Here are our 10 Best Ways to Entertain Flat Stanley in Style
1. Take extraORDINARY Pictures
In the age of the “selfie” and the “photobomb,” when you have Flat Stanley around, even the “ordinary” becomes “extraordinary.” Take pictures of him helping the kids make their favourite recipe, participating in the drop-off at school, spending a day in class, figuring out the toughest parts of the homework, walking the dog, hanging out in the neighbourhood with the locals, or settling into bed with the rest of the gang. [We ended up getting some great shots of Stanley when our streetcar operator let him “drive” the car and when our local Tim Horton’s delivery driver let Stanley help unload the coffee cups!]
2. Play Tourist in Your Own City
Stanley provides the perfect opportunity to try something in the city you’ve never tried before. Take Stanley to one extraordinary place you’ve never been before or renew that gallery membership you’ve been putting off! Bring him to the local haunts or “tourist traps” you tend to avoid because they are crowded or “tacky” and take funny pictures with him. [We had a great time revisiting the dinosaurs at the Royal Ontario Museum. And, we got a great shot of our visiting Stanley “wearing” Toronto City Hall as a hat.]
3. Stay in Touch with Stanley’s Owner or Buddy
From an “Arrived Safely” notice to a “Having my Farewell Dinner!” announcement, why not have “Stanley” send postcards or emails to the child who sent him to you or to the child’s class? [We sent a couple of postcards with cool stamps! Who doesn’t love getting actual mail?]
4. Send Souvenirs to Stanley’s Owner or Buddy
Send Stanley’s owner a couple of special trinkets from your city straight to his or her house. Say Stanley picked them out. A small bit of candy, a memento from a museum, a special keychain, or an activity book about your city all work wonders here. [We sent our selection of maple candies, dinosaur erasers, some Canada stickers, pins, patches, and a Canada activity book.]
5. Send Mementos to Stanley’s Class
When you return Stanley in the mail, send Stanley’s class some cheap and cheerful souvenirs of your city. Pencils, patches, stickers and tattoos are all great, cost-effective ideas. A map of the country, city, or local transit system also makes a great study tool. You can find free maps at tourist kiosks, transit systems, and car-rental agencies, or you can download one and print it out yourself. You can also just google your city’s name and “colouring pages” and print some out or send the teacher a link so that he or she can do the same.
6. Dress Stanley Up for the Return Trip [By Making Him a Tourist T-Shirt]
Make Stanley a “Paper-Doll” style outfit that reflects your city or culture. First, in pencil, trace Stanley “face up” on a piece of plain or paper. Then, have the kids use this outline as a base on which to “draw” an outfit that will fit Stanley’s physique. Draw “tabs” along the edges of this outfit that can be bent around the back of Stanley’s body. Cut the outfit out, making sure to include the tabs, fitting it to Stanley’s body, and trimming the paper where need be. Erase extraneous pencil marks and decorate the outfit with markers. Dress Stanley in the outfit before you send him back to his owner or class. [Although we were tempted to make a Mountie outfit, our Stanley got a basic Canada T-shirt.]
7. Include a Photo Album or Scrapbook
Send back a few photos or make a photo album with captions or notes about Stanley’s trip. [At the dollar store, we found a Canada souvenir photo wallet with cardboard covers and 12 additional slots for pictures. We used some photo editing software to print captions right on our photos, and then we printed these out and inserted them into the plastic photo wallet. We also mounted a pic of Stanley on the front cover to personalize the album.]
8. Make Stanley’s Top Ten List[s] for Your City
Write a Diary entry or Make a Page of Highlights of Stanley’s “Top Ten” things to see and do in your city. Feel free to include “things Stanley wants to try next time” as a part of this list.
9. Create and Post a YouTube Video of Flat Stanley’s Trip
Make a Video with your Digital Photos, add Captions, and a Soundtrack of upbeat, kid-friendly music, and post it on Youtube. Send a Public or Private Link to Stanley’s Owner’s Parents or to His Class so that they can watch it together. [We used iMovie to create ours. See our video just below #10 or try this link!]
10. Follow Up with Stanley
Send Stanley something he forgot at your place, or mail him a thank you card for the visit. Invite him back, and tell him to bring his owner, his family, or his whole class along! Or, next time you go on a trip, send Stanley and his friends a “wish you were here” post-card of your own.