You have probably heard of Flat Stanley and the projects that kids do in school. They fold “themselves” up and send them to someone who will then take them somewhere and send back the project with a photo, story or souvenir. Well, I like to go one more step and create something memorable and special like this Flat Stanley Photo Book.
We consider these Flat Stanley visits to be an opportunity for us to do some fun things as a family. We go to many different places, free or cheap, and take photos at each. We will get some goodies like pressed pennies or stickers and document what all we did. Near the end of the visit, but with shipping time to spare, I create a Flat Stanley Photo Book (I always use Shutterfly) with our photos on each page from all the different adventures we took with Flat Stanley.
Not only do I like to make a hardcover photo book, I like to make it a scrapbooking opportunity for the recipient so it feels like he/she was actually with us. I put “stickers” from Shutterfly on the pages to decorate them but also to show where to put things on the page. My latest, I put flowers where my sister can put flower stickers that I am sending (I have a sticker maker so I will be making my own, but you can buy stickers if you choose.) I have push pin pictures added here and there in the book to show where she can glue the different things we picked up like the pressed pennies or coins, special stickers, etc. This worked out very well with the first one I made for my sister Kara so I am excited to see the end result after my sister Amy puts hers together.
In addition, we like to send back a full, small box with Flat Stanley and some of the things we collected in our travels. Some items will need to be glued on, the stickers stuck on, a small souvenir saved on the side (one for each kiddo so they can both enjoy the visit, not just the Flat Stanley that’s visiting), some sort of small local plant (in this case I sent a piece of cotton from a cotton field and I sent my other sister some cherry blossoms that fell off the trees in D.C.), and more. I also include a sheet telling her what to do with each item we sent–where to glue things in the book, how to show different items in the class (with information about each and where they were found), and which thing she is supposed to share with her sister.
I try to make the Flat Stanley visits as educational as possible by making a point to go to different historical landmarks or seeing local animals and plants or having him/her “learn” things about cars and coupons and whatever else we might do in our everyday lives in our home. The whole point of the project is to make it a journey that kids can take something out of, so I like to give a little more.
You may not be able to do all the fun things we made time to do, but you can make any activities fun and informative! Take a trip to a nearby park, color a picture, have popcorn and movie night, get creative and check out my books for ideas!
Check out the books we sent to each sister: