A few months ago, our family friend Christine, who lives in Southern California, asked me if I’d be willing to host a young friend in Chicago named Flat Stanley. Before Christine asked me to do this, I had no idea who or what Flat Stanley is.
Christine’s young daughter, Naomi, is in third grade in Southern California. Naomi sent me her Flat Stanlina to Chicago.
Flat Stanley is a project helps young people learn about the world. The story goes that a kid named Stanley was flattened by a falling bulletin board. Don’t worry, he wasn’t hurt! He’s able to do something very cool now as a result. He can visit all the places of the world very easily. His parents place Flat Stanley in an envelope, carefully addressed and with proper postage to friends across the world. He records his adventures in a small journal.
Kids draw a paper doll of Flat Stanlina (or Stanley) that looks like her or him, and, with her parents’ and teacher’s help, mail the doll to friends or family across the country or even to different countries. The friends or family hosting Flat Stanley show her around their town or city and help Flat Stanlina fill out a journal about the activities they do and things they learned. After the visit, the host sends Flat Stanlina and her journal back to the kids filled with stories and adventures.
This project helps kids learn about geography, food, culture, history and so much more.
I hope you enjoy this short series as much as I did making it, and share what other fun places you would suggest for kids in and around Chicago. Thanks to Naomi and Christine for thinking of me.
If you liked reading this, you might also like
- What is Chicago Street Art
- Puppet Bike, Chicago’s one and only!
- Chicago History Museum with Flat Stanlina
- Chicago’s Holiday Train
- Chicago’s Christkindlmarket
- Bundle up for the Cold Chicago Chill!