Kids Kitchen Tools

Little Partners Learning Tower Review

Features of the Learning Tower

If you have ever wanted a better way to get your kiddo up to the counter than standing on an unsturdy chair or insufficient stool, the Learning Partners Learning Tower is your golden ticket. By offering a safe, stable, and yet adjustable platform, the Learning Tower is intended to help get children ages 18 months to 6 years old right up in the action. The Learning Tower has foot holes on two of the four sides for your child to help themselves up and down (as able). When standing on the large platform (measures 15" x 18"), you can rest assured that they are safely enclosed from falling while standing with four railings. It adjusts to any counter and child height combo, so your child will not outgrow the Learning Tower until they hit the age when they can be involved standing on their own two feet. Your little one can also invite their very own sous chef to be by their side since the Learning Tower can accommodate up to 500 pounds.

Target Group for the Learning Tower

For families who embrace having their toddlers and kids involved in cooking and activities in the kitchen, the Learning Tower will become an everyday item in your household.

The Main Benefit of the Learning Tower

When my daughter was an infant, I loved having her in the Inglesina Fast Table Chair any time I was in the kitchen and wanted her safely up at the counter with me. As she grew and became more independent, I had yet to find a good solution between any "high-chair equivalent" and a traditional kitchen step stool. I tried sitting on the floor with my daughter or moving everything from the kitchen counter to the dinner table when trying to engage her in cooking or kitchen play. Neither were ideal or sustainable options though as we began spending more and more time in the kitchen together.

When we finally purchased the Learning Tower, an immediate opportunity presented itself. Areas where my daughter had been limited exploring food, engaging in food prep, eating what was being exposed in front of her, and enjoying the sensory play aspect of food and cooking were abolished. By utilizing the Learning Tower, she and I now get to participate in everything from preparing meals to playing with our food on a daily basis. I can't imagine being a pediatric dietitian turned stay-at-home mom without this item in our kitchen!

Practical Details about the Learning Tower

Price: $199.99

Where to buyAmazon or the Little Partners website

The warranty: Little Partners offers a 1 year manufacturers warranty on all Step Stools and Learning Towers.

Delivery time: Usually ~1 week through both Amazon and the Little Partners website

Customer Service: The Little Partners website has several ways to reach customer service. However from personal experience, I spent over a month trying to call, email, and complete online requests forms for a replacement piece with no avail until I reached out to Little Partners on social media. Once my need was addressed, the process to get a replacement piece was quickly tended to.

The Pros and Cons to the Learning Tower

Pros:

  • Safer alternative to having child(ren) stand on a stool, chair, or learning tower alternative
  • High quality product for anyone looking to invest in a long-term learning tower option
  • Engages child(ren) in learning about food, cooking, their senses, and responsibilities in the kitchen
  • Entertains child(ren) when mom/dad need a few minutes to get a meal ready

Cons:

  • If space is an issue in your kitchen, tape out what the footprint for the Learning Tower would be. While it is a mobile item that can be moved around as needed, it will take up some space wherever it stands.
  • If you have multiple children who are different heights, they may not both be well-accommodated by the same Learning Tower. While the adjustable platform serves one or two child(ren) of the same age and height range well, it may be too high or too low for young kids who are growing and unable to reach the counter at a universally set platform height. We only have one child so far, so we will see when our next daughter arrives and is old enough how much of an "issue" this really is.

Alternative Products to the Learning Tower

GuideCraft Kitchen Helper ($119): I researched the Little Partners Learning Tower against alternatives at length and most often found it compared against the GuideCraft Kitchen Helper. While the Kitchen Helper is less-expensive than the Learning Tower ($119 vs $199), I felt that the quality of the product was slightly compromised with the lower price-point.
DIY (cost of goods): Neither my husband nor I are especially handy with a hammer nor do we dominate the DIY space, so this option was never highly considered for our home. Initially, I discussed the idea of building a Learning Tower with some friends who do a knack for DIY projects, but realistically it was too large of an undertaking to ask as a semi-immediate favor (ie. to be completed before my daughter turned five). I looked into what it would cost to hire someone to build this item, but the minimal cost savings did not seem financially-advantageous enough to merit the time and energy to secure someone and safety measures sacrificed in the process to make a DIY Learning Tower.

