Help from kids in the kitchen has so many benefits. It includes the whole family in meal prep, teaches useful skills, develops early interests in food and healthy eating, and eases the stress of keeping little ones entertained while you work (the work is the entertainment!). While the ol' kitchen-chair-turned-backward setup worked just fine for me in the '70s, today there are a slew of helpful platforms specially made to bring small children to kitchen counter height. And don't worry — they're as cute as they are safe.
- The Original Learning Tower, $170 at Little Partners: This enclosed tower can be transformed into an easel or playhouse when children are older.
- Kitchen Helper, $190 at Guidecraft: Loaded with extras — like a chalkboard, marker board, and shaped cutouts — this enclosed tower has three adjustable heights and is foldable for easy storage.
- Step-Up Kitchen Helper, $150 from Guidecraft: Not just for kids, this simple open-backed tower has two platform heights, hand holds to assist in climbing up and down, and can help grown-ups reach upper cabinets.
- Little Helper FunPod, $140: A fully enclosed, solid-walled tower, the FunPod can accommodate kids as young as 12 months old all the way up to a practically grown 6-year-old. (Where does the time go?)
- High Rise Step-Up, $120 at Guidecraft: Use this open step — with rails and colorful non-slip treads — in the kitchen, bathroom, or playroom.
- Helper Stand, from $95 at 5280Carvings: For an additional fee, this Etsy seller will paint and personalize your stand.
- Whitney Brothers Step-Up Stool, $155 at School Outfitters: The handle on this high-backed step stool was specifically designed for you to be able to move it around the kitchen with ease.
- JontiCraft Up-n-Down Steps, $158 at School Outlet: Touted as a way to help kids up to the sink to wash their hands, this step stool can also get kids closer to the kitchen counter.
- Little Helper Tower, from $100 at ToddlerWood: This tower safely unfolds to become a desk or a table to use during meals or art projects.
- FÖRSIKTIG Step Stool, $5 at IKEA: Great for older kids who want to help, this step stool is a classic, has nonslip grips, and is just $5.
Do you have a favorite kitchen stool or platform for your little one?