Level up your parent-child playtime. Build your toddler’s independence. From baking cookies in the kitchen to creative holiday craft time — the learning tower gives toddlers access to a whole new level of experiential learning.
Look to the learning tower for an elevated stand-up platform that puts your toddler at the same level as most kitchen counters and adult-height surfaces.
Your child will be ready to get cooking with their new learning tower models by 12 to 18 months old. Most popular learning towers are best used between the ages of 1 to 4 years. once kids grow to about 3’ feet 6” inches tall and 100 pounds heavy — they might not fit anymore!
A big confidence boost for the litter learner in your life — and a leg up on learning!
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Top 14 Toddler Learning Towers — Busy Parent’s Quick List
It’s clear that wooden learning towers are superior to their plastic cousins — but which one’s right for your circumstances?
For busy parents — here’s your 28-second rundown of the best 14 wooden learning towers for babies, toddlers, and kids (1 to 6 years).
- (01) GuideCraft “Classic” Foldable Learning Tower
- (02) SDADI Kitchen Helper For Toddlers (18+ Months)
- (03) Piccalio “Mini Chef” Convertible Learning Tower
- (04) Wood & Hearts Transformable Learning Activity Tower
- (05) Little Partners “Explore & Store” Learning Tower
- (06) PID Kids All-In-One Convertible Toddler Helper Tower
- (07) GuideCraft “Contemporary” Foldable Kitchen Helper Stool
- (08) Unicoo Dark Bamboo Kitchen Toddler Tower Stool (1-5 Years)
- (09) Little Partners 38” Inch Large Step-Up Standing Tower
- (10) Montessori House Bed Transformable Montessori learning Tower
- (11) P.P. Opount Animal Shape Learning Tower (Elephant, Giraffe, Cow)
- (12) GuideCraft Step-Up Toddler Learning Furniture
- (13) Little Partners “Little Artists” Chalkboard Learning Tower
- (14) ECR4Kids “Chef’s Helper” Two-Step Wooden Kitchen Stool
Best Wooden Learning Towers For Toddler & Baby
(01) GuideCraft “Classic” Foldable Learning Tower
The world’s most popular wooden toddler learning tower for 18 months to 36 months.
For 18 months to 3 years old, GuideCraft’s brand offers the world’s favorite foldable wooden learning tower. Adjustable with 2-height settings for different stages of your child’s growth.
Serving perfectly as a counter-height kitchen helper — it’s a standard 36” inch height — but it’s wider than most models — at 23” inches per side (versus the 18” inch standard). Being wider means being able to fold it perfectly flat for storage is an extra awesome space saver!
GuideCraft didn’t cut any corners when it comes to safety features. The tower includes four-sided safety rails, a removable front keeper, and a non-slip mat.
Made with solid hardwood, birch plywood, and a non-toxic finish — enjoy an eco-friendly child-safe construction that prevents scratches and scruffs from kitchen work.
Get it in natural wood, ivory offwhite, or seafoam green
(02) SDADI Kitchen Helper For Toddlers (18+ Months)
Best budget-friendly “Toddler Kitchen Helper” style learning tower for 18+ Months — in neutral colors to match your home.
For parents on a hunt for the perfect intersection between savings and quality — SDADI is a manufacturer brand offering a friendly low price with over 2,000 five-star reviews (at the time of writing).
Standing 35” tall — it’s a standard height that will line up with most kitchen countertops. Even though the price is lower than other models — you still get a full-sized unit that’ll keep your child busy for years to come.
The lower cost does come with some downside. It’s non-adjustable and non-folding — not as versatile or convenient as more expensive toddler towers.
It’s available in 3 neutral tone colors — white, grey, and espresso — because for a bulky purchase like a learning tower, it’s important that you like how it looks in your home.
(03) Piccalio “Mini Chef” Convertible Learning Tower
Tower meets table with this 2-in-1 tower that seamlessly transitions from cooking to eating.
If you’re getting grey hairs trying to decide between a learning tower vs learning table — here’s your Eureka solution!
Piccalio brand’s Montessori tower easily transforms from tower to table in — no tools necessary & just a couple quick steps. It’s a multi-functional tower and table combo — adjustable to 3 separate heights to support growing tots from 18 months to 6 years.
The tower is a standard 36″ inches tall. When converted into a table, the table measures 36” inches long as well.
A limited selection of Picallio learners and helpers are available on Amazon.
(04) Wood & Hearts Transformable Learning Activity Tower
From kitchen tower to learning table — it’s a 2-in-1 toddler learning transformer.
Transformable takes the learning tower to a whole new level — 2-in-1 “Kitchen Tower” and “Learning Table”. Love it!
An even better selection of Wood & Hearts brand’s transformable learning towers are available on Etsy.
