They're at it again. That growing thing they do so well. For awhile now I've wanted to track the growth of our boys, and in a way that we could take with us to a new house (way too sentimental to leave marks in a doorway behind). So I created a pair of growth charts for each child. Perfect opportunity to use my scrapbooking papers and have them out where I can see them!
On top of the chart I made an envelope with my son's name on it. Inside I put paper-pieced things that represent what each boy is into right now (yes, that is a Tinkerbell in our four-year-old Jackson's envelope - we're just going with it!)
The back of each "favorite" has their name, age, and reason why we've included it. We'll keep adding things throughout the years as they grow older. The boys love looking at (and playing with) their favorites, and in the future it will be a nice time-capsule of what they liked.
The chart itself is made up of 6" segments. I got a 10 foot coated measuring tape from Wal-Mart ($2) and used that to connect all the segments. I tried leaving about 1/16th of an inch in between segments so later it would fold up.
When they're all grown I plan to fold the charts up into a mini album (no extra work for me!) and give it to them. Maybe I'll adhere a 4x6 photo to the back of each section for their particular stage.
For each birthday I have their age pointing to the measurement with a red vellum arrow. This makes it easy to see at-a-glance which years had the biggest growth. It's also a quick comparison to see who is taller at each age. Interestingly, the younger brother (brown labels) is taller. Never would have known that without the charts.
Can't forget their actual birth day! I give that a "0" label.
To make the charts easy to maintain, I pre-made the remaining years (through 18 years old) and arrows. These are all stored in their own envelope mounted at the top of the chart. This means I have no excuse not to keep up on this one! I tried it out this morning by updating Jackson's 4 year mark and it took all of 2 minutes to tape on (maybe 3 minutes since I had to cut the "4" in half where it crossed the segments). Easy, and done.
I love having this in their bedroom where it's easy to keep up. Being visible is key. Initially I planned on keeping this on the end of our wall in the kitchen and family room. That spot was a little TOO visible though, and kept getting knocked around. Hanging in their reading nook in the bedroom is a much less trafficed area, yet still somewhere that we won't forget about it.
Since I only recently started this project, there were quite a few years that I didn't have measurements written down. Luckily our pediatrician's office didn't mind helping out and they kindly read me all the measurements I was missing.
I love having a workable, easy to maintain plan for recording their growth, and also knowing that it will quickly convert to a mini album for them to keep when they are grown up.