A learning tower is designed to help young children safely access kitchen countertops and other high surfaces.
It is essentially a platform with rails or walls around the perimeter, and it usually has adjustable height levels to accommodate children of different ages and sizes.
It’s designed this way to keep the child safe while standing on it and allows them to have full use of their hands.
They can be a bit of an investment but many parents find it useful for at least 3-4 years.
We recommend introducing them around 18 months but you could introduce it earlier, as long as the child is sturdy on their feet. Just note that adult supervision is always required with a Learning Tower.
Why Get A Learning Tower
A Learning Tower is one of the top recommended Montessori at-home tools by Montessori teachers for good reason.
The main benefit of introducing a learning tower is that it allows young children to comfortably and safely participate in practical life activities in the kitchen like washing hands, food preparation, dish washing, baking, etc. It can also be used in the washroom for self-care tasks like washing face and hands, teeth brushing, etc.
Practical life activities have a wide range of developmental benefits, including:
Develop fine and gross motor skills
Develop independence and build confidence
Develop the child's sense of order
Collaborating with family in the kitchen also helps to develop language skills and social skills.
How To Choose A Learning Tower
Here's what you want to look for in a good Learning Tower:
Sturdy - the ones with solid or mostly wood sides, rather than just a few thin bars surrounding the platform, are better. They're heavier and less likely to tip.
Extra support at the legs to prevent tipping - look for small pieces of wood that cross with the legs to stabilize them.
Finished wood or paint - They get messy so fast.
You will almost never put it away so folding isn't as big of a draw as you might think it is. What's better is one with a small footprint so it can easily be moved out of the way or into a closet when absolutely needed.