I used to be a regular attendee to Toy Fair in New York for the eCommerce company I work for. It’s an event for anyone in the toy industry (sellers, buyers, reporters, etc…) and my wife would typically take off for a few days and come with me. She would help me navigate the huge convention hall, take notes, and just act as my assistant. In the evening, I would take her out to a nice dinner and we would enjoy the city. It was always a great couple of days for both of us.
Toy Fair is massive and there are things hidden away in aisles where you wouldn’t typically expect to find them so we would hit every aisle and every booth to make sure we didn’t miss anything. That may not sound difficult but Toy Fair is HUGE!!! It takes up the entire Javits Center in Manhattan as well as several other buildings down town. The business I am in sells licensed and pop culture items so it’s actually a pretty small segment of the overall toy market but part of the fun was the challenge of hitting everything to make sure we didn’t miss anything.
The first time we went, my wife was pregnant with my oldest son, Harrison. We had a lot of fun going through the baby and little kids sections even though it had nothing to do with why we were there. We got to see stuff we might want for our son before a lot of it was released to the market. Also, we got to see stuff that was already on the market that companies were trying to push to new buyers. It’s a unique situation where you get to talk directly to the company and in the case of smaller companies, directly to the owner/creator.
What is the Learning Tower
One of the items that really interested us was the Learning Tower by Little Partners. The product had been around for a year or so before we ran into it at Toy Fair but our excitement was fresh as we had never seen it before. The Learning Tower is the perfect kitchen companion for anyone that likes to cook with their children. It’s not just for the kitchen but that seems to be it’s most popular application. It’s the ultimate step stool that brings your children up to counter height and keeps them there safely and securely.
Nothing at Toy Fair is for sale to the the general public, meaning, you can’t walk through, hand your card to someone and walk out with it. Buyers can put in orders for their companies but the products are shipped to the company/store they were bought for and not available to walk out with. I tell you this simply because if it was possible for us to leave with a Learning Tower that day, we would have.
Why We Love the Learning Tower
My wife LOVES to cook and bake and always fantasized about cooking with our children. In addition to loving to cook, she is also a safety professional. Her job is to make sure the workers at the company she works at, work safely. The need to keep everyone safe is a big part of who she is and one of the things I love about her. The Learning Tower appealed to her need to keep her soon to be born child safe and her desire to have our little one active and in the kitchen helping Mom cook.
It’s so much more than a step stool, it’s an adjustable platform that safely brings your child up to counter height. The most popular application is in the kitchen but it can be used anywhere. It’s very well constructed and the platform can be adjusted so it continues to become useful as your child grows. It can hold over 200 lbs and has plenty of room for a second little one if you have more than one child. My 5 year old and 3 year old share it with no problems.
But Wait There’s More
What makes this item even better is you can buy accessories that make it more functional. You can get a kit that turns it into a puppet theater in minutes or a chalk board that hangs off the side for arts and crafts. It comes in 9 different finishes so there is sure to be a design that matches your decor.
At nearly $200, it’s not cheap but we believe it’s a great investment. We have had ours for 4 yeas now and it gets used all the time. It’s very common for used Learning Towers to sell on eBay and Craigslist for $100 so it holds it’s value really well. When our boys outgrow our Learning Tower we plan on selling it on Craigslist to recoup part of the expense of buying it but even if we didn’t do that, we have have more than gotten our moneys worth with this item.
For activities to do with your children that would include using the learning tower, check out this other great articles.
We recommend the Learning Tower if you are looking to buy one.
The Learning Tower got some media attention a few years ago when it was featured on the Rachael Ray show. Check out the video below
Have you ever heard of the Learning Tower? What do you think of it?