Is your toddler beginning to master the art of using the toilet or trying to wash hands in a sink? Toddlers need a little boost to reach things that are just out of their reach, but you don’t want them climbing on furniture that could be a safety hazard. A DIY toddler kitchen helper tower is the perfect solution! This project is easy and can be completed in just a few hours. Plus, it’s affordable and can be tailored to fit your child’s needs. Read on for instructions on how to build your own DIY toddler step stool with a guard rail.
A toddler learning tower can be a great asset for parents with young children. They provide a safe and sturdy platform for toddlers to stand on so they can reach things that are just out of their reach. Plus, they can help toddlers feel more independent and confident as they explore their world. With a kitchen helper, your toddler can help out in the kitchen, wash their hands at the sink, or even brush their teeth. And, if you build a learning tower with a guard rail, you can rest assured that your toddler will be safe and secure while they’re using it.
There are multiple studies indicate that giving your child tools and space to express their independence directly correlates with the reduction of depression and anxiety disorder. Step stools are one small way to encourage toddlers’ independence.
Why Build Your Own DIY Toddler Tower
There are many benefits to building a DIY toddler step stool as opposed to buying one. First of all, it’s more affordable. Second, it’s a fun woodworking project that you can do with your child! Building a DIY toddler kitchen helper tower with your child can be a great bonding experience. Plus, they’ll be excited to use their very own learning tower that you made just for them.
Types of Step Stools
There are several different types of step stools out there. A simple one-step or two-step is most common. This could be used for getting off the toilet or reaching for a book on the shelf.
But if you want your child to help out in the kitchen, a taller step stool with guard rails is essential for the safety of your child. You don’t want your child to stand on tiptoes and reach for something with a risk of falling. It’s also important to have a wide step so that a child can stand on it comfortably. But you also don’t want it too wide that it doesn’t fit in your confined space.
Finding a perfect step stool could be a challenging task. You have to consider the size and the cost. Also, for the safety of the child, you want to make sure the step stool is durable.
With all of that in mind, why not make your own custom step stool that fits your needs. I build this project for my niece since she’s at that stage of always wanting to wash her hands in the bathroom by herself. Standing on the toilet and reaching over to turn on the sink and washing her hands is not a very safe practice. So this kitchen helper should help out a lot.
Time to Complete
- Available with purchase of PDF plans.
Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size. See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links.
Step 1 – First Cut 36” Long Legs
First, start with cutting the longest pieces, which are the legs. Take 1×4 and cut four legs to 36 inches in length.
Step 2 – Drill Holes for Upper Step Adjustment
From the bottom of the leg, measure 10 5/8″ and mark the center of the middle hole. Then measure 3″ up and 3″ down for an additional two holes (see picture). These holes are for adjusting the height of the upper step. Clamp two of the legs together and drill the holes with a 1 3/8″ Hole Saw Bit. Do this for both sets of legs.
Step 3 – Cut Boards for the Steps
Next, take 1×12 and cut three pieces to 14″ in length. Using a Table Saw, the lower step will need to be ripped to 7 1/4″ in width and the front board to 5 1/2″ in width. The upper step will be left unripped at 11 1/4″ in width.
Step 4 – Cut Frame Boards for Lower Step
Now take 1×4 and cut two pieces to 17 3/4″ in length and one piece to 12 1/2″ in length. Then using a Table Saw rip those three pieces in half. So the width of the boards will come out to be around 1 3/4″. These boards are for supporting the lower step.
Step 5 – Sand all Boards for the Kitchen Helper Stool
Before assembling the step stool, use a random orbital sander to sand the boards. Then take a pair of 17 3/4 pieces and attach one 12 1/2″ piece, as shown in the picture, using Wood Glue and Nail Gun with 1 1/4″ Brad Nails.
Step 6 – Nail the Lower Step to the Frame
Next, place the lower step (7 1/4″ wide board) on top of the 17 3/4″ pieces. Make sure that this lower step board overhangs by 3/4 of an inch. Apply Wood Glue and nail it from the top.
Step 7 – Attach the Front Board of the Toddler Step Stool
Repeat step 5. Take the second set of 17 3/4″ pieces and attach a 12 1/2″ piece. Then take the front board (5 1/2″ wide) and attach it to this frame with Wood Glue and Brad Nails.
Step 8 – Assemble the Lower Step Frame
Now attach these two sections together with Wood Glue and Brad Nails.
Step 9 – Glue and Nail the Back Legs
Then attach the back legs to the step frame with Wood Glue and Brad Nails. Make sure the legs are flush with the frame in the back.
Step 10 – Nail the Front Legs
Take the front legs and attach them with wood glue and brad nails. Place the front legs right after the lower step. Make sure that the distance between the legs is the same at the bottom and at the top. This will ensure that the legs are straight.
Step 11 – Attach Pieces at the Top of the Legs
Similar to step 4, take 1×4 and cut one piece to 15 1/2″ in length and another piece to 12 3/4″. Then rip them in half to 1 3/4″ wide. Attach these pieces at the top of the legs. The back and side pieces will be attached with Wood Glue and nails. But the front piece will be attached only with screws. This way you could remove the front piece later if you need to.
Step 12 – Use Wooden Dowel Rods for Upper Step Support
For the upper adjustable step supports, use 1 1/4″ wooden dowel rods. Typically, this dowel rod is used for hanging close in the closet. Cut two dowel rods to 15 1/2″ in length.
Step 13 – Clamp Dowel Rods to the Step Board
Check to make sure the adjustable upper step board fits between the legs. You might want to trim off 1/8 of an inch so that you can easily slide it in and out. Place the step over the dowel rods and mark it where it needs to be attached. Then secure the dowel rods to the step board with ridged pipe strap clamps and 3/4″ wood screws. To adjust the step, loosen the screws and slide the rods out and adjust to a different height. Now you could paint the project in any paint color you want. You’re done with this DIY Toddler Kitchen Helper Tower.