Every single week in my classes, parents ask me "where did you buy that toy?"…
A learning tower or kitchen helper is often recommended to parents who are interested in Montessori.
Montessori is all about supporting the child's independence. A kitchen helper will help your child to reach the kitchen counter in a safe way.
But is it worth the price?
For my first child, we only used a chair and later on a 2 steps stool. I was constantly supervising her closely and to be fair, she was a careful toddler.
When my son was around 1 year old, he was already climbing everywhere and he was a fearless toddler. Learning towers were also becoming increasingly more popular and I decided to purchase one. We found a second hand Funpod.
I have to say that it was a bulky item and quite inconvenient in our small kitchen. At the same time, I appreciated the safety the Learning tower gave us. I was able to enjoy cooking alongside my son.
We transitioned him to a step stool when he was around 2 and a half.
When it comes to choose a learning tower, you have plethora of choice. I have selected the following as they are from well- established brands or from UK based companies. I would urge caution and I encourage you to do your own research when you buy a pricey item that needs to be safe.
This is the one we had for my son. You can adjust the height easily. But you child needs help to climb in it.
It's a new company. They are celebrating their one year anniversary! It's also a UK based company and their learning tower is in line with the EU Standards. The + of this learning tower: a curved rail that tucks neatly under most kitchen counters, preventing gaps and you can paint it to match your interior.
This one transforms into a step stool so you can use it until your child is 7 years old (and over). You can find it at Yes bebe, a great UK based online shop.
This learning tower comes already assembled. You can choose some options such as having a blackboard/magnetic board to one side. They also have a twin option!
I love the Scandinavian design of this one. Downside: it's made of MDF instead of plain wood.
It's the "original" learning tower, created in 1992 by Carol Gamble, a Montessori teacher. The first version is quite bulky. They have now a slimmer design as well. Just for your info, the design is US but the tower is produced in China. In Europe, you can buy it from Manine Montessori.
I love that you can request some replacement parts, in case of! (after we moved house, we lost some pieces of an Easel we had so this kind of service is important).
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This one has a foldable step stool although I don't see how it saves that much space. It's a slim design to fit small kitchen. Also from Manine Montessori.
This is the only foldable I have found. The learning tower is handcrafted in Italy.
For my children, I had the bulky Trip Trap highchair. And in addition, I had a learning tower. This 2 in one option would be the perfect alternative. It is manufactured in Denmark.
This one has been recommended many times in our Facebook group. It's quite bulky but you can transform it in a table with chair.
This is a US based company and they deliver in Europe. Their products are super easy to assemble. Made from durable Baltic Birch so it can be assembled, disassembled, and adjusted according to your child’s needs.
Do you have a learning tower at home? Or do you use a stool or chair? Maybe you made your own learning tower?
Let me know in a comment.
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Carine Robin has a Master’s Degree in Psychology, specialising in child psychology. She worked for various social services in her home country of Belgium, before moving to Ireland in 2006. It was there that she started working in a nursery and discovered Montessori education. After having her first child, her passion for the philosophy grew and she qualified as a Montessori teacher and managed a preschool. Carine has been running a Montessori based parents and toddler group and coaching families for 9 years. She now also runs an online group for over 14000 parents, sharing her knowledge and passion with people from around the world. In 2018, Carine realised families needed more support and launched her popular online parenting courses and monthly subscription boxes, full of personally designed Montessori materials.
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