Toddlers level up their courage and curiosity once they learn to stand on their feet (as early as nine months for some babies). This is great as that is how they discover the world, use their senses, and learn what their bodies can do, from walking, climbing, jumping, reaching for items, etc.
As a parent, you cannot help but worry about how and where you let them move for a good reason. Your kids just started acquiring motor skills and have a long way to go. This is quite a dilemma, as the last thing you want to do is hinder their development. Montessori learning teaches about this and has developed a tool to help both kids and parents – the Montessori learning tower, also known as the kitchen helper. What’s in this learning tower that makes it unique? How can kids learn from it? More importantly, where to buy one? This entry will answer those questions and more.
What’s in a Montessori learning tower
A Montessori learning tower is a simple piece of furniture that helps parents conveniently and safely involve their kids in various tasks in the kitchen, sink, dining table, etc. It allows the child to climb and stand higher on a safer platform as they explore and learn various home activities, from baking, cooking, hand washing, cleaning, and more.
Unlike dining chairs, regular stools, and short ladders, learning towers are specifically designed to give the young ones the courage to do tasks independently while also securing their safety at all times using steps, panels, and railings.
How the learning tower fits into a Montessori environment
Montessori rooms are packed with simple toys and learning materials that stimulate the child’s brain, as well as functional equipment and furniture that inspires self-motivation and encourages kids to learn and progress at their own pace. Most of these items are made with natural materials and have different textures, allowing kids to discover other surfaces. The learning tower is derived from the same idea – to create an environment that encourages exploration and independence.
Using the learning tower, toddlers can easily climb and access higher surfaces, such as bookshelves, countertops, dining tables, kitchen counters, etc.
Benefits of Montessori Learning Tower
It is a lot safer
Compared to ladders and stools, the learning tower is a lot safer. They are built with specific dimensions and safety features to provide safety. They come with a broader base, making them more stable and steady. Many learning towers you can find in the market are covered on all four sides for optimum safety.
It encourages independence
Kids learn through play, and what better way to teach them practical skills and household chores than getting them involved? Learning towers let you involve your child in various house activities safely. This is why Montessori education promotes the use of learning towers – to support the child’s instinct to do things independently.
Allow you to spend quality time with your little one
Aside from allowing their kids to climb in and out of the tower safely, parents can also get their kids involved in primary activities at home, such as baking or cooking, washing their hands, food, etc. For toddlers a little older, you can teach them how to cut vegetables using safe knives, season various foods, mix baking ingredients, etc.
How to choose a Montessori Learning Tower
Now that you know their benefits, how do you find the right one for you and your child?
As with most things in life, not all Montessori learning towers are made equal. Some are made with higher quality materials, more robustly built, and designed, while some come with nifty and convenient features.
Consider your child’s abilities
The design and features of the tower you choose must be based on the stage of development and abilities of your child. Your child should be able to fit inside and must be able to use it for a couple more years.
Consider your space
Learning towers come in all shapes and sizes. Generally, though, they are slim and can fit into small kitchens well. However, some designs are specifically made to be more stable and go well with bigger and more spacious areas.
Autonomy versus Safety
Some parents prefer equipment and tools with added safety features, such as a fully enclosed platform. This tower type is more stable and safer, giving parents more peace of mind.
Where can I get the best Montessori learning towers?
Like many Montessori items, learning towers are available anywhere, from online Montessori supply shops, baby supply stores, and online shopping websites (Amazon, Etsy, etc.). They are generally affordable and can last for a long time.
When choosing a learning tower to buy, read enough reviews and shop only at reputable stores to avoid counterfeit and low-quality items.