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


Cathy Helmert (not verified)

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 03:47

This looks like it would be great at my house! I know that I can get Home Depot to make my straight cuts, but what type of saw do you use to make the cuts for the curves?

TexasJuju (not verified)

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 09:09

I'm going to try to incorporate your easel / chalkboard onto this plan. I saw something like this as an add-on to a Tower I saw on

CT-Dave (not verified)

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 13:54

This is the third project I have tackled from your brilliant ideas. I do have a question on this one though. I was just wondering if the 1x2s on the purchase list are supposed to be 10 foot, or are they suppose to be a quantity of 4? From the cut list I come up about 4 feet short on 1x2s.

Al Benton (not verified)

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 16:42

It's true, the cut list requires 335" of 2" wide boards and 3) 96" boards is only 288". I purchased 1x8's and ripped everything on the table saw but used more than I expected.

Steve B (not verified)

Sat, 01/08/2011 - 09:37

If you are making a fixed platform, suggest using dowels instead of screws. This will make the joints almost as strong as a mortise and tenon and is a lot less work. The dowels do not loosen up as easily as screws and the finished product can be clear coated or stained instead of painting.

Tamra (not verified)

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 00:03

Hello, I will be a complete beginner coming in February when we move! I am excited but confused. I see when you do plans there is a shopping list and a cutting list. If I am just getting home Depot to cut for me do I just give them the cutting list? My point I guess is there is wood on both lists! LOL I assume it's because most people buy the wood then cut themselves? Thanks fro any help on this subject, anyone!

PapaJohn (not verified)

Thu, 01/13/2011 - 18:05

Bought wood at Lowe's for two towers with the tip resistant feet. Cut, sanded and and assembled the first one. Took longer than I thought but I sanded quite a bit to make the wood very smooth. Counter sunk and filled the screw holes with stainable, paintable putty. Final sanding, primer and paint tomorrow. The platform feels very sturdy and solid. The adjustable platform works very well. My daughter and my grandson will love it.
Thanks Ana, for clear and easy to follow plans. Hint - buy better quality wood to sand less. Great project!

Bethany (not verified)

Tue, 01/18/2011 - 18:44

My husband made this!!! And our 18 month old calls it his, "UP!". Its a great addition to our house. I love that this is foldable, whereas the original isn't.

I painted it a tasteful aqua color since it will be in our kitchen for so much of the time and I needed to enjoy looking at it, too.

My husband altered two of the panels to have an arch, similar to the opposing sides' top arches, and its really sharp.

I mentioned your site specifically in my blog post. So SO SO happy with this project!…