Why I Chose the Learning Tower

My main reasons for choosing the Little Partners Learning Tower boiled down to improved safety, quality of the product, overall reviews and impressions from others, and ability for young kids to use independently (as young kids appear to have a more difficult step and climb up on the Kitchen Helper and DIY alternatives compared to the Learning Tower).

My Final Opinion about the Learning Tower

It took me several months of comparing reviews and heavily considering the value of the Little Partners Learning Tower prior to making the purchase. I have not once regretted the decision, however.

As a mom and wife, I would encourage you to evaluate how this product fits the desires you have for your family with the space demands of your home. If it seems like something that would "fit" (both figuratively and literally), consider asking family members for the Learning Tower on your children's behalf this holiday season. It makes a wonderful gift that your child may be too young to ask for on their own!

As a pediatric dietitian, I would strongly urge anyone interested in getting their young kids more involved in the kitchen to make this product a much-loved addition to their kitchen! If you follow me on Instagram, you will see our Learning Tower is put to use daily and documented often for the "can-do" ability it affords my daughter in the kitchen.

 

Disclaimer

Veggies & Virtue received no compensation for writing this review. However, some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means Veggies & Virtue will earn a small commission when purchases are made using those links. For more info, please visit the Veggies & Virtue disclosure page.

Curious Chef Kids Kitchen Knives Review

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Features of Curious Chef Kids Kitchen Knives

According to the product website, “The Curious Chef® 3 Piece Nylon Knife Set was created specifically with kids' cooking and kitchen safety in mind. Curious Chef® kids kitchen knives feature a unique nylon serrated blade with a blunt tip that will cut through tough fruits and vegetables but is much safer on skin than a traditional metal blade. Additional safety features include ergonomically designed handles with soft button grips to ensure your little chef will have a firm hold on his or her kids cooking tool.”

This 3 piece kids knife set from Curious Chef® includes a large (10.8" L x 2" W x 0.5" H), medium (9.8" L x 1.8" W x 0.5" H), and small knife (8.8" L x 1.5" W x 0.5" H), all made in the smaller dimensions of a child. All knives are dishwasher safe and BPA Free.

Target Group for Curious Chef Kids Kitchen Knives

According to the product website, these knives are intended for children over the age of 4. From personal experience however, I have seen our daughter begin to safely use the smallest knife on soft foods as early as 2.5 years old. Depending on your child’s age and ability, it is important to note that these knives are intended for skill building rather than literal “help” in the kitchen. Parents should always offer adult supervision, guidance, and assistance when these knives are used.

The Main Benefit of Curious Chef Kids Kitchen Knives

If you desire to get your child(ren) engaged in the kitchen with age-appropriate tools, this set of kids kitchen knives is a great addition. With a competitive edge over other “miniature” kitchen tools, Curious Chef is intentional about making products for kids to use that are both safe and functional. These knives are designed as part of an overall company mission that Curious Chef has to encourage culinary learning, collaboration, and confidence with kids in the kitchen. Younger kids may begin exploring how to cut soft foods (like bananas) with supervision, guidance, and assistance. As children get older, these knives allow them to demonstrate more independence and autonomy in the meal prep process while assuming their own role and responsibilities with family meals! These knives are a good investment that have several years’ worth of use within family’s who enjoy time spent in the kitchen and the act of cooking together.

Practical Details about Curious Chef Kids Kitchen Knives

Price: $8.99

Where to buyAmazon or the Curious Chef website

The warranty: According to the product website, you may return unused products in its original packaging within 30 days of delivery for a full refund on the final purchase price. You may return defective product any time with proof of purchase.

