We often get asked for help deciding between the different active toys, Montessori Climbing Triangle vs. Waldorf Rocker vs. Arch Climber vs. Balance Board.
While those are all great toys, especially for gross motor development, the Learning Tower is often overlooked as a gift.
"You want to get him a stool for Christmas?"
That was my husband's first question when I proposed we buy our 19 month a Learning Tower for Christmas. It was going to be "the big gift".
He initially thought it was a little silly, but mostly funny. At the time, he was just coming around to the idea of Montessori. He liked the minimalism, he agreed with the respectful relationship that Montessori encouraged, and noticed that our son with thriving using many of the Montessori principles. People often commented at how advanced our son's language, comprehension, and gross motor skills were, regularly guessing he was a year older than he was.
So while he was hesitant to buy the Learning Tower at first, he trusted that I knew what I was doing.
Lo and behold, the Learning Tower has become the most used items in our house.
My son, like most small children, has always pushed for every little bit of independence he can get so he was absolutely thrilled with it. I don't think he was disappointed that it was his big gift.
In the months leading up to getting it, he'd been begging to be picked up while I prepared meals or snacks, but it was hard to really allow him to do much since I had to awkwardly hold him up to the counter.
We even tried baking and mixing at his little table but it was hard for to get down on my knees on the tile for very long and he wasn't always patient enough to just stand there so flour ended up all around the kitchen... more than once.
The Learning Tower turned out to be an amazing gift for both my son and I.
It allowed my son a lot more freedom to help, while keeping him safely contained to one area of the countertop.
With the Learning Tower, toddlers as young as 18 months can begin:
washing fruits and vegetables
cutting soft foods with a butter knife
mixing and pouring ingredients
arranging food items on a baking sheet or dish
wash their hands independently
clean up at the end of a meal
Or really anything else you believe they're able to do safely at their age.
A Learning Tower can also make your life easier in other ways. They make it easier to wash your child's hands and help with picky eating.
Children are much more interested in food they've helped to prepare that it's a great way to get them to try new things.
If you're thinking about getting one, check out the beautiful one we have on our site. It's finished with a simple eco-friendly, clear varnish, making it easy to clean.