We all know the importance of encouraging children’s autonomy from a very young age, and our home is the best place to start. To do this, it is essential that the environment in which the child will develop their activities is “friendly” and adapted to their needs.
In this sense, Montessori learning towers are an essential element to encourage the child’s participation in daily tasks, also fostering their sense of belonging, self-confidence, and independence.
What is a Montessori learning tower?
We could define learning towers as “safe stools” for children to climb on and reach up to see what we adults are doing. Basically, it is a platform with steps, but unlike stools, benches, ladders, or chairs, learning towers are sturdy, easy to handle, stable, and closed at the top so that the child cannot fall off. In this way, young children can climb the tower without the risk of losing their balance, destabilising themselves, or falling, and thus take an active part in household chores.
There is a wide variety of learning towers on the market, but the models with steps encourage children’s autonomy right from the start, as they can climb up and down the tower by themselves. But there are other models that do not have stairs and can only be used by children with parental help – at least at the beginning.
What are Montessori learning towers used for?
There are many uses for the Montessori learning tower, although the kitchen is usually the space in the house where children get the most out of it. The kitchen is where we spend the most time, and the learning towers allow children to be at the same level as the worktop or sink and help us to prepare recipes, wash fruit and vegetables, handle kitchen utensils, prepare food, etc.
We can also use this accessory in the bathroom so that children can easily and safely access the sink and brush their teeth, and wash their hands or face independently. But the kitchen and the bathroom are not the only places where learning towers can be used. In general, any domestic activity carried out at the adult level can involve the child if we use this element.
Finally, we also highlight the dual functionality that some models of Montessori towers have, as they become a comfortable and practical desk for the children’s room.
Benefits for children of using Montessori learning towers
There are many benefits for children in using Montessori learning towers in their daily lives. Among them, we highlight the following:
Experiential and experiential learning
As the name itself indicates, the main benefit of this type of tower is to promote children’s learning from an experiential and experimental point of view. Our houses and furniture are of a size adapted to adult life, and for children, whose size is considerably smaller than ours, it is frustrating not to be able to see what is happening above their heads.
For children, the interesting things in life happen at adult height, so learning towers make it easy for them to get up to our height to observe what we do, learn from us and even actively participate in certain tasks.
Promotes children’s autonomy
Being easy to handle (the child should be able to drag it from one side to the other without any problem), accessible and above all safe, learning towers allow the child to participate actively and autonomously in the daily tasks that we adults usually do.
Promoting children’s autonomy is not only positive for their self-esteem and independence but also allows them to acquire important skills and abilities that will be useful in life (initiative, decision-making, conflict resolution, and responsibility…).
Encourages motor development
Learning towers can be used from the moment the baby is able to stand unaided. From then on, this element will favour the development of gross motor skills, allowing the child to work on his or her sense of balance, go up and down stairs, strengthen legs and arms, and push the tower from one side to the other…..
Likewise, the tasks that the child can do thanks to the tower will also benefit the development of fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and visual stimulation.
Encourages a sense of belonging
Children want to actively participate in family life, to be at their parents’ side, to feel valued, and to contribute to the smooth running of the household. Enhancing their sense of belonging with the use of this type of element will have a very positive impact on their self-esteem, confidence, and self-confidence.
Finally, we would like to highlight another important benefit of learning towers, and that is that thanks to their use we can spend more time as a family. As parents, we often complain about the lack of time we have to spend with our children, partly because of our responsibilities at home. But if we incorporate children into our household chores, we will not only be taking advantage of the time to enjoy ourselves together and create beautiful memories, but it will also be an important source of learning for the little ones.
How to choose the best Montessori learning tower?
There is a wide variety of models of Montessori learning towers on the market, so you may have doubts about which one to choose. Our recommendation is that you choose towers that encourage the child’s autonomy from the beginning, and for this, it is important that they have steps to make it easier for them to climb and that they are light to move.
As for the material they are made of, most of them are usually made of wood, either natural or varnished. You can also find folding towers that turn into desks or fun shapes that capture children’s attention.