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Learning Tower, anyone?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

(Maybe this is in the wrong forum?  I'm happy to follow my little thread wherever it needs to go, if that is the case.)

 

 

Does anyone have a learning tower?  Did you "get your money's worth" from it?  Does your Little One enjoy being eye-level with the action?

 

Little Miss is never so attached to me as when I'm in the kitchen, and we're strongly considering purchasing one for her for Christmas.  I'm hoping other mommies have used one and can let me know if it was a good choice for them or not.

post #2 of 29
We have one and it has been one of our best child-related purchases. I really can't speak highly enough about it. We bought ours when our LO was tiny, because it suited us financially to make a bigger purchase then, and started using it pretty much as soon as she was standing reliably.

She uses it many times a day and often eats in it as well if we are sitting at the kitchen bench. The only downside is that food falls between it and the bench so you have to be fairly diligent about pulling it out and doing a clean-up or you can get a bit of a cesspit happening. But I guess she'd drop food wherever she was so it's not a specifically Learning Tower-related problem.

The only other slight criticism I have, and it wouldn't stop me getting one, is that the dark stain has come off in quite a few places where we've had to scrub caked on food and also on the edges. Ours is a dark colour so it probably wouldn't be so obvious on a lighter one. It's not a huge deal, just a small cosmetic irk.
post #3 of 29
My FIL is very handy with woodworking. We basically found a blueprint online, printed it out and said: this is what Kassie would like for Christmas. I'm very excited to get it since DD is very similar: wants to be up whenever I'm cooking or cleaning up. I read lots of positive reviews and didn't really come across any feed back that said a toddler was uninterested. My MIL was very happy that Grampa got a project that gets him away from the TV a bit and it comes out significantly cheaper this way (especially as a gift). If you have a handy relative, it could be something to consider. Honestly if it wasn't for my FIL, we would be buying one.
post #4 of 29

Not exactly answering your question, but:  I would have loved a learning tower for my "helpful" daughter, but we just didn't have the money or the space in our house for it.  But, now that she's old enough to use it safely, her two-step stool serves the same purpose really well.  I only allow her to put it in one spot in our kitchen where I know she's safe from hazards, but she really loves being up there to see what I'm doing and help out.  Probably spends up to an hour a day in that spot, as I'm sure would be the case with a learning tower, too. 
 

post #5 of 29

We have one, but don't actually use it terribly frequently, when we DO use it I'm glad we have it tho'.  I got it on Craigslist for 1/3 of retail...so it may pay to keep an eye on craigslist.  

post #6 of 29

Best child related purchase I have ever made. I bought one 9 years ago for my oldest child, the same tower is still going strong (but very stained) today with additional 3 children that have used it. I can not count how many times a day I use it. DD1 is far too big for it now but the 6, 3 and 1 year olds climb into it all the time. It is the only way I get any cooking done. 

 

During one of our moves, it got buried in the garage for a while so I started plopping DD2 on the counter to help. DH put her up there one night to make cookies, she promptly fell off and broke her arm. We've never allowed another kid on the counter since, they just pile into the tower. I keep thinking I would actually love a new one because mine is so beat up. shy.gif

post #7 of 29

We never had one.  With my kids, the period of time when they were old enough to enjoy standing next to me but too young to stand safely on a chair or stool lasted no more than a few months.

post #8 of 29

We have the Kitchen Helper (same idea as Learning Tower, different brand). We went with that one solely because it folds, and we have a very small kitchen so being able to store it was a huge plus for us. I have to say, though, that in the two years we've had it (we got it before she turned 1 and she just turned 3) it's only been put away a handful of times. We use it every single day and I know we'll be using it for years to come.

post #9 of 29
Our DS is currently standing on his, having a pre-bed snack of applesauce. I built it in an afternoon from online plans, and it cost us about $50. We use it many times a day. I love that its always accessible (unlike a chair; you don't usually leave those pulled up to the counter), and at 15 months he can climb up and down independently. He climbs up in the morning shortly after he wakes up, ready to eat breakfast (handy, as he eats while I pack my lunch for work and make my coffee). Same when we're making dinner, baking, etc--he can independently opt in to the family activity. And if he gets bored, he hops down and heads off to do his own thing. We love it.
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 

Does anyone want to post a picture of the tower they built?

