Imagine a child mailing himself to relatives to get away for the summer. Oh the adventures he would have and mischief he might cause! If you have ever read the 1964 children’s book Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown, you know that in the story a little boy does just that.
For years, children and adults have embraced the Flat Stanley idea and created their own paper cut-outs to take along on vacation. Whether you want to create a Flat Stanley for your own children or suggest a fun project for your students this summer, here are some tips for making Flat Stanley come alive.
How to Make A Flat Stanley Summer Project
1. Who Is Flat Stanley?
Start by reading the book Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. It will explain a lot and get your children excited about the idea. It’s a quick read and one that children from two to teen will enjoy.
2. Make Your Own
Cut-out a figure to decorate as your own Flat Stanley. It can be made from any type of paper, but for a more durable piece, use heavy card stock. You might also want to laminate him or her with a professional laminating machine or clear contact paper. Your Flat Stanley is going to see the world this summer, so make sure he’s durable enough to withstand the elements!
3. And We Shall Call Him…
Give your flat person a name. You can name it anything you want – from serious to silly, there’s no wrong name for your flat person. You might even want to write his or her name on the cut-out just to make sure no one forgets who he is.
4. Say Cheese!
Take your person wherever you go and snap a picture of him/her. Going to the grocery store? Take Flat Stanley along and take a picture of him in the produce aisle. Headed to Disney World? Bring Flat Stanley with you. Wherever you go, so should he. You don’t have to be in the picture with your person, but it’s okay if you are. Do not forget to take pictures; it’s the most important part of the process (and so much fun!)!
5. This Summer We…
Create a scrapbook – either digitally or by printing out the photos – highlighting your flat person’s summer adventures. You can use a social media photo site like Flickr or a personal photo album in iTunes. Or, you can go old school and have your pictures printed and created a paper scrapbook of your summertime fun.
By the end of the summer you will have a fun and memorable collection of pictures. If you homeschool, use the digital scrapbook as part of your yearly portfolio. Classroom teachers can create a special Flat Stanley picture group on Flickr.com where former and current students can upload pictures of their own Flat Stanley-inspired summers. You might even want to have a “Can You Guess Where Stanley Is This Week?” contest to keep your students connected. Whatever you decide to do, have fun with your flat person!