homemade "learning tower" Xposted-toddlers - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 02-02-2009, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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as much as the learning tower looks like a good investment, I still can't justify the expense! Not to mention the fact that in no way shape or form can we afford it, not even if it was half off.

We've been using a chair and letting dd stand on it, but I'm terrified the whole time she'll fall off. And can't focus on cooking or doing the dishes. So that defeats the purpose.

So, I was thinking about making my own "learning tower". Just out of things I have lying around the house and hoping to spend no more than 25-30$ at the most. Has anyone done this? Have any of you seen a homemade learning tower?

ETA: I realize the "cool" feature of the Learning Tower is its adjustable. My homemade one doesn't have to be. Just something to get us through to her being 4 so then she can stand on a chair or stool saftly w/o me worrying


Danielle, wife to John, mama to Valley9.24.07
expecting our miracle babies around 5.12.10- praying that baby B grows healthy and strong!
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#2 of 12 Old 02-23-2009, 02:28 AM
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Have you tried flea markets or garage sales for a kitchen step stool?
My Grandma had one that had a seat with a back, and then kind of folded open to make a step stool when I was a kid.

Those learning towers are nice, but pretty costly! Maybe try a bar stool which has a back on it?

Be the change you want to see in the world. - Gandhi
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#3 of 12 Old 02-23-2009, 02:52 AM
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While a learning tower would be a great thing to have and we could use it for more than one kid, there just isn't room in our kitchen for one. We have a tiny little kitchen. We have a cooler - just a "regular" one, not one for a 6-pack, but not the super-d-duper take the whole extended family on a weekend camping trip size with wheels either - for my son to stand on in the kitchen when he wants to help - it is so, uh, unclassy, but it works. It also slides out of the way really quick when I need to get something from whichever cabinet it is front of. We just happened to have it in the kitchen one day, and noticed it would be great for him to use. We have never had stability issues with it, and we always know where it is when we want to go on a picnic!
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#4 of 12 Old 02-24-2009, 12:19 PM
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we just use a $10 step stool from ikea. It has no sides though and the kids sometimes push each other off.
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#5 of 12 Old 07-23-2010, 03:17 PM
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DH made one for DS but it is much bigger than the learning tower brand. It came out great and we used it up until we put our house on the market.
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#6 of 12 Old 08-09-2010, 03:11 AM
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We always used a step stool too, we found one at the hardware store that had a handle on the top so that there was something for the kids to hold on to on the top step. even when they were very little they had no trouble with it, and they still use it now at 5 & 7. it looks like this, only has 2 rungs instead of 3 http://www.csntools.com/Buyers-Choic...T-BYU1019.html
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#7 of 12 Old 08-30-2010, 04:01 PM
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Have been trying to figure out a way to build our own also! Here are a couple of ideas we have had but have NOT either, just brainstorms:

1. Buy a sturdy shelf made of wood or metal, the type you would use to store things in garage or panrty, they have 4 "posts" with several adjustable shelves. The kind we see are mostly metal but some are heavy duty plastic. assemble it and then flip it upside down so that the top most shelf now rests on the floor, find a way to make the bottom very stable ( ie: nail together a base made of 2X4s into a "frame" that would give the bottom extra surface area so tipping was less likely).

Set one of the shelves to the level we want it to be at so our child can reach the counter is standing on it. Reinforce it's safety by nailing 2x4s, vertically between the shelf for stading on and the wood frame we made at the bottom. The 2x4's would be cut so that they had to be hammeded into place and would very tightly wedge tightly between the shelf where you want child to stand and to the wood "frame" we constructed on the bottom of the shelf for stability (as mentioned above) and would be nailed or scrwed into place for extra security. So basically taking the store bought shelf as the skeleton and adding lumber to make it secure and safe so that the shlef could not drop from it's brakets and so that it would be less likely to tip over. Ya never know, this one could work!!!


2. Buy an actual expensive name brand learning tower with the sole purpose to trace a pattern from it's pieces and never assemble it. Once it arrives from whereever you bought it, unassembled of course caus that is the world we live in, trace all of the main wood pieces onto large sheets of paper and take photos of any part of the assembly that you are unsure of. Put all of the tower pieces back into the box, totally unharmed, and send the tower back for a refund. Take the pattern and pictures and build our own tower using the "knowledge we gained from seeing the tower pieces" and using mdf board and lumber that we buy at the hardware store or score from a friend, freecycle, etc. This one is a bit shady I admit, and you might end up having to pay return shipping, but I am not planning to use the pattern for selling and those towers are so darn expensive! The tower would be returned in perfecrt condition and would never even have been assembled. Just an idea.....but if anyoen tries it, let me know if it wokrd out so I can do it too!

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#8 of 12 Old 11-17-2010, 04:23 PM
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This woman posts amazing plans for furniture.  http://ana-white.com/


Maybe if you email her, she can figure out a plan or offer you advice.


I'd like to make one too, but for now DD just has to stand on a chair.

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DD1 6/2009 DD2 5/1/2013-5/5/2013 (HIE) DS 3/2014
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#9 of 12 Old 01-01-2011, 03:25 AM
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We use the toddler chair, it´s a Tiptop chair, quite common around here. It is quite stable, and we use it turned around, so that the back of the chair is in front of the work area, they can hold themself whenever they feel unstable, I can adjust the heigth of if, and they are quite safe on it. I am happy with this, would not use one of non-climblable chairs though




Trin with DH , DD(7)  and DS(5) ,  DD(2) ,
I am not regularly online at the moment due to the above ...
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#10 of 12 Old 01-02-2011, 08:38 PM
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Just went to her site, and she has a learning tower on the home page. 

Originally Posted by cyclamen View Post

This woman posts amazing plans for furniture.  http://ana-white.com/


Maybe if you email her, she can figure out a plan or offer you advice.


I'd like to make one too, but for now DD just has to stand on a chair.

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#11 of 12 Old 01-13-2011, 03:33 PM
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i am super excited about this, thank you guys for pointing me there, too :)

Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

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#12 of 12 Old 03-11-2012, 07:03 PM
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