Friday, December 6, 2013

DIY // Toddler Learning Tower

Happy 18 months to our Cubscout! Our little bear is growing up so fast; it seems like yesterday we were celebrating her birthday. She's spunky, witty, and oh so curious. So much so that she wouldn't leave me alone when I was in the kitchen. Every time I washed dishes, made a meal or made a much needed cup of joe, Cubs would hang on my leg or sit on the floor at my feet and fuss until I picked her up.

We are believers in the Montessori way of teaching life skills from an early age. Brian was browsing Ikea Hackers one evening and came across a DIY post for building a learning tower. Learning towers are basically step stools with safety rails in which a toddler to preschool aged child can stand. It allows a young child the ability to participate in every day chores from washing dishes (Mainly just sloshing around in the sink!) to preparing basic foods and simple kitchen tasks. The tower also serves as a great perch for them to simply hang with you and contribute their jibber jabber to your conversation. (It's adorable.)

Cubscout LOVES her learning tower. She likes being apart of the action and feeling as though she has command of her space. She's learning invaluable life skills and is having a great time. She can climb into it herself (Hasn't mastered getting back down yet.) and even pushes it around the kitchen to be closer to me. Better yet, no more hanging on my leg! Cubs is my little partner in crime in the kitchen, and we've had some really fun times.

You can easily purchase a learning tower from any baby supply store or online. But, be prepare to pay upwards of 200 smackers. I kid you not. Why spend that kind of dough, when you can make one for less than $30?!

Here are the instructions Brian followed. The Ikea stool, which serves as the base of the tower, can be purchased here.

We left the wood in its natural state to blend in with our cabinets. Whether you leave it au natural or paint it, the tower will get a little grimy during your tot's kitchen adventures. Just wipe it down with a sponge and warm soapy water or spray with disinfectant spray.

{If you are looking for instructions to build a more commercial learning tower like you see in stores, you can find building instructions here on Ana White's blog. She refers to it as a "helping tower."}

Take a photo of your learning tower and send it to me. I'd love to do a follow-up post with your awesome builds and toddler adventures!

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