With my daughter's birthday being a month before Christmas, we get WAY too many toys all at once. This year I was trying really hard to come up with "Non-toy" items to suggest to the grandparents. As I was pondering good ideas from friends, such as memberships to the zoo and kids museum, I knew they'd want something you could actually put your hands on, too.
That's when I remembered the Learning Tower that I used with some kids I used to tutor a couple years ago. It is a great invention that brings kids up to counter height safely. You can now do messy projects together, bake/mix things together, reach the sink for washing dishes & hands, the possibilities are really endless. It really promotes learning and independence, and my daughter LOVES it! She is super inquisitive and loves helping because "she's a big girl"
We got one LIKE THIS
We are loving it! I think the design is pretty good. When investigating models, I did find one with cute little shape cut-outs in the walls. Reviews said these were awful because kids could stick their feet in the shape holes and climb.
Here are a few pics of us making waffles together! Obviously, don't position the tower near dangerous things like knife blocks, stove tops, etc. I do have to remind her daddy to look around and make sure he isn't placing her too close to anything like that (He is an awesome daddy, but for some reason his mind doesn't always think thru all those things...lol)
When she sees me getting ready to cook, she asks for her tower and asks if she can mix. Baking cookies together has been so fun for both of us. It also seems to encourage her to eat new things that she helps make such as Kale Chips! (really easy to make, I'll talk about these in a post soon. I've been experimenting with lots of new ways to get her to get green veggies)