With a DIY learning tower it’s so much easier to get your little one involved in the kitchen! A learning tower is basically a small step ladder with a frame at the top to prevent a child from losing their footing and toppling off. It is incredibly useful, especially if you have a toddler as inquisitive as I do!
You don’t need much to make a DIY learning tower and it’s cheap too! The learning tower consists of two piece of Ikea furniture: the Bekvam stool and the Oddvar table. The stool is £20 and the table is £8. Add in the screws and you can make the whole thing for £28! (If you’re looking to buy a learning tower you can expect to pay £70 upwards!)
You can watch my DIY learning tower vlog below or keep scrolling to read the step-by-step instructions.
To make the learning tower I used:
- Bekvam stool
- Oddvar Table
- 30mm Screws (3mm wide)
- A drill
- A screwdriver
- Rustoleum spray primer
- B&Q White kitchen paint
- Rustoleum Furniture Lacquer – Matte Finish
- First make the table frame of the Oddvar. Make sure to miss out the bottom strut – this leaves an opening for the child to climb up through into the frame. Without this, you’ll have to lift them in and out.
- Now centre the frame on top of the table top and draw round each of the legs. Remove the frame and then mark the centre of where each leg will stand.
- Drill holes through the table top on each mark with a 3mm drill bit
- From the bottom, screw through the table into the legs. I didn’t screw the first three in all the way to make sure that I could get all of them attached evenly. The fourth one can be fully screwed in and then tighten up all the others.
- Now put together the Bekvam as per the instructions but do not attach the top step panel.
- Put the Oddvar on top of the top step of the Bekvam. The front of the step should be flush against one side of the table top and centralised. This means one side will overhang the stool by quite a bit, that’s ok!
- Place two marks on each of the long edges where you’re going to place the screws and drill down through the Oddvar and a little way into the Bekvam. Be careful not to drill all the way through! I used clamps here to secure them to the counter top making sure the areas I would be drilling were overhanging and there was no risk to my worksurfaces!
- Use another drill bit that’s as wide as the screw head to drill into the holes you’ve just made by amount 1 or 2mm. This allows you to completely countersink the screwheads s there are no sharp edges for little feet to get caught on!
- Now put screws into the four holes.
- Flip the frame over and drill four more holes on the shorter edges of the step and screw into place. This might be overkill but it makes it super secure.
- Now you can retrieve your Bekvam frame and attach it as per the instructions to the top step.
- The DIY learning tower is now fully constructed! I followed up with a coat of primer, two coats of white kitchen emulsion (it’s stain resistant and wipeable) and then two coats of furniture lacquer (even more wipeable!)
From start to finish (excluding paint drying time) this would take about an hour. It took me a little longer because I also filmed the YouTube tutorial at the same time but it is SO EASY to do and it’s a really, really valuable bit of kit to have in the kitchen.
Montessori play is such a huge thing these days, the learning tower really helps to empower your child and get them involved in all sorts of interesting and fun activities. Please don’t leave your child unattended in or around the learning tower. Supervised use only!
Let me know what you’ll use a learning tower for with your little one, I’m always on the lookout for extra activities to try!