My daughter, now two, is as curious as any two year old and any time that my wife or I are in the kitchen she must be able to see what is going on and of course she is not tall enough yet to see over the counter top. So, this is what I came up with; the top of the stool comes up to the counters height and is wide enough for two kids to stand on at the same time (anticipating the fighting).
A single sheet of ¾” plywood is all that is needed; I choose birch because I plan to paint the project.
The steps are glued into dados on the side; the smaller step is in a stopped dado. I cut both using the router and an “exact width” dado jig. You can find the details of the Jig here Woodsmith Plans - Adjustable Dado Jig. There is a cross beam that runs under each step pocket screwed to the side for weight support.
The trickiest part of the whole stool was the hand holes on either side; these where done by first creating a template out of ¼” MDF with a jig saw then rough cutting with the jig saw on each side and using a flush trim bit along with the template to clean it up.
Finally, all of the plywood edges are left exposed and have a round over treatment and then sanded smooth, these will be painted with the project as well.
If there is any interest in the plans I have a set of SketchUp plans that I created initially. I deviated from them a bit, but I would be happy to clean them up and post them.