Everything You Need To Know About Toddler Learning Towers

Former Chef and Founder of Handmade Children’s Furniture brand, Franklin + Emily, David Mawhinney, talks about the benefits and uses of their learning tower.

child using a learning tower in the kitchen

What is a learning tower?

Learning Tower. Montessori Learning Stool. Montessori Kitchen Helper Stool. Toddler Tower.

There are many names and several styles, but the common theme across these items is that they provide young kids and toddlers with a boost, bringing them to counter height so they can safely and comfortably engage in daily activities. They are often adjustable in height and come with varying levels of side supports to prevent your child from falling.

Learning Towers are popular among the Montessori community who believe that children are naturally eager to learn, and are capable of learning through real life experiences in supportive and thoughtfully prepared environments. Learning Towers give young children a supportive boost to explore their creativity, engage in everyday activities and gain autonomy in their learning journey.

Do I need a learning tower?


From our experience as parents, our learning tower really gave our daughter a sense of independence and confidence by providing a safe platform that brought her to counter height and allowed her to engage. Of course, you could use a stool or a kitchen chair, but the height is never ‘just right’. In addition, the added security of the tower sides not only provided her with more comfort but also allowed us to step back a little, giving her space to learn on her own.


How will my toddler use a learning tower?


The uses of learning towers are expansive, here are a few of the ways we’ve seen them most commonly used.


  1. Get in on the action. Kids love to be helpful and a part of the team, bringing them up to your level allows them to be part of the action and gives them more ownership over their space and activities.
  2. Cooking and baking. Most learning towers are found in the kitchen. There are so many activities to involve your children in while in the kitchen, and having them safely at your height allows you more freedom to work with them by your side.
  3. Helping with daily chores. Sorting and folding laundry, washing and putting away dishes, cleaning windows! My daughter has been cleaning all the mirrors in the house!
  4. Doing arts and crafts. Giving your little one art projects at counter height can keep them engaged while learning by your side while you work on dinner or other daily activities.
  5. Splashing in the sink. From all that hand washing they are currently doing to bushing their teeth and washing their face, a toddler tower will bring them up to a comfortable height to gain confidence in doing these activities on their own.
  6. Observing. Learning towers give toddlers a new vantage point, bringing them to your level (or making them taller than their siblings!) can provide a sense of excitement, independence and confidence.
  7. Finding that secret stash of Halloween candy. It’s important to remember that although learning towers provide a more secure step up than a stool or kitchen chair, they still require adult supervision, always. Your little one will have access to items that were once out of reach like knives and the hot stove so it’s important to be close by, remove dangerous items if needed and communicate with kids about what they can and cannot do with their new found height and perspective.

Learning Tower Design & Materials.


When choosing a learning tower, it’s important to think of the following attributes.

  • Adjustability: Having a learning tower with an adjustable platform is very important. This feature extends the life of the stool and provides extra support and security to your child as they grow. Adjusting the platform not only keeps your child at counter height as they grow, but it also keeps the safety strap or frame at a comfortable height so they are safe and secure.
  • Materials: Not all materials are created equally and it’s important to evaluate what materials are used to produce your toddler tower. Look for brands that use natural waxes and finished and responsibly sourced woods that are free of formaldehyde glues.

What is the best age for a learning tower?


Learning towers are wonderful for kids around 2 years to 6 years of age. Depending on size and the child’s development, many parents start using Montessori toddler towers around 18 months with more close supervision. Many learning towers have adjustable platforms, so you can easily change the platform height as your child grows.

Are learning towers safe?


Learning towers create a stable, partially enclosed stool for toddlers, providing a safe step up. Children will still need to be supervised while using a learning tower, but they do allow parents to step back a little, giving kids more independence and providing parents with the ability to work on tasks along side their kids without feeling like they can’t step away for a minute to grab something from the fridge or pantry.

New items may potentially be within your child’s reach, such as the stove top or kitchen knives, and it’s important to communicate these dangers to your child, or move them out of reach based on age and your parenting style.
Many learning towers are foldable or have several sliding parts, so be aware of these pinch points for your child. The Franklin + Emily Learning Tower comes fully assembled, providing additional stability and support, it doesn’t fold but from our experience and the feedback from our customers it is in near constant use and does not need to be folded or hidden away.

What are the most important features of the Franklin+Emily Learning Tower?


Not all learning towers are built the same, and there are several wonderful options available based on your budget, needs and preferences. Parents who love to cook with their kids and who want their children to learn from hands on experiences will love our learning tower because…
  1. It’s a provides a secure step up for kids to get involved.
  2. It comes fully assembled, adding an additional layer of stability, plus it’s ready to use as soon as your little one opens the box.
  3. It is adjustable. The platform easily adjusts to 3 heights, 12”, 15”, 18”.
  4. It’s built with environmentally + kid-friendly finishes. Our waxes and finishes are all natural, and as a Climate Neutral Certified Company, we evaluate all levels of our manufacturing practices and sourcing to ensure they are as environmentally safe as possible.
  5. They are constructed of CARB2 certified baltic birch plywood, a certification process instituted by the California Air Resources Board to reduce formaldehyde emissions and protect the public from airborne toxic contaminants.
  6. They are beautiful and functional. With our clean design, our modern learning tower complements the style of every home with it’s clean lines, and vegetable tanned leather safety strap.
  7. It’s designed and fabricated in the USA and assembled by hand in Brooklyn, NY.


Shop The Franklin + Emily Learning Tower


Franklin + Emily Toddler Tower

Franklin + Emily Toddler Tower

Franklin + Emily Toddler Tower


Franklin + Emily Learning Tower

Ships 4 weeks after placing order







Continue exploring