Toddler Tower Q&A with Allison
Q: What are your go-to ways of using the Tower?
A: We usually use them in the kitchen at the counter and in the dining room. The boys will move them around to the sink to wash dishes or over to the coffee maker because they’ve started making my coffee, which is so fun. They’ll push it over to the cabinets if there’s something over there that they want, too.
I don’t think we’ve used them outside of the kitchen, but you could definitely use them in the bathroom to reach the sink. We definitely don’t just use them for cooking though; we use them for art and science activities at the counter, and they even push them over to reach the light switches.
Q: How did you teach your children to climb in and out? Do you have any tips for introducing a child to the Tower for the first time?
A: We got the tower for my oldest when he was already walking, and he learned to climb in and out in a couple days through trial and error. We placed him in it through the top at first and described how to climb in and out, and he figured it out pretty fast.
My middle son was standing and holding onto things when we got his tower, but he wasn’t walking yet. We started by putting him in through the top. He first learned how to get down, we used a combination of using our hands to show him and verbally explaining. He was hesitant to climb in on his own and it took him a little longer, but once he figured it out there was no stopping him.
My advice is let them go at their own pace–they’ll figure it out on their own. We would put them in through the top and they loved standing in there, and we would help them duck under the bar when they climbed out until they figured it out.
The hardest part with the added safety bar is helping them know to duck to get in and out, so if they’re having trouble, you can remove that part when they’re climbing in, then place it, and remove it when they’re climbing out. And once they get the hang of it and understand, that won’t be an obstacle for them anymore and you can leave it in.
“They can easily be a part of what’s going on helping out in the kitchen. It’s given them so many opportunities to be independent and involved. It would definitely be hard to imagine their childhoods without the Toddler Towers.”
Q: When did your children start using their Towers?
A: I think my oldest was close to 16 months and a new walker when we got his. My middle was closer to 12 months and wasn’t walking on his own. We waited until he was fairly stable on his feet when holding on to something. We noticed that around a year was also when they started showing more interest in seeing what was going on at counter-level.
Q: Do you have tips on how to handle involving kids in inherently messy meal prep?
A: I recommend using a tray for them to work on to contain the mess. I give my boys everything I want to give them at a single time on the tray. I pre-measure what they’re going to be using and put it in smaller bowls and pitchers that they can easily manage on their own. Also, if they’re really young, they don't have to do everything on their own and you can do hand over hand guiding.
But also just knowing, messes are going to be a part of it, so I just anticipate it! It can be helpful to only give them as much as you’re willing to clean up, which is another reason the pre-measuring can be helpful.
As they get older and their skills get more developed, we can move up from just a few steps to more complex things. They’ve also started doing some of the riskier parts of meal prep, like using the crinkle cutter to cut things. They will sometimes bring their tower over to the stove to watch but haven't done any cooking on the stove yet.
Q: Have your towers felt safe, even with sometimes wild kids? Do they topple since they’re narrow?
A: Yes, they really have felt safe. I really like that it has the bar on the back and enclosed sides. I also love that it only fits one child so they really can’t both try and go into one at the same time, which helps when they’re in a wild mood. Having 2 towers helps.
It’s not at all easy to topple over. If you push it, it could topple, but that’s true of pretty much everything. If it’s weighted because they’re in it, it’s not going to topple.
I also don’t think the narrowness made any difference in their learning. The most difficult aspect of the learning process was learning to duck under the bar to get out, but the width didn’t have any negative impact.
Q: Do you have any difficulties cleaning the Tower?
A: It’s pretty easy to clean, we just use a wet sponge or a towel and it’s very simple.
Q: What have been the benefits of the Toddler Tower?
A: The independence that it’s given them. They can easily be a part of what’s going on helping out in the kitchen. And even that they can just see–if an adult is doing something in the kitchen, they’ll go up in their tower to watch. It’s given them so many opportunities to be independent and involved.
It would definitely be hard to imagine their childhoods without the Toddler Towers. We are going to get a third one for our third baby because she’s getting to the stage where she could use it, and our oldest still loves his Tower because he can’t reach the counters on his own. They love their own individual Towers and the ownership they have of them.