DIY Learning Tower - Our Story

Most people will usually tell you 'third time is the charm' or 'third time lucky' but for us the third time was a wake up call.

Our 2 year old had been showing interest in helping in the kitchen for a while now and we had been getting him to help by standing on one of our dining chairs. This was working well but we wanted something that he could access more independently and so we purchased a step stool from IKEA. Mr R loved it and happily climbed up and down it while helping to make his breakfast or bake. We were very happy with it too, it's strong and well balanced and a great height for him.

But then he slipped and fell. The first time it just scared him and we thought he would learn not to lean too far to the side again. The second time came a few days later and again we thought it would be OK and he would learn not to lean. And then the third fall happened.

My head was in the pantry when I heard the bang. I turned around and he was flat on his back, the stool was on the other side of the floor and he was screaming. It's the kind of moment when your heart skips a beat and adrenaline floods your system. Some cuddles helped and he showed me where his ouch was so I could kiss it better. His ouch was on his wrist and I gave it a kiss but then he asked for another kiss and another and I realised that this wasn't some little ouch that was fixed with a magic kiss but a real life this really-truly-hurts type ouch. I got him to wiggle his fingers and gently moved his wrist which he could do. I couldn't see any swelling or physical changes so I gave him an ice pack and thought he might have sprained it. After a while he started playing and seemed to have forgotten about it and so I thought it was all good.

That was until his Dad got home from work and Mr R decided to run and hide in his cubby to initiate a hide and seek game. When he went from a run to his knees to a crawling position and put his weight onto his wrist he started screaming again, just like he did when he fell. That's when alarm bells started ringing and we went straight to the doctor and subsequently had an X-ray. I am so thankful to say that his little wrist wasn't fractured but for us that third fall was enough. The stool got taken out to the shed and my very clever husband built this learning tower frame for it following the instructions from this blog post (scroll down to the comments for the measurements). We built it to perfectly match the height of our bench (not shown in the pictures).

Climbing up the learning tower


Climbing the learning tower

It was the best decision we could have made. We have not had one single accident since putting it back in the kitchen. Mr R climbs in and out of it independently and even if he leans over a little too far he is still safe.

You can buy beautiful ready made towers like this but I have found that they are hard to find, especially in Australia. This IKEA hack version is much cheaper and we are very happy with the result.

So this here is my formal recommendation to you... If you have this stool in your kitchen then build this frame to go with it and avoid any accidents now!

Safe cooking,

Alison

Learning Tower Pinnable Image

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