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Creating Homemade Height Charts for Children
How to make a Jack and the Beanstalk inspired height chart with your kids
With the school holidays approaching, mums and dads are always on the lookout for fun things to do with their children to keep them occupied. This Jack and the Beanstalk inspired height chart is easy and fun to make, and you can include children of all ages. Most of the 'ingredients' can be found easily in any home with children, and it doesn't require a great amount of effort. But best of all it is a great idea to help teach your child about growing in a fun and interactive way.
Step by Step Guide
You will need:
A sheet of paper - I used a roll of wallpaper lining paper and cut a sheet measuring 4'6" long by just over 1' wide.
Pots for paint or plastic cups
Scraps of paper
Black felt-tip pen or marker pen
Something to weigh down the ends of your paper
Old clothes or aprons and something to protect your floor/table
Cut your sheet of paper to the size you will require, mine was approximately 4'6" long by 1' wide
Lay it on your (protected) floor or work surface, and weigh down the ends to prevent it from rolling up
Roughly paint some grass with a dry brush dipped in green paint - using a dry brush gives the grass more definition
Mix a little water into your green paint and mix with your paint brush. Now begin to paint the beanstalk. It is best with a brush about 1/2" thick, paint in alternating curvy lines (like forward and backward facing 'C's interlocking). This gives a winding effect to your beanstalk. Leave to dry.
While the beanstalk drys, paint some leaf outlines on some scrap paper - leave to dry.
Using blue paint and a thin paint brush, paint the outline of a cloud in the sky.
Then using a clean wet paint brush, paint over the cloud outwards in horizontal strokes to give the appearance of sky surrounding your cloud. Leave to dry.
Using a bright colour, paint fingerprint some flowers in the grass
If your cloud and sky are dry, paint a yellow sun peeping out from behind the cloud
Lighten the paint in your watery green paint cup just a little by adding some white or yellow. Mix, and use to fill in your leaves. Leave to dry.
Using scraps of paper, create a giant's fairy tale castle. Mine was created by using a square and two rectangles of paper. The two rectangles were cut to a point at one end and stuck so that they peeked out from behind the square - like turrets on a castle. A few details were drawn on, doors windows etc, and green paint was stippled on to look like climbing ivy. Stick your castle to the top of your beanstalk
Outline the beanstalk with marker pen.
Cut out your dry leaves and glue them to the beanstalk
Measure the skirting board of the wall on which you plan to hang the chart, remember the measurement as you need to bear this in mind when writing the measurements on your chart (unless you intend to hand the chart flush with the floor).
Lay your measuring tape next to your chart, adding the length of your skirting board to the bottom. So in my case the bottom of the chart starts at 7cm. I then marked the chart at 1 foot and half foot intervals.
Our height chart in picturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to individualize your chart
Fun alternatives and ways to get your children involved (depending on their age)
You can get your child to draw the giant's castle.
I have drawn around my son's feet, cut out the shape, painted it and used them as height markers - this looks like the child is climbing the beanstalk as they get taller, plus you have the added bonus of charting the growth of their feet as well.
Instead of drawing leaves your child could hand print in different colours onto the beanstalk to give the impression of leaves - or they could hand print onto scraps, cut them out and glue them on.
They could finger print flowers climbing up the beanstalk.
You could stick small photos of your child onto the beanstalk to chart their height - so they can say 'this is what I looked like when I was this tall...'
Try cutting out a photo of your child's face, and gluing it onto a hand drawn miniature Jack looking up at the tall beanstalk.
Get your child to paint their name along the side, or give them magazine scraps to create a collage in the shape of their name.
Instead of a beanstalk you could try painting something different: for e.g. a giraffe and you could add spots to chart your child's growth.
Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.— Fred Rogers