The story Flat Stanley, by Jeff Brown, is beloved by millions of children. In it, Stanley, a perfectly normal boy in most respects, meets with an unfortunate accident which renders him, well…flat. Life in the flat lane is not without its adventures, and one of Stanley’s most daring is his trip via postal service across the country to visit a friend.
Taking this trip as our inspiration, we decided to send a Stanley of our own off on an adventure. As it happens, the book has a cutout of Stanley for just such a journey, but you could draw your own character as well. We packed Stanley in an envelope with a book of stamps and a letter explaining our purpose. We asked each recipient to do two things: to send us a letter or postcard telling us where Stanley was and what he was up to, and to send Stanley, along with his letter of introduction and book of stamps on to another friend. When the book of stamps was running out, we asked the recipient to mail Stanley home.
We then packed Stanley off to a friend’s address and awaited the updates. Once they began arriving, we had so much fun reading about his adventures and mapping his journey. It was so exciting to receive updates from people we’d never even met! This activity gave us a sneak peek into the geography and social culture of places all around the globe.
What’s great about this activity is that once Stanley has been home awhile, he’s always game for another adventure…and no two are ever the same!