I went ahead and made the yardstick "stems" ahead of time for when we were ready to integrate crafts into our schedule.
When we finally got the kids into a semi-normal routine, we had craft time and gave each child a paper plate and paint brush. We let them paint the entire plate yellow and when they were done, they put a big brown circle in the middle to represent a sunflower. The craft went over really well. We had a couple kids who didn't want to stop painting, so we gave them extra paper plates to paint for their masterpieces!
After the kids left, I went to work putting the sunflowers on the wall and incorporated a fence and added clouds that said "Watch Me Grow". I think they turned out adorable and was so excited when the kids got to see what became of their sunflowers.
This also tied into the other side of our wall, which has a huge tree that we use for explaining the seasons. So now, our entire wall is a beautiful mural! So colorful and inviting for the kids to see every day.
Now here's my plan. We are going to take the kids pictures and cut their faces out in a circle to put in the middle of the sunflower. In October/November, we'll take the sunflower paper plates down and put up indian corn that the kids will make (with bubble wrap!) and put pumpkins (also a craft) along the fence. For the winter, I am still thinking of ideas, but for now, I am envisioning somehow making pine trees out of the stems. We can put "snow" on them and the fence when it gets really cold and actually starts snowing. Come spring, we'll have the kids make beautiful spring flowers and maybe have their picture on them again. At the end of the year, their "stem" will go into their journals (with their measurements) and their pictures. The parents can see how much they've grown since the beginning of school to the end of the school year. That's my favorite part working in the 2-yr. old room. The transformation from the beginning of the year (lots of crying, separation anxiety) to the end of the year (happy, confident, knowledgeable- they learn so much!!!) children. Its incredibly amazing to see. And what makes it all worth it, as we start this new year with some sad faces, is watching our now 3-yr. olds passing our room to go into the 3's room, while waving to us with happy faces and stopping to give us hugs. Priceless.