Cooking with Kiddos in the Little Helpers FunPod

Welcome to the WeAreTeachers Blog Hop Stop #9. If you’re just joining us, head back to the BLOG HOP LAUNCH POST to find out how the Blog Hop works so you can collect all of the necessary clues for a chance to win an iPad, a $50 gift card and much more!

As a participant in this blog hop, I’ve been asked to write a review of my favorite educational gift. I’ve chosen:

Product: Little Helpers FunPod from Luca & Company
Age range: 1-4
Subject areas: cooking, science
Hot Deal: 10% off code at http://www.rightstart.com Code: Save10

Be sure to read all the way down. One lucky reader on this blog will win a $25 giftcard to Wayfair.com!

For Jackson’s first birthday gift, I splurged on a Little Helpers FunPod from Luca & Company, a fairly pricey European contraption (at just under $200 full-price) that safely elevates children to counter height. It looks like a chair with four walls and an adjustable platform.

Best. Purchase. Ever.

Jackson’s birthday morning. He was stoked about his present and equally excited to play with a package of spinach while I whipped up special Birthday Blueberry Green Smoothies for the family.

We use the FunPod every day. He drags me to the laundry room where it lives when not in use and points to it, asking to be put in. Now that summer is over and our outside water play has come to an end, I am so thankful for the FunPod. It lets him play in the sink safely while I get other things done nearby. Water play is great for little minds. This morning I snapped this photo of him using a measuring cup to transfer water from one side of the sink to a pot on the other side. Then he used the whisk to stir the pot. Pretending to cook, perhaps?

Filling the pot up with water. “Watcha making buddy?” (Notice the salad spinner in the background — that’s probably my second recommendation for an “educational” child’s toy. Endless entertainment from that thing!)

Speaking of cooking, the FunPod has not only been a life saver for me when it comes to getting dinner on the table, but it has been a wonderful tool for letting Jackson experience food with me. He uses all five senses as he stands at the counter in his FunPod helping mommy cook. He smells garlic and onions simmering, he sees the steam rising from a stew and tells me “awwt” (hot), he squishes cookie dough through his fingers and giggles, he watches with enamor as flour sifts through his grip. He tastes olives before they go in the pasta sauce, “mmmm,” he says. He takes a bite out of an unpeeled avocado I’ve accidentally left in his reach. “Yukky, Yukky,” he says spitting out the rough outer layer, before taking another bite to get to the creamy flesh inside.

“Helping” mommy make a Pumpkin Spice Butternut Squash Cobbler. He’s in charge of quality control.

In just five months, the FunPod has given us so many food memories and given Jackson a leg up in learning about healthy eating and getting him to try new things. The other day, I gave him some kale to play with and a few other kitchen gadgets. I looked back over and he was tearing the kale into tiny pieces and putting them in the bowl…his first salad. It’s my proudest parenting moment yet. Thank you FunPod.

Stirring the quinoa before I take it to simmer on the stovetop.

He first learned the concept of Peek-a-boo in the pod. He would duck himself down and I would say “Where’s Jackson?” and he would pop right up, thrilled that he had fooled mommy.

Where is Jackson?

Though my son was only one when we got it, because the pod’s platform adjusts to different heights, it is good for any child who can stand on their own all the way up to six years old. As Jackson gets older and grows out of his high chair, I see us using this for craft projects when I want to make sure the mess is contained, play dough fun, snack time, and at some point, he could potentially be a real help in the kitchen. At this rate, I won’t be surprised if he’s washing the lettuce and preparing the family salads by age three. Talk about a great return on investment!

The FunPod is relatively small, about the width of a cabinet and has different levels to make learning in the kitchen safe and fun for babies, toddlers, and young children. I recommend a rug beneath it for water play. It will be a little messy…but it’s so worth it. This is a $20 rug from Costco and is really absorbent and doesn’t slide around at all.

Because the FunPod is a UK product, you probably won’t find this in stores in the U.S.A. I bought mine through one of those daily deal sites and got a pretty steep discount. I found a 10% off code to Rightstart.com (Code: Save10) where it is $190 with free shipping. Amazon.com and Wayfair.com both have them for $190.00 with free shipping as well.

You may want to google these similar models as well: The FunPod 5-in-1 High Chair, Little Partners Learning Tower, and GuideCraft Kitchen Helper. I haven’t used any of these models so I can’t offer my own reviews, but if you’re like me, you probably like to consider all your options before making a big purchase. The Learning Tower is wider to hold two kids and has open sides so kids can climb in and out (I found this as a negative with one 1-year old, but others may see these as great bonuses). The Kitchen Helper folds away and is almost half the price as the other two; it might be a good choice for small spaces.

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WeAreTeachers Blog Hop Clue #9: SURROUND

The next stop on the blog hop is: Surviving The Stores

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WIN A GIFT CARD TO WAYFAIR.COM

As part of this blog hop, We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook is offering a $25 gift card to Wayfair.com! To enter, do one (or more) of the things below by November 23, midnight (Central Time):
Four ways to enter! #1-3 are optional, #4 is required.
  1. Subscribe to our blog via email (one optional entry)
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  4. Leave a comment and let us know which of the above you did or have already done in the past and answer this question: What is your favorite thing to cook, bake, or make in the kitchen with kids? (One REQUIRED entry)

Please be sure to include your email in the contact form so we can notify you if you win.

Legal Jargon: All opinions and recommendations in this review are my own. I was not compensated by WeAreTeachers, Luca & Company, or Wayfair.com. I paid for our FunPod with my own money and am personally paying for the WayFair.com gift card as well. Each entry will be assigned a number. We will use a random number generator to pick the winner. The winner will be notified via email. If we do not hear back from the winner in 48 hours, we’ll randomly pick another winner.