I am so excited about sharing this project with y’all! This DIY Learning Tower is perfect for growing toddlers who like to learn. I firmly believe that every parent of young children should have one of these in their house.
My boy Carson has always been a curious kid and LOVES to help, especially in the kitchen. Holding him proved to be pretty difficult – working around the kitchen with only one available hand is hard enough but that kid is solid. Five minutes of holding him and you’ll realize you’ve lost all feeling in your arm. And toddlers love to move around, reach for everything in eye sight and swan dive off of high surfaces, so putting him on the counter beside us was just not the best idea.
On my search for a solution, I came across kitchen helpers and thought they were totally genius! But I quickly realized that finding one for under $200 was probably going to be impossible. NOPE! No sir. I will keep my numb arm, thank you.
Then I stumbled across this plan from Ana White‘s website (her and her husband built their Alaskan home and basically everything in it by hand. Seriously, check her out!). These little towers allow your child to stand next to you at counter height and help while keeping them “caged in” so they don’t fall out. Plus it has an adjustable height platform so it can grow with your kiddo. (You can also find a modification that allows you to fold the tower flat when not in use on her site.)
This learning tower doesn’t require a huge shopping list and is simple to make. Paint it any color you would like and wah-lah! Your God send is complete. Use this in the kitchen, laundry room, garage, you name it! This is a great way to include your toddler in more household chores and give those tiny hands something to do!
My total spent at Lowe’s was about $75 which included the wood, screws, wood glue and paint + primer. I bought more screws than needed just in case and I had a TON of primer left over, which will definitely get used. PAINT ALL THE THINGS! (We didn’t get a chance to paint the tower before posting this because #parentlife)
The main tools that you’ll need access to a circular saw, jigsaw, sander and drill. And maybe a little helper… 😉
1 – 1×8, 8 feet long
4 – 1×2, 8 feet long
1 – 1×3, 8 feet long
2 1/2″ screws
1 1/4″ screws
paint and finishing supplies
Start by cutting out each piece of the tower.
4 – 1×2 @ 38″ (Legs)
8 – 1×2 @ 15″ (Ladder rungs)
1 – 1×8 @ 15″ (Arches)
2 – 1×8 @ 16 1/2″ (Front and Back Sides)
2 – 1×8 @ 18″ (Platform)
2 – 1×2 @ 15″ (Platform Supports)
2 – 1×2 @ 16 1/2″ (Bottom Supports)
2 – 1×3 @ 16 1/2″ (Top Supports)
2 – 1×3 @ 24″ (Tip Resistors, optional)
4 – 1×3 @ 3″ (Tip Resistors, optional)
For the arches, we sketched one arch out with pencil and cut the bottom part first, then used the scrap piece to trace the top. We then used that completed arch to trace and cut out the second arch so that they matched.
For the ladder rungs, we predrilled holes and applied wood glue to the end of the rungs, then attached them with our 2 1/2″ screws. We followed these steps for the end pieces as well.
Finally, we built the platform. We took our 18″ long 1x8s and marked 1″ from the outside on each side. We then glued and screwed our 1×2 platform supports down. We added the tip resistors because we thought Carson still needed that extra support and now little miss Callie will be able to use it when she gets old enough.
Test the fit and you’re all done! Now you can put those kids to work! 😉
How do you use your tower? What do your kids love to help with?