Works For Me: Growth Chart

WfmwheaderWhen I was a girl, my parents regularly charted my growth by marking my height on my closet door facing.  It’s a lovely idea, of course, with one big hitch–when my parents moved out of my childhood home a few years ago, my mom was devastated to leave those measurements behind.  That prompted me to come up with a more permanent solution for our family.

Growthchart2I bought a long piece of lightweight lumber at Home Depot (about 2 inches wide, and six feet tall–it looks and feels like a very tall yardstick), and divided it into three long columns on the front, using a Sharpie marker.  Each boy has his own column, and we mark his height that way.  When Corrie entered the picture, we began marking her height on the back (you could easily mark up to six or eight kids on one stick this way).  It’s portable, stored away in a closet and pulled out every few months.  Best of all, I will be able to keep it always, mounting it to the wall in my nursing home someday, when I am old and gray and need to be reminded of the fast-growing little monkeys that lived in my house all these years.

Here’s a full-length shot of our growth chart (the mystery stains on the carpet are included simply for your viewing pleasure).  You can see where the boys’ names are written at the bottom of each column:


This has been such a fun thing to have–very cheap, and a real treasure. 

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47 thoughts on “Works For Me: Growth Chart

  1. Overwhelmed! says:

    You know, I’ve been meaning to figure out a way to do a growth chart without having to leave it behind if we ever sell our house. Now I have my answer!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Mandy says:

    Oh, I wish I’d seen this idea before my girls were as tall as they are now! (One of them is literally up to my eyeballs already.)
    Thanks for the tip — it’s still not too late! I’m going to try it. I can always go retroactive and put in their old heights as I’ve recorded them elsewhere. When I’m in that nursing home, chances are I won’t remember I cheated anyway!

  3. painted maypole says:

    darn it – my first carnival and I messed it up. maybe you can fix it? After my name i should have put = (thank you letters). I TRIED to follow the directions. sigh. I’m new to this, I guess i was just so overjoyed that I figured out how to link to you in my blog, that I messed this up!

  4. Smockity Frocks says:

    Great idea! We do the old door jam marking, but I will hate to leave that if we ever move. Plus, the names are overlapping in some areas. I like the columns you made. Brilliant!

  5. Dawn says:

    I want to do a growth chart for my kids, too, but I would have to do it retroactively. Having a portable growth chart is a great idea. When we moved into our house 14 years ago the prior owners showed up as we were moving in because they wanted to take a picture of the back of the kitchen door where they had a growth chart for their kids. Maybe I should track them down and ask them if they want the door, because it is still there. I guess we should paint the kitchen one of these years.

  6. Christine says:

    That is a GREAT idea! People don’t usually stay in the same house their whole lives like when we were kids. For just that reason I never really started the whole growth chart thing, I really regret that now. I guess I could start now though with this great idea, never too late! The kids are still relatively young, 10, 8, 5, and 2 – so at least the two year old will know she was loved 😉 (j/k)

  7. Laura says:

    My MIL did this for my son when he was born. His nursery was transportation themed, so she painted the front side with a tree and a hot air balloon and dragons and fairies and dragonflies. Yes. Transportation.
    Anyway, we still use it and love it. We just keep it in the closet 🙂

  8. Jenny says:

    We have a similar stick for my son only it is about an inch wide or so. Maybe we’ll have to adopt the wider stick now that we have multiple children! 🙂

  9. Jeannette says:

    I suggest taking a picture with a treasured item. For example Grandmas rocker. Take a picture of the new born babe in the rocker every few months. And later on as the child grows. Other nifty items could be a stuffed animal or a rocking horse. Anything that will survive over the years.
    It is wonderful to go back and see the different pictures.

