The Littlest Helper Tower

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 06/12/2019 - 14:34
Difficulty
Intermediate
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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
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.

Preparation

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)

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

Instructions

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

Assembly

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

Platform

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

Help Improve This Plan

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Comments

Annie (not verified)

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 06:02

I have so many "ohhhh this is gonna be my first project! " but now seeing this, I think this just might be it! I'm scared to death to try it but after seeing my small 4 year old son stand, sit, stand, kneel on one of our kitchen chairs to do his "mixings", I knew that he needs to have one of these! Thanks Ana!

Homebirth Mama (not verified)

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 10:50

oh! most home depots carry yolo colorhouse paint now. i haven't researched that one as much as the others i suggested, but i do believe it is no-voc, no poly's, and pretty safe. :)

Al Benton (not verified)

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 11:16

Well, after consulting with the twins Mom, we're going to widen the Tower by 6" as you suggest, so both can use it together.

April K (not verified)

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 15:42

I bought the materials for this today at Home Depot and was fortunate to get a guy nice enough to make all my cuts! But I am still sooooo nervous about getting started!

My husband gave me the go ahead about 2 weeks ago to purchase the $150 kitchen helper online but I just wasn't ready to pay that much. The following week these plans were posted here! We really need it because our 4 year old daughter has spina bifida and it's just not safe for her to kneel on a chair since she doesn't have good balance. I used to let her sit on our island to help me until she fell head first onto the ceramic tile floor and had to rush her to the ER. I guess $150 for the kitchen tower would have been cheaper than that, huh?!? Wish me luck!!!

Anna (not verified)

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 07:39

I have been on vacation from your blog for too many days!!! I have literally been trying to figure out something just like your design. My daughter wants me to hold her constantly when I am in the kitchen or working at a table or whatever. Now she can see what I am doing but not be on my hip while I am doing dishes and painting the play kitchen i just built from YOUR PLANS!!! I don't think I can thank you enough for all of your inspiration

Dawn (not verified)

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:20

Oh, thank you, thank you! I've had my eye on the Learning Tower and it's $200 price tag for a year now...this is a totally do-able project and will make me, my husband and our son so very happy. $20 in materials, really?! I am so excited. Thanks for sharing your plans with us.