As an occupational therapist, I believe involving children in day to day tasks is integral to their development, and allows them to build on skills in a functional way. Physically, they are encouraged to use and improve their gross and fine motor skills, and are exposed to a range of sensory experiences which help them to understand and interact with the world around them. Socially, they are getting important interaction with family, peers or siblings, and fostering strong interpersonal relationships through shared experiences. Emotionally & mentally, you are helping build their confidence, capacity and independence through observation, learning and practice of everyday activities.
My husband and I both come from European families - food and cooking is central to both of our cultures, and underpins almost everything we do, so for our family, involving our children in this aspect of our life is a no brainer.
For this reason, I believe that a Learning Tower is the perfect addition to your family home. So what is it? Basically, it is an enclosed step ladder, which gives your child a safe platform which boosts them up to the benchtop or cooking space, and allows them to stand with you at a functional height and help you cook, while you have piece of mind that they can do so without falling (of course we recommend close supervision at all times - accidents can still happen, so please never leave your child unattended in the Learning Tower!)
Who can use a Learning Tower?
Learning Towers are suitable for children who can stand, walk and climb small platforms independently, which is typically around 2 years of age, maybe slightly earlier or later depending on each child and their current abilities, remembering that younger children need even closer supervision. If you’re in doubt about size/suitability, as long as the safety bar is at or below the armpits, your little one is tall enough to use the tower.
They can be safely used until your child no longer “fits” inside the Learning Tower, the safety bar is well below the belly button, until they can reach the benchtop themselves, or safely stand on a step stool, which may typically be around 6-7 years of age.
(Child development can vary from child to child - if you are concerned please book an appointment with your GP, Allied Health Professional or healthcare provider)
Four Little Monkeys Learning Tower designs and materials
Our range here at Four Little Monkey’s has various options to suit your needs. All our learning towers have a step and are enclosed with a safety bar and are made from high quality timber with a non-toxic finish.
Our height adjustable frame ensures the child can remain at counter height, dropped down as the child gets taller. (In this model the height from platform to top of safety bar can be set at 36cm, 43cm, or 49cm)
Our other models do not have a height adjustable platform (set at 44.5cm from platform to top of safety bar), however convert to a toddler size table and have a blackboard panel to diversify play. The blackboard can be used for recipes, drawing and so much more.
Our designs use clean modern lines and neutral tones to fit seamlessly with the decor of any home, so you can feel confident they will compliment your space.
Our learning towers don’t fold flat - this solid design ensures our product has stability and sturdiness. But trust us - it will be used so frequently, it's unlikely you will ever need or want to pack it away!
Learning Towers are designed so the caregiver can feel confident to step away to grab more items from nearby in the fridge or pantry as needed, however as mentioned earlier children must always be supervised when using them.
Our Learning Towers are sturdy and stable, but they are also designed to be portable and moved from space to space in your kitchen if needed, and therefore can still succumb to force and gravity! So just be mindful and always place it on flat solid surfaces, and supervise to avoid movements or overreaching that can cause the frame to tip.
We also recommend very close supervision if using the tower at the heat source or when using sharp utensils or electrical appliances, and not stepping away at these times. Use this as an opportunity to communicate with your child about safety.
Also be mindful that our folding and adjustable Learning Towers have sliding or moving parts and latches, which catch skin if not adjusted or secured properly.
We can’t wait to see pictures of your little monkeys getting messy in the kitchen or getting some independence at the bathroom sink! Tag us @fourlittlemonkeysco on Instagram!