Posted by Abby Branham
Anyone with toddlers knows that they want to explore everything and that they want to do everything you do. My twins Meika and Harper are at this age. They are crazy little monkey sponges. Their curiosity is mind blowing, exciting and can honestly be a little demanding. Especially at dinner time. I completely sympathize with the girls’ desire to be on my level. Children want you to be face to face, and they want to experience and observe. But, let’s be real, I need to make dinner.
Pinterest is my go-to place when I’m looking for creative solutions and one night I stumbled across the learning tower or what some call the mommy’s helper. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was exactly what I needed for the girls. It allows them to stand at our kitchen island and do any number of things so that I can do what I need to do.
Learning Tower in Action
I made a little video to show you some of the ways we use the learning tower so that you get a sense of why we think it is so awesome. The video is put together by the application Magisto (check it out – I am a huge fan!) Some of the activities you will see in the video include: playing with cousin Matteo, getting our hair “did”, eating, hugging each other, posing for mom, painting, playing with play dough, celebrating our birthday, and crafting. The girls also love to watch me cook while they build with blocks, draw with crayons and read books. It’s a win-win. And it’s made dinner time soooo much easier.
Make Your Own Learning Tower
When I originally saw the learning tower on Pinterest I did find instructions on how to make your own on the blog Blame Crayons. It seemed fairly easy, but we didn’t have all of the equipment we would need to make it. I looked into purchasing one, but they are more expensive than I wanted to pay and most of the towers I saw would only hold one child at a time, and I have two children. Let’s face it, sharing isn’t easy whether you are a twin or not.
So what is a mom to do? This is where it helps to have handy friends. Our family is incredibly fortunate to have found a creative, loving care giver for the girls. Her name is Lynne and she is like family. One afternoon I was talking to Lynne about the hazards and tribulations of dinner time and the learning tower came up. Lynne and her husband Dave have a ridiculous (as in AWESOME), workshop on their property. They should be on HGTV because they are the quintessential DIY couple. They took on the task of making a double-wide learning tower for our twins and we couldn’t be happier with it. Yep, Lynne is amazing and Dave has tireless amounts of energy. They are good friends.
Dave and Lynne used instructions for Meika and Haper’s learning tower that they found on Ana White’s blog with a few modifications. Visit Ana’s blog by clicking here for step-by-step instructions. As I mentioned earlier, if you have twins or siblings that could use the learning tower together, you could make the tower wider, which is exactly what Lynne and Dave did for us. They doubled the length of the boards from 18″ to 36″. Also, instead of adding the tip resistant foot, Dave and Lynne added door hinges to the inside of the base of the tower.
Here are a few pictures to show you some of the tower’s special features.
The four wooden bars from the base of the tower to the platform, where the children stand, are for adjusting the height of the tower as your children grow.
This picture demonstrates how the tower folds flat. It is a great feature to have because when I first discovered the learning tower my only hesitation was that it would be another “thing” in the house. It rarely gets folded flat, but it is nice to have the option.
The learning tower is also very easy for kids to get into and out of. Here is Meika, demonstrating for you. She has a lot of energy.
If you have little ones and struggle with certain times of the day (maybe dinner time like me), the learning tower is a huge help. Give it a try.
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This post was submitted to the Merry Monday Link Party on My Pinventures, onTwo Cup Tuesday link party on Pint Sized Baker on DIY by Design’s Sizzle Into Summer Link Party, and on The SHINE Blog Hop on The Deliberate Mom.