Why Every Toddler Needs A Step Stool

Wondering if your toddler or preschooler needs a step stool? The answer is YES. In this article, we look at the developmental benefits of step stools as well as the best non-toxic options on the market!

A child using the babybjorn step stool to reach a sink

I was recently helping my seven-year-old and five-year-old get to bed when I took notice of them intuitively grabbing their step stools to brush their teeth.

Gifted to them at birth, they’ve been used non-stop.

From helping them choose their favorite book to allowing them to safely reach the kitchen counter to enabling them to grab a cup of water from the sink, these simple stools have given my children access to a world that’s still a little bit too big for them, which has instilled a sense of independence I’m incredibly proud of.

In this article, we’ll go over:

  • The developmental benefits of kids step stools
  • Kids step stool alternatives
  • Materials to avoid in kids products
  • My non-toxic step stool & toddler tower picks for kids

Scroll down to learn more.


The developmental benefits of kids step stools

As your baby begins to find their footing, you may notice a natural urge to climb. This is part of their natural instinct to explore, touch and seek out new objects and experiences.

When your baby becomes a toddler, you can safely help facilitate their curiosity and foster their independence by providing a sturdy step stool.


Developmental benefits of step stools:


  • Strengthens leg and core muscles

  • Encourages children to balance

  • Enables children to become more independent

  • Builds confidence

  • Promotes critical thinking and problem-solving


My children’s step stools have helped their development in so many ways.

For example, my daughter is not a very adventurous eater. However, if I ask her to be involved in the food prep, she is much more likely to try what we’ve made. At the time she was two, I didn’t know about toddler towers (which we will get to in a moment), but her trusty step stool was a staple in our kitchen during mealtimes!

My son on the other hand needed a bit of encouraging in the personal hygiene department. Adamant about brushing his teeth ‘by myself!’, his stool enabled him to look in the mirror and see what he needed to do to brush his teeth and wash his hands adequately.

One of the cutest things I’ve seen my kids do with their stools is look in the mirror. It’s adorable to see how they play around making funny faces, examining the colors of their eyes and trying to decide who has the bigger uvula! By getting to truly examine who they are and what they’re made of, I like to think it’s helping them establish a sense of self.

Those are just a few examples of how my kids use their step stools.

Below are even more uses for a kids step stool:

  • Brushing teeth
  • Washing hands
  • Looking in the mirror
  • Using the toilet
  • Helping in the kitchen
  • To help take out or pack away toys
  • To reach books on higher shelves
  • As a prop during imaginative play



Kids step stool alternatives


Sprout Sous Chef Toddler Tower


You may have been noticing ‘toddler towers’ and balance boards peppering your social media newsfeeds recently! That’s because they’re shaking up the step stool world!

A toddler tower is essentially a step stool with guard rails, while a balance board can be flipped upside down and used as a stool.

Depending on the space you have (and the strength of your child), these can be great step-stool alternatives.


Materials to avoid in kids products

It’s one thing to say you’re safe and quite another to actually be safe. At The Tot, we don’t use or recommend anything that hasn’t passed our Tot Safety Test. This means we’ve looked at third-party testing, certifications and ingredients lists to ensure that every product on our site is safe for your family.

When it comes to step stools, we always try to avoid things with:

  • Added formaldehyde
  • Harmful phthalates
  • PVC
  • BPA & BPS
  • Toxic inks or dyes
  • Lead & other heavy metals

Click here for the full list of ingredients we avoid and why.


Non-toxic step stool picks for kids


A child using a franklin + emily step stool to help cook


Hollow Woodworks Personalized Maple Puzzle Stool Bench – Natural Wood


Hollow Woodworks Personalized Maple Puzzle Stool – Natural


Ranging from $79.99 to $89.99

Available in more colors and sizes




Hollow Woodworks White Pastel


Hollow Woodworks Personalized Maple Puzzle Stool – White


Ranging from $99.99 to $109.99

Available in more colors and sizes




Wit Design The Sitting Stool


Wit Design – The Sitting Stool 


Ranging from $149 to $159

Available in more colors




Babai Stool Dark Grey


Babai Step Stool


Ranging from $36.99 to $39.99

Available in more colors



Ekobo Kid's Step Stool


EKOBO Bamboo Fiber Kids Step Stool



Available in more colors




Baby Bjorn Step Stool Grey White


Babybjorn Safe Step



Available in more colors




Franklin + Emily Step Stool


Franklin + Emily Step Stool







Wobbel The Original as a step stool


Wobbel The Original 






Non-toxic toddler tower pick


Franklin + Emily Toddler Tower




Franklin + Emily Toddler Tower


Franklin + Emily Toddler Tower







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