UpUp Play Tower
UpUp Play Tower
A standing desk, jungle gym and play space all rolled into one. Engaging and activating kids, indoors.
A standing desk, jungle gym and play space all rolled into one. Engaging and activating kids, indoors. Read more
Early childhood is the most important time in a child’s life. It's their time to develop confidence, independence, and an ability to persevere, problem-solve and take risks. It’s the perfect time for parents to nurture their child's boundless curiosity, their desire to learn and their love of movement.
The UpUp Play Tower (patent pending) offers so much more than fun and convenience. It supports these important physical, cognitive and emotional developments at a time when it matters most. Help your child build a strong foundation that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
It was the winter of 2012. Christmas was coming up and as it happens, so was our son Eli's 2nd birthday - on the same day. Lukas wanted to make him something special. Being the devoted papa and designer that he is, he wanted to make it big and awesome and solve a problem at the same time.
The problem: Busy working-from-home mama + toddler in that "Mama! Up, up!" phase of life
The big and awesome solution: A standing desk, jungle gym and play space all rolled into one.
The UpUp Play Tower was born.
We call it a play tower, but it's so much more.
Empower and Engage
The standing desk allows a child to climb up to counter-height safely on their own. Once there, they can be easily included and engaged in the activities of the moment, without needing to be carried on one hip. Look at me! Hands free!
UpUp's counter top is perfect for cooking, eating, crafting and having important face-to-face conversations with your little one. It also acts as an extension of your existing counter top space, and you can never have too much of that. The UpUp also fits well into family rooms, bedrooms, daycares and really wherever your child spends most of their time.
Develop Strength and Confidence
UpUp's jungle gym features monkey bars, a swing and portholes for peeking or crawling through. Physical play helps your little one develop strength and confidence while having fun indoors, not to mention getting all tuckered out in time for a good nap. A game of chase gets more interesting when there’s a short cut through the tower that only your little one can take advantage of.
A Space All Their Own
UpUp's interior space is just the right size for cozying up with some pillows, a book and best fuzzy friend. Perfect for active games or quiet contemplation, it allows the child to “get away”, and adds to their sense of autonomy.
UpUp has impressed child development experts
We have met with child development and child care experts who all agree; UpUp intrinsically supports child development.
Gross and fine motor skills development is facilitated through the core (standing) and shoulder (swinging) strengthening that the unit provides. That means life and independence skills in the making. Doing up buttons! Pulling up zippers! Getting ready for the big world!
On an emotional level, UpUp builds your little one's sense of autonomy, independence and confidence. It promotes their sense of belonging within the home and family unit. It makes intimate one-on-one interactions between adult and child easy. Talk about connection.
UpUp is compact and oh-so-beautiful
A clean and contemporary yet friendly look appeals to the big and little people in the home. The furniture grade baltic birch plywood has a clear finish that is healthy, durable and easy to clean. The multifunctional nature allows UpUp to replace a number of other furniture pieces. The aesthetics are contemporary and universal, allowing the UpUp to fit comfortably in any home.
The UpUp family is growing
The family of products has grown to include a matching stool so adults can sit comfortably at the tower too, as well as a small bucket seat "high chair" that inserts securely into the tower. This, in combination with the adjustable/removable standing platform, allows the UpUp Play Tower to serve you and your child from infancy to adolescence.
The UpUp Play Tower is designed to adapt as your child grows. The bucket seat can be used as soon as your little one can sit up on their own - typically between 5 and 7 months old. The standing platform height can be adjusted until it drops away completely and the UpUp Play Tower becomes a standing desk for a pre-teen or adolescent. Add the shelving units that are in the works and it becomes a functional work station. This adaptability gives UpUp a functional lifespan of 10 years or more.
A year of observation and testing
We have had the pleasure of watching our son grow and develop over the year with the play tower as a constant companion. This ability to closely observe and experience the play tower in action has been key to the development and refinement of the UpUp Play Tower.
The UpUp Play Tower has been through dozens of virtual iterations and 4 physical iterations. Three of these prototypes were hand built here in Nelson, and the fourth was professionally manufactured in Vancouver, BC.
We want to share UpUp with the world but we need your help
The UpUp Play Tower is getting close to being finished, but there are a few important steps remaining.
The funds raised through this campaign will help cover the cost of 3rd party safety testing so we can confirm and guarantee that the UpUp Play Tower meets or exceeds all mandatory and a variety of voluntary health and safety standards for both the US and Canada.
Our project funding level has also been determined by manufacturing costs. The current funding level should yield an order of 20 units, the minimum order required by the manufacturer.
We hope that you feel inspired to support us on this journey of a lifetime. If you have a wee one in your life, now would be a great time to pre-order an UpUp Play Tower through our campaign. And if you don't, well, there are still great ways to show your support, whether that's selecting a different type of reward, or just sharing the link with someone you think might be interested.
