework or cut veggies, or mix brownies.
This design is highly-praised by parents who need the extra peace of mind that their child won’t climb down on their own once they turn their backs on them.
The side that children are meant to climb through features four clips that connect to a mesh net. You can completely enclose kids until it’s time to get down.
The open side can also be pushed up against the wall of the counter to create a full-enclosed space if the mesh net isn’t nearby to clip-on.
What’s nice is that the other sidewalls feature oversized shape-sorting or wooden baby-gate styled bars. It’s really a nice display for kids and parents alike.
The rubber-matted floorboard where the kids stand folds completely up-right when stored away, but when released to fold down there are push-in side-clips that hold the platform in place. This is one of the sturdiest options on our list.Buy on Amazon
3. Guidecraft High-Rise Stool
An old-fashioned styled learning tower painted a beautiful soft white. It’s the perfect touch for a naturally lit kitchen. This one is the least containing option on our list, giving your child the mature responsibility of being aware of their own footing.
It doesn’t come with a containing bar on the back, just a few guide bars on each side, gently reminding the child to not step off the side and fall down.
It features two big steps, inviting children to stand on their own. And climb downstairs, as well as upward. A huge break in kids’ cognitive mobility will soar with this model.
This model is low maintenance to set-up, and you won’t be required to adjust it in the future. It comes as it is and stays that way until kids reach adulthood.
Adults can also use this as a stepping stool when necessary. Guidecraft High-Rise Learning Tower can withstand the weight of adults, ultimately you can give this to your kid when they have their own house one day!
Aside from being able to hold up to 200lbs, it has the utmost durability from chips or cracks.
Formulated from plywood, engineered wood, as well as solid pine, this truly can withstand years of wear and tear. For being one of the lowest-priced options on our list, you will be getting your money’s worth.Buy on Amazon
4. Simplay 3 Toddler Tower
If a plastic toddler tower is what you have in mind, look no further. Simply built this tower with easy-clean up on the front-line.
It’s made from high-quality double-walled plastic, making it the most manageable to simply spray down with disinfectant even a bit after your food projects are finished.
As parents, we get wrapped up in other things after we get done with one task. Sometimes we even forget to wipe up the food spill for a few hours. Don’t fret if this happens, the plastic this is made with is non-stick.
This tower is adjustable to three different heights. You can set the platform to be 12 inches, 15 inches, and 18 inches. A chunky step slides out of the three various slots, which is enjoyable for parents to handle.
As far as weight limits are concerned, your kid outgrows the Simplay when they reach 60lbs. This isn’t as high as other options on this list, but the price is right on point with the weight limit, making it possible for those on a low budget.
This is a practical option for apartment homes due to its compact design. It’s also the perfect option for smaller bathrooms!
You won’t have to worry about dripping wet hands onto the stepping stool portion because a paper towel will wipe it up with ease.
If you decide to go with this choice, you’ll have peace of mind that your child is completely enclosed during that moment you need to run to the other room and grab something.Buy on Amazon
5. Katanabana Montessori Standing Platform
One of the nicest versions on our list, we say that because of the possibility of adjustments at play. Katanabana outdid other learning towers by including an adjustable stepping platform and removable enclosure bar.
The cherry on top is perhaps the beautiful engravement of the brand name. Parent’s who notice detail will be pleased with the “Katabana” engravement on the inside front of this stool.
If you’d like to adjust the platform, simply slide out the wood and resituate it in the next tier. It features a thin hardwood platform that is strong and doesn’t slide around.
If you need to remove the encasement bar, it pulls up at an angle, making it strictly parent-friendly. If your child hangs on it to get out of the standing area, then it won’t budge at all.
Kids love to hang on bars! Katanabana knew this and prepared for the swinging nature of kids at play.
The product is recommended by Montessori schools as a safe option for school projects, learning to wash dishes, and endless other tasks a growing kid might encounter.
Easily wipe away crayons, food, or other messes off of the solid hardwood design that is polished to an eye-appealing finish.
If you’d like to utilize the anti-slip feet pads and treads, they are easy to stick-on there at any point in time.Buy on Amazon
The Safety of Your Home
At the end of the day, keeping your child safe while learning new skills and projects is the most important thing. Regular kitchen chairs or small stools just don’t offer that peace of mind if you ask your child to come and help you out.
Kitchen helpers and learning towers are a one-point, go-to for caregivers, parents, and kids. There won’t be any confusion on what they should grab to rinse off the dishes.
You will find that having a smooth flow when asking your kid to be at the counter with you is truly a life-saver.
Children who don’t get to be at the counters with their parents miss out on a lot of important moments. They don’t get to do the dishes as early on. They don’t get to learn to spread their peanut butter and jelly as early on.
These little things make a massive difference in your life as a parent, especially if you are a parent to multiple kids. Any little sense of independence, you can instill in your little one’s make it easier for the rest of the family.
Investing in one of the best kitchen helpers or learning towers is a vital piece of parenthood if you ask any experienced parent.