(P.S. It’s available painted in nursery-friendly neutral tones — or unpainted natural wood.)
(05) Little Partners “Explore & Store” Learning Tower
With a surprise bottom storage cabinet for whatever your toddler wants to put in.
Zero tools are required to adjust the platform height to any of the 4 positions — so it’s a learning tower that grows with your child — from young toddlers at 2 years to young kids up to 5 years.
Standing 33.5” inches tall with a full-surround safety bar — the “Kitchen Helper” aspect is standard with all the boxes checked.
Check the bottom step for a nice surprise! It’s a small functional storage box for toddler toys — or maybe a pair of indoor shoes!
Did I mention it’s available in your choice of 4 neutral tone colors?
(06) PID Kids All-In-One Convertible Toddler Helper Tower
Sophisticate minimal design with eco-modern features and 3-in-1 transformability (Tower, Table & Stool)
Looking for something a little different?
Minimal and angular in design — you can tell there’s something special about this lofty toddler tower.
Complete with 3-in-1 unique learning experiences — as a helper tower, activity table, or step stool — quickly reposition it to match your activity!
Transparent plexiglass safety walls add a modern eco-futuristic look that you won’t find in any other known learning tower. With an optional desk-style drawer — your kiddo can keep their writing utensils right inside their workstation. And they even offer a double-wide tower to fit two toddlers.
Those are some fab-fresh designs from the house of PID Kids!
It’s available in 6 neutral color variations for ready-to-ship models. Or to make it extra special — you can order custom-painted in any color in the rainbow!
(07) GuideCraft “Contemporary” Foldable Kitchen Helper Stool
A modern remix of GuideCraft’s original foldable toddler learning tower — with simple vertical rails.
I don’t need to say much here. Apples to apples — it’s got the same size, materials, and features as GuideCraft’s classic.
Instead of the “Classic” squares, circles, and star-shaped safety rail cutouts — this “Contemporary” model has simple vertical rails — to match better with most homes’ interior decor.
Did I mention — it’s available in navy blue — a refreshingly bold color I haven’t seen on any other tower on the list.
(08) Unicoo Dark Bamboo Kitchen Toddler Tower Stool (1-5 Years)
A sturdy and lightweight kitchen tower stool — uniquely made from dark-tone eco-regenerative bamboo.
Lightweight and sturdy — it’s made from 100% natural bamboo strong enough to hold a whopping 150 pounds safely.
To adjust the height, just use your own two hands to slide the platform board out and back in at a higher or lower position — it’s that easy!
Adjust it high for your littlest one — so they can reach the kitchen sink area. Re-adjust it lower when your littlest one grows bigger! Or re-adjust on the fly to approach different surfaces in your home.
(09) Little Partners 38” Inch Large Step-Up Standing Tower
Best 38” tall large-sized learning tower — big enough to easily accommodate two busy toddlers.
Recommended for kids 2 to 6 years — Little Partners brand’s “Step-Up Standing Tower” is extra-large at 38” inches tall with a 33” by 23” standing area — it offers a bit more wiggle room than the same brand’s “Explore & Store” model.
You miss out on the “Explore & Store” model’s bottom storage compartment — but you gain added safety due to the smooth-rounded edges. Important for a platform designed to hold two toddlers!
For some parents, a funky color choice like Crimson Red is enough reason to pick this one up!
One thing I don’t like — the steps up to the platform are hollowed out, so they’re not as comfortable on toddlers’ bare feet as the level steps other learning towers offer.
(10) Montessori House Bed Transformable Montessori learning Tower
Love the transformable kitchen stool tower and toddler table combo? Try this one in simple & practical Montessori style.
Designed with Montessori principles in mind — it’s a multi-purpose wooden kitchen learning tower designed for independent exploration and learning.
Like other 2-in-1 wooden transformer towers — it conveniently switches between a lofty kitchen booster to an all-purpose toddler-sized table.
Both the kitchen tower climbing step and the step stool step can be adjusted up or down 2 inches in any combination you find works best.
It’s standard 35.5” height and available in lacquered natural wood or your choice of black, white, or grey.
(11) P.P. Opount Animal Shape Learning Tower (Elephant, Giraffe, Cow)
Learning towers in creative animal shapes your kiddo can mount for extra imaginative kitchen prep!
I’ll skip the talk about functional features — and get straight to matters!
P.P. Opount is the only brand with learning towers frames that look like animals.
(12) GuideCraft Step-Up Toddler Learning Furniture
A low-cost ergonomic learning tower — to pass the savings into shopping for yummy food to cook up with your kiddo!
This one’s GuideCraft’s most basic learning tower — low cost and fewer frills.
At 36” inches tall with a 22” by 20” inch standing platform — it’s standard height, and slightly wider than normal.
