i'm steppin' up

Any of you have little helpers out there? You know, small children that want to get their hands into everything you're doing! Henry, who is almost two, has a sudden fascination with anything we do in the kitchen whether it is washing dishes, or making cookies, or putting away the groceries. He wants to be involved in everything! I have to admit that we have fostered this curiosity. From a very young age, we have asked for his help unloading the dishwasher, sweeping the floor, and getting things out of the cabinets. He loves to be useful and we love to keep him busy!

Lately, he has been dragging an old Ikea stool we keep in the corner over to the cabinets so that he can see what is going on from a higher vantage point. The stool is fine and does the trick but it is a bit wobbly. Lately, I've seen a couple of really nice children's steps that would be perfect additions to our home.

The first is from a company called Another Country that was founded by former Wallpaper* magazine publisher Paul de Zwart. Their craft furniture follows the clean lines and simple aesthetics found in Shaker, Scandinavian and Japanese woodwork. All of their items are made by hand out of solid wood in Dorset, England. Their Kids Step Up One product is a sturdy stool with four peg legs that could be used anywhere around the house.

The second stool is made in Denmark and is called the Dania step ladder. This step isn't specifically intended for children but it's sturdy structure and two step rung makes it perfect for little helpers. In addition the bottom rung folds in so it takes up less room when not in use.

Unfortunately, it will be awhile before either of these stools makes it into our house - with price tags close to the $400 range - Henry will have to make do with his Ikea stool for now!