Delivery time: Usually ~2-8 days (with Amazon Prime or the Curious Chef website)

The Pros and Cons to Curious Chef Kids Kitchen Knives

Pros:

  • Promotes culinary learning, collaboration, and confidence with kids in the kitchen
  • Safe and educational way to engage child(ren) in getting ready for meal times
  • More effective alternative to “pretend” kid knives
  • Greater learning applications than child using a standard butter knife

 Cons:

  • White silicone may stain with use
  • Do not produce a clean, smooth cut when used as part of child’s practice

Alternative Products to Curious Chef Kids Kitchen Knives

Kai Little Chef Club Children's Stainless Steel Knife ($14.35): This option is a more advanced alternative to the Curious Chef Kids Kitchen Knives. With a blade made of stainless steel, this knife is sharp enough to cut. The edges are blunted so children are less likely to be injured by rolling easily off the hand as "cutting edge" and "chin". The blade is about five inches in length with a handle that has been designed smaller for easier maneuverability by kids. 

Opinel Le Petit Chef Knife and Fingers Guard ($49.95): With a total size similar to the smallest of the three Curious Chef Knives, the Opinel Le Petit Chef Knife has ~4 inch stainless steel blade. This knife kit includes a finger guard as well as a knife with a rounded tip and educational ring to help position the fingers and prevent the hand from slipping onto the blade. This knife affords kids the opportunity to learn knife skills and how to take proper safety precautions while cutting. This knife is sharp however, and thus would not be appropriate for younger, less experienced kid chefs or in any circumstance when supervision is limited.

Brisa Bonita Child Knife ($22.62): Closer in size to the largest Curious Chef Knife, the Brisa Bonita Child Knife has a stainless steel blade with a rounded tip. Reviews on this knife boasts the ability to cut like a real knife while also being designed to help beginner chefs gain experience with knife skills and safety. This knife’s blade is sharp enough to cut skin however, so this option is intended for older children and/or those with more supervision and advanced knife experience.

StarPack Nylon Kitchen Knife Set ($8.95): As a price-competitive alternative to the similar set by Curious Chef, StarPack knives sell themselves as a nylon knife option. Built in size to be used by smaller hands, this set includes three sizes similar to the Curious Chef set. The nylon blade has a serrated edge to help cut food without the safety concern of how stainless steel blades may cut than skin.

Kuhn Rikon Kinderkitchen Dog Knife ($10.00): The Kinderkitchen Dog Knife is a safe option for younger chefs with less experience in the kitchen. The blade is sharp enough to cut soft food but not small fingers. With the body designed to look like a dog, this is a cute and yet effective option when first introducing your young child to how to cut food. The blade may lack the ability to cut through more firm foods however, so this product does not specifically teach children knife safety nor allow them to grow with the item to advance their skills, as able.

Why I Chose Curious Chef Kids Kitchen Knives

Given the age of my child (now almost 3), stainless steel kids knives were far beyond her ability. I bought the Curious Chef Kids Knife Set so that she would be able to use them immediately while maintaining a safer learning experience (to stainless). While I like the introductory ability of Kuhn Rikon knives for young kids, I like how Curious Chef affords more opportunity for advancing with a child’s age and budding knife abilities. I think the StarPack Nylon knives would offer similar advantages and incentives to those we purchased.

My Final Opinion about Curious Chef Kids Kitchen Knives

As a mom and dietitian, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I enjoy the opportunity to have a safe way to engage my daughter in the experience of meal times by preparing foods alongside me. Starting her just after the age of two, there are obvious limitations in skill at this young of an age. That to say, the interest in food and cooking and the eagerness to learn is present and not to be postponed. For this reason, the Curious Chef Kids Kitchen Knife set has been an opportunistic investment for our kitchen. With many ways to begin knife skill development at an early age, these knives also afford open dialogue about knife and kitchen safety. I would recommend this product to any family who spends time in the kitchen and values the opportunity to supervise, encourage, and guide such skill development as that of knife skills.

 

Disclaimer

Veggies & Virtue received no compensation for writing this review. However, some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means Veggies & Virtue will earn a small commission when purchases are made using those links. For more info, please visit the Veggies & Virtue disclosure page.