I have lost count of the amount of people who have messaged or commented on my social media posts asking ‘What is that thing your kid is stood on?’ desperate to get hold of one themselves. That thing which features in so many of our baking and craft pictures is indeed an amazing contraption which may have cost a fair penny (around £100 when I made the purchase back in 2010) but it has paid for itself over and over throughout the years, this fantastic bit of kit which I am referring to is ‘The Kitchen Helper’.
My kids love to take part in whatever may be going on around them, this includes the kitchen chores believe it or not. It can be tricky when it comes to kids working alongside you in the kitchen due to the height of most kitchen counters/ worktops. Rather than grabbing a kitchen chair for your little one to precariously balance upon and risk a fall or injury, Guidecraft have created the perfect solution, the ‘Kitchen Helper’.
The Kitchen Helper is basically a wooden platform that your child is able to stand upon whilst being supported by a wooden surround for their safety. The Guidecraft Kitchen Helper is unique in its design as it is light in weight (weighing only 18lbs), foldable and easy to store, height adjustable (offering three differing heights) to adapt to each child and it is fairly portable so it can be folded up and thrown in the car boot to take to the Grandparents or wherever takes your fancy.
On each side of the Kitchen Helper there is also a whiteboard and a blackboard which your little ones can use at floor height, providing added entertainment. I have to admit that neither of our kids have ever bothered with the whiteboard or the blackboard as they are far happier being in the thing rather than drawing on it!
Whilst there are two other products on the market which are similar in most respects (The Fun Pod and The Learning Tower) I can tell you from experience that they simply do not compare in quality or functionality. My Mum bought the FunPod after seeing our Kitchen Helper in action. She has found it to be particularly dangerous at times, as the kids have to be lifted in and out of the fun pod each and every time they want to use it, this can get annoying when they are tooing and froing around the kitchen, as kids do.
Our kids haven’t got the greatest amount of patience in the World and tend not like waiting, they do however have excellent climbing skills and so using the Fun Pod was a ultimately a recipe for disaster. Not only was it potentially dangerous but my Mum found it difficult to store as unlike the Kitchen Helper, the Fun Pod does not fold down.
The Learning Tower is the other option, but on a practical side, it’s just too bloody big! One of my Australian friends has a Learning Tower, she also has a huge house and quite a few kids to entertain. The Learning Tower can hold two children (and probably more) whilst still leaving plenty of breathing room. Because of its sheer size, The Learning Tower is far heavier and therefore harder to move around, it is also unable to fold down which isn’t exactly ideal when it comes to storage.
Whilst we originally bought The Kitchen Helper for J back in 2010, it hasn’t changed in terms of design and still seems the best option in my opinion. Our Kitchen Helper is still going strong and we have even seen it being used with both the kids at times, which may have been a squeeze but they didn’t seem bothered by it.
The kids find the Kitchen Helper really easy to use as they can get in and out of it independently without any need to wait for an adult. This is a win-win as it also reduces the potential risk of a possible back injury or hernia as there is no need for me to lift the kids in and out of it. The Kitchen Helper is also easy to wipe clean yes Paul if you are reading this, it can be wiped after you’ve finished using it! It also stores pretty neatly behind the kitchen door once it has been folded down. Incase you’re wondering, it’s really easy to fold up too, just be sure never to let the kids do this, as it’s similar to those extending tables in that it can bite if you aren’t careful.
The Kitchen Helper is available from Amazon for around £119.99, which I think is fairly priced for what it is, as it gives your little ones the chance to play an active role in the kitchen, whether it be at the sink or at the counter and who knows, you might even get a free pot washer for your troubles! I’ve personally found that using the Kitchen Helper with the kids has increased their confidence and independence over the years, which can only be a good thing!
Just a quick note, I have in no way been sponsored or asked to write this post on behalf of Guidecraft or any other company. I just thought it was a product worth a mention given that I get asked about it almost on a daily basis.