The Littlest Helper Tower

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 06/12/2019 - 14:34
Difficulty
Intermediate
| Print this plan

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

We apologize if there was an error in this plan. Please help us out and report any errors here.

Comments

Kerrie (not verified)

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:04

Saa-weeet! I love that you made it fold flat! Now we can throw it in the laundry room when we're not using it!

My to-do list on your site is so long! The other day I noticed you changed your website and all my plans that I saved were gone. So I went through your catalog again and now I think my list is longer! LOL!

Thanks for the awesome work!

Al Benton (not verified)

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 14:43

The 24" wide tower was a snap to build. Used pocket holes and glue.

Now I'm building a second one with hinges that folds and stores. I plan to offset the top support upward about 1/2" to avoid a possible pinch hazard where it and the arched sides come together. With hinges, it's going to wiggle some. If they are at the same height I see potential of it pinching. Raising the board a little should keep a little arm from getting pinched in there. I'll round off the edges.

ramona (not verified)

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 08:40

It might be a good idea to put felt on the bottom to make it easier to push and keep floors, especially hardwood, from being scratched.

Cindy (not verified)

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 09:55

Nice! If only I have a saw... :D Maybe I'll ask a friend to help me out on it.

One question though: when the platform is on a lower rug, how does the child get inside? From the topmost rug to the bottommost setting, it's almost 12" to jump down into. And I can totally imagine older children *will* jump into it.

Al Benton (not verified)

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 11:02

Cindy, I tip the scale at 185. Before I sent the tower home with the twins I stood in it. Although I didn't jump up and down I did exert extra force by flexing my knees a little. It's strong enough for a 35 or 40 pound 4 or 5 year-old to hop into with no fear of breaking it. Mine is glued and pocket screwed so it has very strong joints but if the cross members that support the platform are not skimped on, it should hold up to a bouncing youngster.

nIGHTINGALE tAMAR (not verified)

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:11

Thank you so much! I've seen these in catalogs for a couple hundred dollars, but I always thought "well, that'd be great until you had noplace to put it away. It's expensive and a space hog..." Your folding mod is brilliant. My hsband is going to have a busy weekend, and a VERY happy group of kids later on.

Cindy (not verified)

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:56

I didn't mean tipping; I meant how the heck does the child get in and out of it. I guess it doesn't matter when the child is already climbing over the initial 19" from the outside.

Sarah M (not verified)

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 13:26

OH MY GOSH You're a genius!!!!!!!!!!
I have wanted one of these for YEARS for my kids, and I just couldn't get around the price tag, and the fact that you made it foldable? Yeah...I had to shout that one (to my hubby) to the other side of the house! He came in to check it out and said "yeah, good design, I could easily make that " (he's the framer/carpenter in the household:)

Thank you. Thank you. Thank yoU!!
PS Saw you on the Living Crafts blog.

Sarah M

Jessica (not verified)

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 14:41

For my birthday I'm asking for a $20 Lowe's gift card and a whole Saturday afternoon to myself. Best. Gift. Ever.

Awesome project. Awesome website.

Jenny in CG (not verified)

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 17:52

At first glance, I could see how you would think so, Chris. That is what I thought, too.

However, my good friend has had an expensive one (she paid over $140 for hers in Germany) for about 8 years with 4 kids. They are in her kitchen all the time, helping with every meal and project. She claims they have never had an accident of any kind with it.

I wish I had had one for my kids but they are all practically giants now :) :(