 

My husband could build one, he certainly has the tools and the proficiency, however, I'm concerned about when he will build one (I don't need this tower for when she's 15.) and how it will look.  I am house-proud, what can I say?

 

So you crafty sorts... eh?  eh?  Picture?  Or, if you don't want to post a picture of your house in an open forum, message me and I'll send you my email address and you can send the picture privately. 

 

It seems like we're either buying or building.  She's too little/clumsy to stand on a stool safely, not to mention, she needs to be corralled.  The foldable model sounds especially awesome as we have a galley-style kitchen, which I love for cooking, hate for storage. 

post #11 of 29
This is the pattern I used: http://ana-white.com/2010/12/helping-tower.html She has an option to make it foldable, too.

They look HUGE in the photos on her site, but are much more reasonable in real life. We have a tiny kitchen, and don't trip over it smile.gif
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by CascadiaMama View Post

This is the pattern I used: http://ana-white.com/2010/12/helping-tower.html She has an option to make it foldable, too.
They look HUGE in the photos on her site, but are much more reasonable in real life. We have a tiny kitchen, and don't trip over it smile.gif
That is the one Grampa is building for us too ... Just not in hot pink ;-)
post #13 of 29

It is bulky, and heavy, and kind of hard to fit in our kitchen and we use it ALL THE TIME. We have a Waldorf-style painting board stabelized with little plastic feet that just fits over and it has turned into a de facto kitchen island when not in use.

Kids use for cooking and watching and hanging out and indoor jungle gym and also some of the messier art projects that are easier to clean off tile.

 

I much much prefer the real thing to the "Kitchen Helper" which is too small for too kids and less flexible.

 

Also, they are very, very easy to sell on Craigs List for a reasonable return on investment but I was never able to buy one that. It seems like they were sold in seconds, even for half price.

 

We also have the art attachment and that never gets used.

 

We have as sturdy stepstool that both kids avoid like the plague. 

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 

Haha, the husband-person has begun work.  We'll see how this goes.   ROTFLMAO.gif

I think we are using the ana-white plans, but the foldable option did not look very sturdy.  Our garage is just across the foyer from our kitchen, so worst case scenario, we ditch the tower in there along with the multi-steps when we are not using them.

 

I'm so excited about this, she's so determined to do everything we do.  It's a little daunting to make all our activities child-sized and safe.

post #15 of 29
How cool that your husband is making one. I'm sure you'll all love having it. Your little girl is going to have a ball :-)
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thank you, I am excited to have her Papa build it for her.

 

joy.gif
 

post #17 of 29

700

 

My hubby made this out of what was being sold as a set of drawers (we live in Europe and around here you can find something similar at just about every big DIY market and furniture outlet). You can see he left the bottom drawer there, which is handy to have, and he sawed out the other shelf thingy that was there. It was so easy to make; he is not a very gifted handyman or anything!

As for usage, our son is 2 1/2 now and we don't use it much but I would like to more, I think I am just lazy about including him when I cook and stuff in the kitchen. It's a great tool to have though, and we have used it for water play at the kitchen sink. The only thing is: I wish it were collapsible for storage. Our kitchen is not huge and it does take up quite a big space.

post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 

Lookit how cute your Little Dude is P.J.!  Awesome picture, thank you!  My kitchen is also not large, but we skipped the fold-able option so the entire rig would be more stable.  Our kitchen is not too far from our garage, so I will be able to just chuck it out there when I need the floor space in the kitchen. 

post #19 of 29

We got ours as a Christmas gift last year (kids were just over 2 y/o).  I like to say it was a better gift to me than them, because it allows me to get a lot done.  Now... there is a lot of jockeying that goes on between them on the stand these days, and soon we're going to have to either kick them out in favor of little sister, or find some other solution.  (Also... they've started "leaning" over the counter instead of standing on the lowered platform, so that drives me crazy, but we're working on it.)  Ours is on an "unused" side of a "peninsula" area, and actually sits in the dining room... I know a lot of its usefulness is whether your kitchen supports it.

post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 

Yes, yes, this is certainly more for me than it is for her.  She's plumb obsessed with doing what Mama is doing.  It makes cooking... interesting.

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