Many parents want to be able to cook with their children but do not know about many ways that they can do so safely. Many parents use Montessori Learning Towers as a solution to that problem. But what are Montessori Learning Towers, and are they really safe?
Montessori Learning Towers are tall step stools made for children that are partially enclosed for safety. They allow children to reach the kitchen countertop and help their parents cook. Montessori Learning Towers are safe and most can be adjusted for a child’s height. Learning Towers are meant for children 18 months or older.
Now that you know a little bit about Montessori Learning Towers you may be wondering why parents use them and why you might want to use a Learning Tower for your child.
What is a Montessori Learning Tower?
A Montessori Learning Tower is a very tall stepstool that allows children and toddlers to see on top of the countertops and be at their level. The Learning Tower allows children to safely and comfortably reach the countertops. Montessori Learning Towers look very similar to large wooden step stools, but they also have wooden slats that can support children and keep them from falling off of the Learning Tower.
Montessori Learning Towers are also called Kitchen Helpers or Montessori Towers. You will commonly hear them being called Kitchen Helpers outside of the Montessori learning community, but they are the same product that has the same function.
Montessori Learning Towers are typically used in the kitchen, but they can be used in other rooms of your house like the living room and a craft studio. If a toddler or young child needs to reach a counter or tabletop, the Montessori Learning Tower can be used to help them reach it.
Montessori sometimes looks like a combination of a high chair and a step stool. It has slats on all 4 sides of the stool that help support younger children and prevent toddlers from falling off of the Learning Tower. Most of the time, the front and back slats can be removed so toddlers can go up and down the Learning Tower freely or as the child grows and is at less of a risk of falling and getting hurt. Although it may look very similar to step stools, they are safer for toddlers to use than step stools are.
Are Learning Towers Montessori?
Learning Towers are not necessarily part of Montessori, but they are commonly used in households that teach their children by using the Montessori Method because it helps promote independence for the child.
However, many other households that do not teach their children through the Montessori Method use a Learning Tower.
Montessori Learning Towers make Montessori learning in the kitchen easier for both the parent and the child, and they help keep children safe while they are in the kitchen. Many parents who do not teach their children through the Montessori Method do use Montessori Learning Towers because they are convenient and keep their children safe.
Learning towers can be purchased from our websites, including Amazon.
How Do Learning Towers Work?
Montessori Learning Towers work by bringing children to countertop level, where they can learn how to use kitchen tools and basic cooking skills.
Learning towers allow children to learn how to climb on something that is sturdy and that is designed to be climbed rather than something unstable, like lower kitchen cabinets. It allows them to reach and see over the countertops, which they are often curious about because you are cooking on them.
Learning towers allow children to learn basic cooking skills safely because you can guide them without worrying about them falling. It also allows them to learn how to follow directions because you are telling them how to do certain things, like frost a cookie or stir some batter together.
Learning towers allow your children to become confident and independent in the kitchen while still helping them to stay safe.
What Age is a Learning Tower For?
Learning towers are meant to be used by children that are 2-6 years old, although they can sometimes be used by children that are younger than 2 years old. If your child is tall enough to reach the countertop with a very small step stool and is not at a high risk of falling, then they are ready to stop using the Learning Tower and start using a small step stool.
If you are wondering whether or not your child is ready to start using a Learning Tower, evaluate their walking, standing, and climbing abilities. If they can consistently stand well on their own, are walking well, and can climb, then your child is likely ready to use a Learning Tower.
Can a 1-Year-Old Use a Learning Tower?
A 1-year-old can use a Learning Tower as long as they can sit up by themselves and the Learning Tower has slats that will prevent them from falling out of it. It is not advisable to use a Learning Tower for children that are less than 18 months old.
If your child is less than 18 months old, use a highchair instead of a Learning Tower and bring it close to the counter where you are working on lunch or dinner so they can see you and watch what you are doing.
Are Toddler Learning Towers Safe?
Learning Towers are safe for toddlers. However, your toddler should always be watched while they are using the Learning Tower, just in case they fall or manage to tip over the Learning Tower. Although it is unlikely that the Learning Tower will tip, toddlers often manage to surprise their parents with the mischief that they can get into, including tipping things over that they shouldn’t even be able to reach.
Some Learning Towers can be adjusted or folded and they can potentially pinch your toddler’s skin if they accidentally touch where the tower can be adjusted. However, you can add soft things, like removable fabric, in the pinching gaps to prevent it from occurring in the future.
The items that are on the countertop that your toddler can reach while using the Learning Tower will need to be watched and monitored even more closely than before. Sharp knives and easily breakable items should be removed from your toddler’s reach and put on another counter.
When you begin using the Learning Tower, make sure that you teach your child what they can and cannot touch, like the stove and sharp knives. Try to explain what can happen if they do touch the things that they are not supposed to.
What Should I Look For In a Learning Tower?
When you are looking for a Learning Tower, you should look for:
- Stable Base
- Sturdy Construction
- Safety Rails
- Removable sides
- Made of Wood
The Learning Tower that you purchase needs to be very sturdy so that it does not tip over while it has your wriggling toddler on it. Safety rails are very important because they will prevent your child from falling off of the Learning Tower, and they can use them to help them climb to the top without falling.
Why Do I Need A Learning Tower?
A Learning Tower is a great tool to help your child safely learn kitchen skills and learn how to be somewhat independent in the kitchen. Even if you don’t purchase a Learning Tower, your child will want to learn kitchen skills and try to do so on their own, which can become dangerous.
Most children naturally want to help you in the kitchen, especially if you spend a lot of time in there. Learning Towers allow them to see what you are doing, help you in the kitchen, and stay safe while doing so.
According to Montessori parents, when you get a Learning Tower for your toddler they can help you put things into bowls, which helps them work on their grasping and transferring skills, and they can learn how to use various utensils while they are on the Learning Tower where they wouldn’t have been able to beforehand. They don’t often get to use a spatula or a beater, but they can while they are using a Learning Tower because that is where those tools are used. (Source)
The Learning Tower also allows children to spend quality time with you in the kitchen while they have not been able to in the past. They can do all of this while still staying safe. The Learning Tower also keeps them in your sight, which will help prevent mischief from occurring while you are making dinner.