Do you have a toddler that loves to be by your side? Are you tired of trying to cook one-handed while holding your baby in the other? If so, check out these steps on how to build a toddler kitchen stool.
Just so you know what you’re getting in to, below is picture of the finished toddler kitchen stool.
In these instructions when I say the “front” of the toddler helper stool, I mean the part that gets pushed against the kitchen counter.
Table of Contents
- 1 Tools required to build this Toddler Kitchen Stool
- 2 Shopping List of Materials for the Toddler Kitchen Stool
- 3 How to build a toddler kitchen helper Step 1 – Cut all the boards
- 4 Step 2 – Sand all the boards really well
- 5 Step 3 – Drill pilot holes
- 6 Step 4 – Assemble the pieces together
- 7 Step 5: Building the Standing Platform for the Toddler Kitchen Stool
- 8 Step 6: Enjoy cooking with your toddler
Tools required to build this Toddler Kitchen Stool
When I build these helpers stools I use:
- Miter saw to make the cuts
- Palm sander to smooth the boards
- Sandpaper to smooth the edges of the boards
- A drill (or cordless drill/driver) to drill pilot holes and screw together the boards
- Appropriate screwdriver bit for the screws you purchase
- A drill bit that is slightly thinner than the screws you choose
If you don’t have these power tools, you could cut the boards with a hand saw, and sand the boards with a sanding sponge or sandpaper.
Both of these steps would take longer doing it by hand, but it is possible.
When it comes to screwing the boards together I think you’ll want a power tool. Unless you have forearms like Popeye that is too much hand-screwing.
Shopping List of Materials for the Toddler Kitchen Stool
I build mine out of two sizes of wood. 1″x4″ boards and 2″x2″ boards.
Below, I list it in linear feet of board required because I don’t know if your local lumber yard has 8-foot lengths, 10-foot lengths or 12-foot lengths.
So check with your local lumber yard to see what lengths they carry.
Linear feet of 1″x4″ needed: 14 ft (I bought 2 boards that were 8ft long)
Linear feet of 2″x2″ needed: 22 ft (I bought 3 boards that were 8ft long)
Screws: I use 2-inch long Size 6 Robertson bit screws.
Buy the best looking lumber you can (smooth and straight) because the most time-consuming step in this whole process is sanding the boards. Since young children are going to be climbing on this stool you don’t want them to get slivers.)
How to build a toddler kitchen helper Step 1 – Cut all the boards
Cut all boards that you need for a desired length at the same time. See below for more details.
For the 2″x2″ boards:
- 4 pieces at 34″ long (for the main vertical boards…one at each corner)
- 7 pieces at 14.5″ long (6 of them are for the support rails along the left and right side, and one goes along the bottom at the back of the stool)
- 2 pieces at 13.5″ long (support boards underneath the standing platform)
For the 1″x4″ boards:
- 4 pieces at 17.5″ long (for the part the child actually stands on..the standing platform)
- 6 pieces at 14.5″ long (4 of them for encircling the top of the stand, one of them as a kickplate on front side near child’s feet, and other goes along the front of the stand at floor level)
How I cut all the boards the same length:
Place a bumper stop on your miter saw fence so all boards are cut the same length.
For instance, you need 4 pieces of 2″x2″ boards that are 34″ long.
What you should do is measure 34″ on ONE the boards, mark it, then cut it with your miter saw.
Then take your cut piece of wood that is 34″ long and use it as a template for the next three cuts. I put a vice clamp on the fence of my miter saw to use as a guide to cut the subsequent pieces the exact same length as the first piece.
Step 2 – Sand all the boards really well
As I mentioned above this is the most time-consuming step.
So hopefully you bought the best boards you could.
I use a palm sander to sand down the boards.
(If I have a particularly rough edge of a board I’ll use a belt sander.)
Once I’ve used the power sander to smooth the boards, I’ll use some sandpaper (held in my hand) to smooth the corners and edges.
Once the boards are cut and sanded, we can almost start the process of putting them together. . But first, we need to drill pilot holes in the wood to prevent splitting the wood.
Step 3 – Drill pilot holes
I started working on the side sections. First I measured then drilled the pilot holes into the 34″ tall corner boards (2X2 board) for the side rails which support the standing platform.
Try your best to center the holes.
This is how it looked once drilled.
Most of the other spots to drill then screw are slightly more arbitrary and you’ll be able to figure it out from the pictures.
But it is important designate which corner your 34″ tall pieces will go in because it does make a difference. So the piece you designate as front-left corner will stay as the front-left corner and the pilot holes it receives will be different than the corner at back-right.
And I want to draw your attention to the top sections of the corner pieces. It is important to offset your screws so you aren’t trying to drill into another screw.
Step 4 – Assemble the pieces together
I’ve added a bunch of photos so you can “piece” together how it goes. It is a little tricky explaining some of these steps in words, so seeing the pictures should help you.
I started by screwing the supporting rails along the sides. These are the 2″x2″ boards that are 14.5-inches long.
We already drilled our pilot holes for these supporting rails at the 5.25″, 5.75″, 10.25″, 10.75″, 15.25″ and 15.75″ mark from the bottom.
Starting with the bottom rail: I took one of the 14.5″ long 2×2’s and placed it so the center of the 2X2 is at about 5.5″ from the bottom. Then I screw it into place (using the 5.25″ and 5.75″ marked pilot holes I already drilled).
It is probably easier showing a picture of the sides already assembled.
It really helps to have a flat and smooth surface to assemble the boards.
The 1″x4″ boards that are 14.5″ long encircle along the top of the toddler helper stool. I screw them in so that the top of these boards is flush with the top of the 34″ tall corner piece.
Using the pictures as a guide you should be able to piece together the “tower” part of the toddler helper stool.
Just remember to drill pilot holes first so you don’t split the wood.
Step 5: Building the Standing Platform for the Toddler Kitchen Stool
For the standing platform you use the 1X4 boards that are 17.5-inches long (four of them), and you use the two 13.5″ long 2×2 boards underneath to support the 1×4’s. (These should be the only pieces you have remaining after assembling the tower.)
I place the 2X2’s 11.5″ inches apart (inside to inside).
Then I ensure the boards are square and I screw the 2X2 into the 1X4’s. MAKE SURE YOUR SCREWS AREN’T TOO LONG AND PUSH THROUGH TO THE TOP SURFACE OF THE STANDING PLATFORM, or else your child will be standing on screw tips.
I’ve made a few of these and I still haven’t perfected the gap between each of the 1×4’s but my daughter has yet to pull out a tape measure to scold me.
Just make sure the assembled width of your standing platform doesn’t exceed 14.5″ or else it won’t fit inside the tower of the stool. I.e. don’t have the gaps between the 1×4’s too excessive.
Step 6: Enjoy cooking with your toddler
I hope these instructions and pictures will help you create your own DIY toddler kitchen helper stool.
Then you can enjoy some quality cooking time with your toddler. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to cook with both hands.
Note: It can be tricky visualizing where all the pieces go, but with all the pictures I’ve added, hopefully you’ll be able to figure it out and have success.
If you like DIY projects you may like this article on how to build your own cheap DIY headboard.
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