  10. floorplan says:

    Extreme Boredom Summer Project:
    I’m a week late with this! But I use the dog days of summer as inspiration to get a head start on Christmas.
    What we do:
    1. Go down into the cool basement.
    2. Try out the Christmas lights (either already in storage or gleaned from summer yard sales).
    3. Write Post-it notes listing lights, etc. to purchase and stick them on the October calendar page.
    4. Wash (outside, with hose and lots of soap and big sponges) and sun-dry the gi-normous plastic light up sculptures that grace our lawn over the Christmas season. It’s for the kids, ladies ; )
    5. Put last years’ received Christmas cards, photos and letters in a big bowl for the table and enjoy going through with the kids.
    5. Take Christmas card mailing list to the pool for updating while you watch the kids splash.
    And anything else you can think of!

  11. Heather says:

    What a great idea! I wish I had thought of that before now. I’ll have to begin one. We have moved so many times since my first was born. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  12. Toni says:

    That’s excellent. I have a cheap paper chart (from Kellog’s cereal, I think) which has been great for portability but not so great for durability. I’m going to get one of these for my nursing home too. 🙂

  13. Girl Gone Wild says:

    I grew up with my grandparents doing that on the door jam going in to their garage. While we lived overseas, my folks would measure us and send it to them and they’d put on the door jam as if we’d been there. It’s fun to see now that I have my own kids and compare sizes.

  14. Ellen B. says:

    Growth charts are so much fun to revisit. Smart idea and you can take it with you if you move…
    Like the change up in your colors…

  15. Lynnae says:

    That is a really great idea! I love how you can take the growth chart with you when you move! And it’s not as flimsy as a paper chart.

  16. Maggie says:

    We too, use a 1×4. I glues a dress makers measuring tape to it and sponge painted some stars on our. Happily it will come with us when we move.

  17. Tracy says:

    I love this idea! We use it too…I wish that we had started years earlier, and with such a large family, we’re now on our 2nd strip on the wall…we all love to look at how everyone has grown each year.

  18. Ann Kroeker says:

    I *love* this idea. It’s cheap, transportable, and in a way, if it travels with the family, more permanent than the old door-jamb method. Brilliant!

  19. Amanda says:

    We have at least two families at church who have done something similar. They attatched a dress maker’s measuring tape to the wood and keep it hung up on one of those long, narrow bits of wall between doors. Then they just note the person’s name and age next to where they measure up on the tape. They often measure up guests and anyone else who wants to have their height recorded for posterity. It’s fun to compare the height of all of us friends at different years.

  20. Andrea says:

    We have a store-bought wooden growth chart for our handyman-challenged family. But it works just as well! I measure my kids twice a year – once on their birthday, and then 6 months later. They love to compete with each other to see who’s growing the fastest…so far our son is winning!

  21. ABC says:

    I love this idea! Since we’ll be moving a lot while my children are growing up, it will really help. Thanks!

  22. jen says:

    I will have to do this. I’m still heartbroken that the painters PAINTED OVER MY HEIGHT CHART on the inside of the basement door last summer, after I asked them NOT to!

  23. oh amanda says:

    I love this idea. I just bought a wooden growth chart for my daughter–its basically just a piece of wood 1.5feet by 2 inches and then a big tree painted on it! Love it!

  24. Randall says:

    Too cute… my mom has my height marked on the wall in the closet underneath the stairs in the house I grew up in. I think if she ever moved the dry wall would go with her!

  25. Melinda says:

    We did the door jam thing growing up, too. BUT, when my mom and dad moved, they took the door jam with them! 😀 (Of course, it helped the house was bulldozed later, but still…)

  26. Gego says:

    We had a giraffe. Not sure where it is today, lots of moving. The kids felt so wonderful wiyh all the progress. Fantastic idea, Shannon

  27. Becca says:

    Shannon, we have the same piece of lumber, divided the same way!! We’ve got three on the front now and room to put three on the back and one on each side (should the need arise)! How cool is that!?

  28. Amanda says:

    At our old place, the previous owner had marked their children’s heights on the back of a cupboard door. I felt so sorry for them that they’d had to leave those memories behind! Your lumber is such a great idea: before now I’d been hesitant to do this myself (in fear of leaving those memories behind) but now I may give it a try!

  29. Lori says:

    This is such a fun idea – I have loved reading you growth chart idea and the other wonderful ideas from the blogs posted.

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