A few months ago when we were thinking about what to get Astrid for her birthday we came across ‘helper stools’ or ‘learning towers’. They are called a couple of different things but there seems to be a variety of them on the market. They all do a similar thing, let your toddler access the kitchen easier, and observe and participate in household activities in a safer environment. All of the similar products were over the $300 mark!
Astrid loves to help in the kitchen but she is getting a bit frustrated by the restrictions of the highchair and isn’t tall enough or sturdy enough to manage on a step stool, safely. We thought a helper stool would be great but they seemed pretty expensive for what they were. Anto also declared he could easily make one for her. So, we decided not to buy one and a couple of weeks back Anto decided to construct the helper stool.
Plenty of handy parents had paved the way for us and there were multiple people who had blogged about their construction of similar stools so we picked one that looked suitable (and achievable) and set about gathering supplies. Anto ended up using fairly decent (and heavy) wood for the construction as some of the ply looked a little flimsy and not that attractive. As a result we decided not to paint the finished product and just oiled the wood. It came up quite well and matches in with other furniture in our kitchen. Here is the finished product:
After materials and time I’m not sure it was massively cheaper than the bought version, but Anto did get it completed over a few nights so it wasn’t too time consuming. He hasn’t yet drilled all the holes for the height adjustment, it is set to let her access the kitchen bench at her current height, but more holes can be added to lower the platform as needed. For those who aren’t familiar with the learning towers, the platform is height adjustable so as the toddler grows it can be moved to a more appropriate height. It’s can also be adjusted depending on what location you want to use it in. We think she will get a good couple of years use out of it. It’s certainly built to last so it isn’t going anywhere in a hurry!
During the construction phase Astrid loved checking on the progress of her helper stool in the garage.
Astrid was beyond excited when her helper stool was finally completed and came down to the kitchen for her to use. She has no problems getting in and out of it on her own, safely, and loves to stand at the bench to help with cooking and making her own meals.
The only problems are that is now take twice as long to maker her breakfast, lunch and dinner as she has to help with every step! Also, she now has unfettered access to things on the kitchen bench…….. all the knives and other implements of danger must be kept further out of the way!
Since baking was already one of Astrid’s favourite tasks, shortly after the helper stool was completed Anto and Astrid had to bake some choc-chip bikkies to try it out. Lets just say Astrid was a fan…… of the stool and the bikkies!