Recently a practitioner mentioned that in her nursery they are constantly telling two-year-olds to “Get down off those tables, and stop climbing on the chairs!” Perhaps the children were trying, in their way, to say that they need opportunities to climb! I’m sure you’ve seen children climb on anything available and heard their challenge, “I’m the king of the castle and you’re the lollypop rascal!” or “Hello down there with monkeys in your hair!” Something about being “up high” makes them feel grand and in control! That’s a hidden benefit of our nappy-change unit with steps: Climbing stairs gives twos a sense of autonomy and bigness.
At the same time the steps protect the caregiver’s back from the strain of lifting heavy children. Many schools are setting up twos' rooms for the first time. They’ll need to be conscientious about supporting young children and those who care for them.
P.S. The steps retract when you take your foot off the bottom plate. That way you can’t leave a set of stairs in place to tempt young climbers when you’re not there.