At a lower price tier than most (at the time of writing) — it’s another good model to consider for savings-savvy shoppers — available in similar color choices as more expensive models.
Intended for little kids 2 to 5 years of age — it’s made with a combination of engineered wood and solid pine — to save cost and maintain quality and durability.
One downside is it’s not foldable — which means the space this thing takes up is permanent!
(13) Little Partners “Little Artists” Chalkboard Learning Tower
Stand on the tower to help out in the kitchen — dismount to the chalkboard to express your artistic side.
For creative toddlers — here’s a learning tower with a toddler chalkboard built into the side.
From flour-battered hands in the kitchen to paint-coated fingers in the playroom — this learning tower specializes in artistic expression starting at 18 months.
At 38” inches tall — that’s extra-large, so your older toddler won’t strain their back bending down to draw on the chalkboard. At 33” by 23” inches width-wise — you’ve got a chalkboard large enough for an afternoon full of doodles.
(14) ECR4Kids “Chef’s Helper” Two-Step Wooden Kitchen Stool
Best budget-friendly wooden kitchen helper stool with all the perks you’ve come to expect.
You’ve seen similar-style toddler towers in the list already — with a price tag of $150 to $250 (at the time of writing). For toddlers 2 years to kids 7 years — take advantage of all the perks at a nice low price.
This one’s at a cool low cost with essential features and nothing more — three-sided safety rails, flat steps, and an adjustable platform.
Learning Tower Parenting 101 — Safety & How It Works
We already understand the basic concept behind the learning tower. Growing toddlers step up to household surfaces and level up through all sorts of new engaging activities.
Let’s see what it’s actually like living with a toddler and their learning tower!
Reasons To Love
Of the million good reasons to bring a toddler tower into your home — here’s just a few of the most salient.
Most apparent — toddlers learn practical life skills on a learning tower. From food prep to washing dishes, from kids’ art projects to scientific experiments — whatever your toddlers need to do — the learning tower offers accessibility and inclusivity for toddlers of all heights, sizes, and reaches.
Oodles and oodles of open-ended play! As a tool to get your toddlers interacting with all-new learning environments — the learning tower is an amazing catalyst for spontaneous play!
And my favorite — Get a big boost in self-confidence.
A little off-topic but — my mom is a physical therapist, so I played around in wheelchairs when I was a kid. Even at 5 or so years old — I could tell how people looked at me differently when they assumed I was a paraplegic.
The point? Learning towers create a new aura where kids can be at eye level with the adults they love most. It’s an amazing opportunity to reinforce confidence and mutual respect.
I could ramble on for a fireside chat about the learning and development objective.
Yes to both fine and gross motor skills.
Yes to irreplaceable parent-child bonding time.
Top Safety Tips
But when you’re toddlers standing inside a yard-tall tower — is it safe? What should a new parent know before they break out of their new learning tower?
Look for these learning tower safety features:
Safety rails not only prevent your kiddo from taking a spill — they give wobbly walkers something sturdy to hold only. 3-sided safety rails are easier to climb in and out of, and 4-sided is best to avoid falls from up high.
Certain 3-sided models recognize this safety hazard — and remedy it with a mesh cover or safety strap and buckle as a meager precaution.
Some learning towers come with non-slip grips permanently adhered to the surface — others offer grippy square mats you can place on the platform, remove, clean, and replace.
My personal opinion — flat steps level to the ground are easier for early years motor skills than steps merely “hollowed out” of a panel of wood. Much nicer for rugrats that go barefoot, too!
To make your learning tower ultra-safe — adjust the steps and platform height to fit your kiddo’s ability level, remove sharp or dangerous items from the area, and use close supervision especially during those first few weeks (to stop unsafe climbing and jumping in its tracks).
Extra cautious parents can consider placing a mat underneath. A waterproof splat matt — like Bumkin brand’s — would cushion a tumble and works well in the kitchen — to collect spills, splats from novice-level kitchen prep whodunnits.
Lots of parents keep the learning tower in place — so their kiddo knows where they can use it — and as parents, they know what’s in reach of their kid.
Activities By Age
Since the learning tower spans a wide age range, there are thousands of things you can do with it. But where to start?
I thought it’d be helpful to break it down by age — and give you a few learning tower ideas to get your gears turning.
1 to 2 years
- Washing your hands is a perfect first activity — you can’t hardly make a mistake unless you misuse bacon grease as hand soap (bad idea).
- Watch how mom and dad cook even before they’re ready to handle cooking utensils.
- Eating food after they saw it prepared sows the seeds of a great chef — especially for convertible models that switch from tower to table.
2 to 3 years
- Soft food prep works well for beginners — things like mixing batter that doesn’t require much fine motor precision.
- Gross motor climbing gets kids excited to take on the next challenge. Taking it step-by-step is how you’re supposed to climb — but if your kid takes it to an extreme, it comes with safety hazards (check out our alternatives section at the bottom).
