What’s a Learning Tower?

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What is a Learning Tower?

A Learning Tower is a unique step-stool meant specifically for toddlers and young children.  It has enclosed sides so they don’t fall.  The term “Learning Tower” was created and trademarked by Little Partners, Inc. so there is only one actual “Learning Tower”.  Due to popularity, many people know the term and call all similar step-stools for children by that name.  Similar to “Kleenex” for tissue, “Google” for searching or “Popsicle” for flavored ice on a stick.

Learning Towers are also called “kitchen towers” or “kitchen helpers” when made by other companies, as they are commonly used in the kitchen to bring young children to counter top-height.

This allows toddlers and young children to participate in the kitchen (or other places in your home).  Learning Towers are much safer than traditional step stools (or standing on chairs) to reach counter-top height, but they still require supervision.

Examples of Activities to Use a Learning Tower/Toddler Tower for:

In the Kitchen

  • Washing hands
  • Getting a cup of water
  • Filling a water pitcher
  • Meal prepping
    • Stirring
    • Washing fruits/veggies
  • Baking
    • Measuring
    • Stirring
    • Decorating
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
    • Wiping counters
    • Washing dishes
    • Cleaning the sink
  • Doing arts & crafts
  • Playing in the sink

In the Bathroom

  • Washing hands
  • Brushing teeth
  • Playing in the sink

In the Dining Room

  • Doing arts & crafts

What Age is a Learning Tower/Toddler Tower for?

A Learning Tower or kitchen helper can be used from the age a child can confidently walk.  There’s really no maximum age, but once your child can confidently reach and work on counter-top height, the Learning Tower/kitchen helper may not be as useful.  For many this will be around ages 5 or 6.

Children can get years and years of use out of a Learning Tower/kitchen helper.  The specifics will be dependent on your child and your specific Learning Tower.  Many Learning Towers have adjusting height options to account for growing children.

Learning Tower Benefits

There are SO many benefits to having a Learning Tower – for both you and your child!

  • Much safer than a traditional step stool
  • Builds child’s confidence
  • Builds child’s independence
  • Exposes child to more learning opportunities
  • Keeps child busy (and safe) while you work in the kitchen
  • Helps child learn and master life skills
  • Good re-sale value

Learning Tower/Toddler Tower Cons

We talked about the benefits, or pros, to getting a Learning Tower, but what about the cons?

There are a couple downsides:

  • Pricey – A Learning Tower/kitchen helper may not be in your budget.  Most Learning Towers/kitchen helpers cost well over $100.  
  • Takes up space – A Learning Tower may not fit well in your space.  There are foldable Learning Towers, but even then you’ll need space to store it.  For most people, however, the Learning Tower becomes a permanent fixture in the kitchen, so if you have a tight space, you may find yourself tripping over it.

Even taking into consideration the cons, we find the Learning Tower/kitchen helper to be well worth it!  

If budget is a concern, you can often find Learning Towers used.  

Is the Learning Tower/Kitchen Helper Montessori?

Although Learning Towers or kitchen helpers are often found in Montessori-inspired classrooms and homes, the Learning Tower in and of itself, is not Montessori.

However, the Learning Tower fits in perfectly with the Montessori philosophy.  Montessori teachings emphasize the importance of child independence and learning/engaging in practical life skills.

Where to Buy a Learning Tower/Kitchen Tower (in the United States)?

There are several places to buy a Learning Tower or kitchen tower in the United States.  Though the premise is the same, there are different variations that may appeal to you based on your specific wants and needs.  Here are some of the most popular ones starting with the Original Learning Tower:

The Original Learning Tower

learning tower

The Original Learning Tower from Little Partners (as mentioned above) is the only actual Learning Tower by name.  It can be had in seven different colors ranging from white to apple green.  It is constructed using layers of solid poplar and birch wood and painted using lead free and non-toxic paint. 

Foldable Kitchen Helper by Guidecraft from Target

The foldable kitchen helper from Guidecraft is a popular learning tower that can be found at Target.  This is a good one if you’re tight on space as it can fold down to store easily.  It also has extra features like a small dry erase board and chalkboard on the side.

Sous-Chef Toddler Tower from Sprout Kids

The Sous-Chef Toddler Tower from Sprout Kids is another popular Learning Tower/kitchen helper.  This is the one we ultimately picked  – keep reading for our review.  

Various Handmade Learning Towers/toddler towers from Etsy

There are tons of Learning Towers/toddler towers on Etsy to choose from.

 

Sprout Kids Learning Tower Review

As previously mentioned, we ultimately ended up buying the Sprout Kids kitchen helper (called the Sous-Chef Toddler Tower).  We decided on this specific Learning Tower for a couple of reasons:

  • Made in America
  • We previously bought from Sprout Kids (the weaning table) and could attest to the quality
  • We liked the fact that this learning tower had multiple steps up with grippers
  • We liked the fact that this Learning Tower/toddler tower was fully enclosed on 3 sides

We bought this for our daughter when she was slightly less than 18 months old so we were really conscious of the extra safety features that the Sprout Kids toddler tower had compared to other  brands.

We have been VERY happy with the Sprout Kids Learning Tower/kitchen helper.  It has a permanent home in our kitchen.  We love that it allows our daughter to be involved in the kitchen.  We often put her to work washing vegetables or fruits.  She can do this task independently.  Our Learning Tower also is a huge time and sanity saver as it allows our daughter to stay busy within our sight so we can make dinner of get things done in the kitchen.  

Thanks for reading!  Hopefully you found this helpful.  We would appreciate it if you shared this article!

 

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