Kristin needs solutions. She writes: Two questions: 1) My 2 year old is ready to move out of the highchair and sit in a booster seat at the table (or some kind of highchair that is lower than his (admittedly awesome) Antilop Ikea highchair, so that he is at table height when he eats.) Any thoughts on a cleanly designed/not terribly expensive solution?
2) He's also beginning to want to "help" more in the kitchen, and I'd like something that could function as a safe place for him to stand and help at the counter, and also stand up at the kitchen sink when he washes his hands (a stepstool?)...There is something called "The Learning Tower" that fits the bill, but alas, is a bit too country-shaker style (and huge) for my taste. Is there a clean-looking equivalent to this? Thanks for any/all help.
Great questions. There are numerous choices out there for booster seats, but for sturdiness and design, we like the HandySitt (first pic). We recently purchased it for taking to restaurants and we love it. It stores flat, fits a variety of chairs and is easy to clean. The HandySitt is definitely something you can use at home, especially in smaller spaces. If you want to consider a chair, try the Stokke Tripp Trapp which pulls right up to the table and can be used even by adults.
As for a safety stool that is similar to the Learning Tower, how about the Jonti Craft Up-n-Down Steps? It's not cheap, but it's less "country-shaker" than the Learning Tower and is smaller-scale. Do note that it's not enclosed on all sides so there is still a risk for falls.
Another solution is to designate a play area in the kitchen on a lower level. Check out our post about Shiso Mama's kitchen play solution here. She put a play cooktop on a step stool and designated a lower cabinet for play pots, pans and food.
Anyone else have a suggestion?