- Language, vocab, and breaking out in song are all verbal ways we can learn to communicate about our kitchen activities (like Mary Poppins)!
3 to 4 years
- Cooking a complete meal will make your little chef so proud — and rightfully so! They’ve graduated to advanced cooking and baking techniques.
- Independent personal hygiene — like brushing their teeth by themselves — is now made possible — with the step up to the sink and the toothbrush and toothpaste within reach, there’s nothing in the way!
- Helping their younger sibling is a great way for older brothers or sisters to assist their short stack younger kin — in a perfect world, anyway.
By 5 and 6 years — it’s too late to buy a learning tower, but your kiddo’s not too big to use it!
Toddler Learning Tower Alternatives
I always think it’s a good idea to expand your horizons just a teensy weensy bit before you buy. Maybe something with similar learning objectives that you’ve never seen before?
Learning towers reinforce kids’ natural tendency to figure things out by themselves. That’s why I’d say — yes, the learning tower is Montessori-approved. Even before your baby is walking with full confidence — they’ll climb on and off the learning tower independently, and master new household chores with adult-height surfaces now within reach.
For the scrupulous parents in the room — here are a few indoor learning structures to help your toddler be even more helpful at home.
Learning Tower vs Kitchen Helper
Most people use the terms interchangeably — and that’s fine. But there are some nuanced differences between The Kitchen Helper vs The Learning Tower.
A kitchen helper is a specific type of learning tower primarily used as a tall step stool elevating toddlers to access kitchen surfaces. A learning tower can be used as a toddler kitchen stool — plus other uses like a high chair, learning desk, kids’ chalkboard, and activity center.
Kitchen Helpers MUST have safety rails! Kitchen helpers are primarily made for your child to work on tall kitchen surfaces, so when you see a learning tower with a toddler-safe safety rail — that’s a good sign it’s prime for kitchen help!
Learning Towers offer more versatility! Modern wooden learning towers apply manufacturing’s latest technology — creating innovative foldable, convertible, and transformable baby and toddler towers.
To summarize — when shopping for a kitchen helper, find one that’s the right height and style to match your kitchen — and focus on safety features. When shopping for a learning tower — follow your heart and get a model that’ll fit into your toddler’s day-to-day routine all around the house.
Learning Tower vs Step Stool
“Wait a second — why not just bring out a regular old step stool?”
The main reason to pick a “Learning Tower” over a “Step Stool” is age. More accurately — physical growth (how high your toddler can reach) and developmental stage (how stable is your toddler when standing and climbing)?
The most obvious difference is the height of the actual platform. Learning towers are taller, averaging ≈36” inches off the floor, toddler step stools are shorter averaging just ≈14” inches.
Check out Wood City brand’s wooden toddler step stool as a standard example.
Learning towers are the ideal size and design to lift 1 to 3 year olds up to tall surfaces. After that — for toddlers 3+ years old — a toddler step stool may be tall enough to lift your child around common household surfaces.
Kitchen counter, bathroom sink, or dad’s downstairs bar? Uh oh! Watch out for toddler safety hazards like that, now that your toddler can reach up higher.
Check the height of the step stool’s top step. Is your toddler tall enough to peek their entire head above the surface? Great! It might be the perfect time to pick up your toddler’s first wooden step stool.
A toddler learning tower is similar to a step stool — in that you can use it to bring your toddler up to high spaces or counter height safely.
Learning towers include fully enclosed railings around the platform — giving wobbly babies something sturdy to grab onto. Other safety features like non-slip grippers and pinch-free hinges make learning towers overall safer for toddlers’ early years.
Learning Tower vs Chair
The learning tower is designed for safety-first toddler standing activities, so it’s non-controversial to say a learning tower is better than a regular house chair.
Parents looking to unlock their toddler’s book learning might benefit most from a specialized toddler chair set designed for reading, writing, and tabletop learning.
Melissa & Doug’s toddler desk and chair set are ultra-popular and ideal for homework and take-home school projects.
ECR4Kids brand’s set of three multipurpose toddler cube chairs is like “Chair, Bench, Table Triple-Use” — suitable for lounging like an Iguana with an enthralling early learner’s book! Wood & Hearts offers a single wooden cube chair for 2 to 6 years old.
Learning Tower vs Pikler Triangle
Maybe you’re more interested in gross motor development? The Pikler Triangle is 2021’s top indoor wooden climber — to build your toddler’s full-body strength, balance, and coordination.
Luckily, the Pikler triangle is best for ages 6 to 36 months old — and is still climbable up to 6 years old! Age-overlap with the learning tower means the Pikler triangle is an interesting alternative.
Find the best Pikler Triangle for your learning objectives in our full roundup review.