Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not Yo Mama's Way of Keeping Track of Kids' Growth

I think many of us grew up with our parents keeping track of our height measurements on the door jamb, but what happens when you move? You can't take the door jamb with you, now can you?

Well, this is the perfect solution. Buy a five foot or so length of door moulding or a piece of wood resembling a yard stick (Peanut Head tells me the correct term is lathe, so whatever) and make your own portable height chart. Well, portable in the sense that you don't have to disassemble a door jamb when you move, but not really portable.

Honestly, you wouldn't even have to secure these to a door jamb or a wall if you didn't want to. You could just tuck them away in a closet and pull them out when you wanted to update them. I didn't want to give my kids another opportunity to poke each other's eyes out though, so mine are anchored to the door jamb.

For my height sticks, Peanut Head picked up the wood lengths at The Home Depot, then I painted them white and affixed my measurements to it. I used Handy Tape, which is a self-adhesive measuring tape, for my measurements. When I bought it online I wasn't able to tell if it just had repeating one-foot sections or a continuous measurement, so I just took a chance and ordered it.

Unfortunately, the Handy Tape is marked off in 12-inch segments and it keeps repeating without keeping a continuous inch measurement. In other words, if your child is 2' 1" tall you wouldn't see 25 inches in addition to the 2'1" measurement, but would, instead see two 12 inch sections and 1 inch into the next. It's just a little more work to read the height. Also, it took a lot longer for me to assemble it this way because I had to cut apart each 12" section, measure, affix, and measure again. It leaves a whole lot more room for mistakes and I don't need any more room for mistakes in my life. I also added sticker numbers at each foot increment.

Instead of the Handy Tape, I recommend just buying a cheap cloth measuring tape at the sewing store for each stick and gluing it down.

Either way, after adding your measurements, you need to put a couple clear acrylic top coats over the whole thing to protect it and, hopefully, keep your kids from picking the tape off.

One more point to note, I started my sticks at 1 foot so we had to take that into consideration when mounting them. You would need to plan that out ahead of time, and if you used the tape measure, you would have to cut off the first twelve inches, or whatever measurement you decide to start at.

There you have it, height sticks that you can take with you when you move. Aren't you glad I made the mistakes for you so you can do it right the first time?


  1. What a great idea! We plan on dying in this house but for people who do move around, they don't loose that great history!!

  2. Love this!!!

    When we were selling our house we had to paint over the tiny marks we had in my son's room. I love that you shared this. Never will we have to do that again. I am on my way to Home Depot tomorrow!