What is a Step Stool?
(Author Ms.Nithya Ramachandran - Montessori Guide and Consultant)
- A Step stool is toddler furniture and stable support specially designed keeping the safety of the toddler as the priority.
- They enable the toddler to climb and off independently but do so in the safest manner.
Why Does a baby Require a Step Stool?
- Helps children participate in activities like cooking, baking, washing dishes, washing their hands and brushing their teeth to name a few
- Step Stool can be moved around the house and make spaces at adult height accessible to toddlers. They can reach and get their things without depending on adult help all the time
- Encourages child and parent bonding – as the child can spend time productively with the adult in the kitchen or other activities that were previously restricted only to adults
- Increases the confidence and self esteem of the child when they participate in family activities
- Grows with the child and can be used for many years and by many children
- Increases the child’s involvement and interest in household activities as they can now see what the adult sees and work along with the adult
- Creates a ‘yes’ space for the child where they can explore the home environment in a safe manner
- They look so beautiful and aesthetically appealing that they enhance the interiors of any space they are put into
- Feeds the curiosity and creativity of the child as it offers them more possibilities to play and create
- Allows the parents to be around but NOT have to always watch out for the child falling backwards
- Toddlers are not dependent of parents to climb on and off
How to use a Step Stool?
Show your child what it is meant for - how to climb on and off it – stay close by but don’t hover over them- let them figure it out for themselves
Show your child how to move the stool and how to place it close to where they might need – also ask them to ask for help if they need
Cleaning the stool together can be shown as an activity to the child - keep a spray jar and dust cloth accessible and show them how to clean the tower – this will help them take ownership of it and handle it well
If you have 2 or more children at home, let them know that only one can use the stool at a time – be firm about this rule and enforce in every time as it is for their safety
At every space that you intend to use the stool, plan in advance where it can be placed – for example – in the kitchen in can be close to a free part of the counter and not too close to the stove or knives
Benefits of a Step Stool?
Independence – the step stool supports the child’s growing need to do things by himself and participate in everyday activities
Work – the child needs to engage in physical and intellectual work which is made accessible to him by the stool
Belonging – by letting him participate in everyday activities, he gains a sense of belonging and feels like a contributing member of the family
Exploration – in order to understand his environment and adapt to it, the child needs to explore it in a safe manner and the Step Stool enables this exploration
Order – by enabling the child to get a book or activity from a height and return it to the same place, the step stool helps the child’s need for order in the environment
Learning skills – the child is interested and in awe of the world around him, everything is new and fascinating and he is hungry to learn skills that will help him to help himself – the learning tower supports this need by enabling him to participate in self- care activities like brushing and washing hands as well do activities for others like cooking and baking in the kitchen.