The Littlest Helper Tower

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 06/12/2019 - 14:34
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Build your own toddler step stool and bring your child to counter height. Features adjustable height platform, removable tip resistant kit, and optional fold flat modification.

blue little helper tower in white kitchen

Reader submitted photo by Ginger and the Huth

dimensions diagram for little helper tower
Dimensions are shown above. Heights of rungs are adjustable platform heights. Platform measures 15″ x 18″. You can add additional guards to fit the special needs of your individual child. For an older child you could remove the tip resistant kit for a more compact profile.


Shopping List

1 – 1×8, 8 feet long

4 – 1×2, 8 feet long

1 – 1×3, 8 feet long

Cut List

4 – 1×2 @ 38″ (Legs)

8 – 1×2 @ 15″ (Ladder rungs)

1 – 1×8 @ 15″ (Arches) OR 2 - 1x3 @ 15" (Substitute for arches)

2 – 1×8 @ 16 1/2″ (Front and Back Sides)

2 – 1×8 @ 18″ (Platform)

2 – 1×2 @ 15″ (Platform Supports)

2 – 1×2 @ 16 1/2″ (Bottom Supports)

2 – 1×3 @ 16 1/2″ (Top Supports)

2 – 1×3 @ 24″ (Tip Resistors)

4 – 1×3 @ 3″ (Tip Resistors)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set


Step 1

Cut Arches From the 1×8 that is 15″ long, cut arches as shown in diagram with a jigsaw.  Adjust so you can get both arches on the 1x8.

NOTE: Some people just opt for straight boards across as done in this reader submitted photo. 

simple little helper tower modification

You can substitute for 1x3 instead.  This will simplify the building process.

Step 2

Ladder Rungs

Measure and mark legs for ladder rung positions. Drill 3/4" pocket holes and apply glue to ends of ladder rungs. Attach with 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.

Build two identical.

Step 3


Mark the location of the end pieces and predrill holes. Apply glue and screw in place with pocket hole screws. Adjust for square. You can add additional rails to the front and back as you see fit, but keep the sides open so your youngster can crawl in and out of the helping tower.

Step 4


Next, build your platform by marking the 1x8s that are 18″ long 1″ from the outsides. Attach with glue and 1 1/4″ screws the platform supports. These platform supports not only join the 1x8s, but they also keep the platform in place inside the helping tower.

Step 5

Step 6

Tip Resistant Foot

Round the corners on the tip resistors as shown above. Screw together. You can optionally exclude the smaller tip resistors, as side to side tipping is less likely than backward tipping. You know your child better than anyone. Build to suit your child’s needs

Step 7

Attach Tip Resistant Footer

Simply screw the tip resistant footer to the legs as shown above.

Step 8

Folding Mod

By placing hinges instead of screwing the front and back pieces to the side pieces, you can make the Little Helper Tower fold easily. Just make sure you use plenty of strong hinges, make the platform fit very tight (adjust the inset on the ends to 3/4″ instead of 1″ in step 4, and regularly check to make sure your hinges are not loose. I personally prefer simplicity, and any time you add hinges, it increases the complexity. But for those of you who require storage for the Little Helper Tower (would slide under a bed easily) this mod if done with care can be the solution.

Step 9


Margaret V (not verified)

Fri, 12/31/2010 - 06:14

I'm considering making this my first ever building project *yikes!* and wondered if you could provide a tool list for the novices. I'm sure it's probably obvious, but I'd like to make sure I have everything I need before I start.

Thanks! Your blog is lovely and so empowering!

NichyB (not verified)

Fri, 12/31/2010 - 06:29

This is AMAZING! I have the Learning Tower and I spent $$$ on it- I wish I would have had this plan before dropping all that money!! I've shared this plan with all my friends who wanted the Tower but couldn't afford it. Thanks Ana for making some little kiddos happy helpers! :)

Teri (not verified)

Fri, 12/31/2010 - 07:13

Thanks so much Ana ... I've been admiring these in catalogs for years with the plan of always making my own for my granddaughter. We are snowed in, so I'm thinking it is a good project for us to work on. And I may make a few others for gifts. I can't think of a better gift for a small child.

laree (not verified)

Fri, 12/31/2010 - 07:15

Brilliant! I love this! If only I had a place in my house I could actually keep it . . . .


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:11

if it's dried. Only a few, that you're unlikely to find at a home improvement store, are dangerous before they're dried, and they're specialized products with a price tag to match.

Bob Flexner wrote an article about this a few years back, basically that if it would work on wood, once a finish has cured it's safe to store food and eat off of, which is more sensitive than chewing because of the ability to leach chemicals. A transcript of the article is here: