Our Favorite Thing – Kitchen Tower

January 30, 2023, Tiffany Newman

Carson in the kitchenSome things parents buy for their kids keep them interested for a very short time; others seem to be the best purchase they have ever made, and their kids continue to use them. For us, two things have kept our kids returning to them, and they are not necessarily toys. First is our strider bike, which I have written about in the past (update, the bike is starting to fall apart), and the second is a kitchen tower. Now, if you are not sure what a kitchen tower is, it is basically a stool with a railing around it. The tower is designed for a young child to safely climb in, be protected from falling, and be able to be at counter height like their parents. We got one when Carson was around 15 months old because he always wanted to be in the kitchen with us, and we also wanted to start teaching him about cooking and baking. When we received it in the mail, we assembled it and put it at the end of our counter. Right away, he wanted to climb up in it. However, it was a new skill he had to learn. He did not quite understand how to get into it right away, but after some tutorials from us, he started climbing into it like a champ. From then on out, he used that stool for everything. He would eat his food there, play with playdough or other messy toys, color, and help us out in the kitchen. It was great until he learned that he could push it around the kitchen and get into things he wanted (or play in the water at the kitchen sink). This is not all bad, though. This allowed him to learn independence and get items, if they were safe, that he wanted. We set boundaries on what he could and could not get into by himself.

Carson in the kitchen

He grew into it quickly and learned how to get in and out of it, moving it around and using it as a tool to help us in the kitchen or wash his hands. Carson loves that stool, and you can tell the amount of use it has had over the last few years. There are dents and scratches, and some bolts are starting to fall out here and there (luckily, we noticed and have fixed those). As he has grown into the stool, it has become a little more challenging for him to get in and out of it due to his size and how the tower is designed, but I believe we can take the safety part off the top and have the stepping area. I am not really ready for that transition as of yet, because he plays around in it often, and I am afraid he will hurt himself, but I am sure it is just a matter of time.

Once Caleb started to walk, he wanted to use the stool like his brother. When babies begin to walk, they are unstable and don’t really understand their surroundings too well. Caleb had to learn how to stand in it correctly and not sit down in certain ways, or else he would fall out, which did happen. One of the first times he got onto the stool, he decided he wanted to try and squat down with his buttocks towards the opening. He didn’t realize how close to the edge he was and went straight backward. We never had this issue with Carson, so I just assumed Caleb wouldn’t fall out. Our stool has a complete square around the top but does not have a bar that you can open and close in the middle (which some models do). Because we did not have the bar in the middle and I was afraid that Caleb would fall out again, we would tie an old scarf around the middle a couple of times when he was in it and watched him extremely closely. Luckily, he only fell out once. Caleb and Carson in the kitchen tower togetherAfter a while, he became more stable walking, and we decided to teach him how to get in it safely (this whole time, we had picked him up and put him into it). Once Caleb learned to get in and out of it, which did not take long, we had other issues that came about, such as Caleb and Carson fighting over the stool and both trying to get into it. I did not realize this would ever become a problem until it did. We decided at Christmas to purchase a second stool, exactly like the first one, to hopefully lessen the amount of fighting. This was exactly what was needed. Now they both get up at the counter, eat their snacks, and help or watch us cook. These stools have been the best things for our kids, and we absolutely love them. Yes, they come with some challenges, but it allows our kids to learn independence.


Read More:

Delilah Learns to Cook

“Recently, I was obsessed with getting Delilah a learning tower step stool, the kind with the boxed-in upper railing, so she could safely stand with me at counter height. I knew we didn’t really need it, but I thought it would make things easier when I’m in the kitchen. This has been one of my favorite purchases for her!”