Check out our reward options below.
UpUp Play Tower packages
Here's your chance to provide your little one with all the wonderful benefits that the UpUp Play Tower has to offer. We've curated a variety packages to suit a range of needs and budgets. Take advantage of these greatly reduced Kickstarter prices while you can. If you're quick as a bunny, you might even get in on the super-reduced Early Bird offer. Only 10 available.
The UpUp Play Tower ships to Canada and the United States. The rest of the the rewards ship world wide.
Not in the market for an UpUp Play Tower? Not to worry, we've created a few other thoughtful and lovely ways that you can support this project.
#2. Pledge $10 or more - This set of 3 Colouring Pages feature Keiko's original paper cuts of bees, butterflies and frogs on the ascent. And have you heard? Colouring is the new meditation. Zen out on your own or in collaboration with your little one.
#3. Pledge $29 or more - The set of 5 Activity Inspiration Magnets also showcase Keiko's original papercuts. Each magnet provides simple instructions for an activity that you can do with your little one, including: Our Family Granola, Magic Marks, Bean Sprouting, Play Dough and Dyed Noodle Beads. Slap one on your fridge as a reminder or for easy reference.
#4 Pledge $29 or more - The UpUp Note Card set also feature Keiko's original papercuts against a background of cheerful colours. Blank inside. Set of 9. Envelopes included. What better way to say Thank-you / Congratulations / Happy Birthday / I'm Sorry / I Love You / etc.
#5. Pledge $39 or more - Lightweight and sturdy cotton printed UpUp Tote Bags make lugging that stack of children's books to and from the library just a little prettier.
#6. Pledge $39 or more - Soft and sweet UpUp Organic Baby Tees to adorn your li'l love. Butterflies, frogs and bees practically bouncing off that sweet baby tum-tum. 100% organic cotton, with overlapping neck band for easy on-and-off.
#7. Pledge $69 or more - Time to get creative - and messy. An UpUp Apron for your li'l one, plus a set of Activity Inspiration Magnets to get the creative juices flowing. Cute. Practical. Inspirational.
#8. Pledge $129 or more - Grown-ups, it's time to get in on the fun! Matching UpUp Aprons for the big and li'l one, plus a set Activity Inspiration Magnets to get the creative juices flowing.
Wondering when you'll be receiving your reward? This little diagram explains what you can expect. There are two timelines - one pertaining to rewards #2-8 (in orange), and the other pertaining to rewards #9-17 (in blue).
In time for the holidays
Interested in giving one of these rewards as a gift this holiday season? We've got you covered. We've created a lovely gift card for you to give as a happy announcement of good things to come. Simply click the image below to download the card. Then print it, fold it, personalize it and its ready to give.
Lukas Armstrong and Keiko Lee-Hem are the partners-in-life-and-design team behind the UpUp Play Tower.
Lukas Armstrong, D.FA, B.D.(ID), M.Arch is a principal at Cover Architectural Collaborative Inc, an architecture firm based in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. He was raised in northern British Columbia on a 160 acre, solar-powered homestead. After working in a variety of trades, he entered school to study sculpture, industrial design, and architecture. This combination of hands-on experience and formal education delivers projects that are sustainable, practical and beautiful.
Keiko Lee-Hem, BFA, D.Pbl is a graphic designer, artist and consummate entrepreneur. Past businesses include AuMarché, a line of reusable shopping bags featuring original illustrations, which were sold at various retailers including the Vancouver Art Gallery gift shop. She also created a line of delicate ceramic jewellery called Faire, also sold in fine Vancouver retailers.
Her work in the arts extended into administration as the manager of a grant disbursement program at ArtStarts in Schools in downtown Vancouver. She balanced this demanding position with her work as the curator of the ArtStarts Gallery, Canada's first gallery dedicated to young people's art.
Other Lukas/Keiko collaborations of note include the multi-generational certified Passive House triplex (designed by Lukas and built by his brother) where they now live with Lukas's mother and brother. And of course, their son Eli.
Risks and challenges
The structural integrity, ergonomics, stability, function, production and assembly of the UpUp Play Tower has been informed by Lukas’ Industrial Design and Architectural training and experience. The design has been developed in collaboration with the manufacturer and optimized for the CNC milling process. The finishing and assembly processes are typical for the industry, and the fulfillment and shipping channels for these types of products are well developed. We do not expect significant issues during manufacturing or delivery.
Third party testing could potentially take longer than estimated and the timeline is largely out of our control. That said, Safety Testing is a well developed industry and the current time estimate is two months.
There is the potential that third party testing could identify the need for further refinement. If needed, an additional round of refinement and retesting could require up to three additional months.
We are committed to making the UpUp Play Tower a reality. We are also committed to honest and transparent communication. In case of a delay or any other unexpected event, our backers will be the first to know about it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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