Recently, a reader contacted me and told me that her daughter wanted to send me her Flat Stanley. If you don’t know what Flat Stanley is, he’s a character named Stanley Lambchop from a children’s book by Jeff Brown. He was flattened by a bulletin board–which is how he comes to be called Flat Stanley. He wanted to go on a trip, so his family folded him up and mailed him to California. There’s actually a whole series of books about the flat boy. The first one was published in 1964. Dale Hubert, a teacher in Canada, created the Flat Stanley Project, based on the book, in 1995, and it spread like wildfire to every elementary school on the planet. If you have had a small child in school since the mid 90s, you have probably taken part in the Flat Stanley Project. I did, with my kids. In the project, kids mail their Flat Stanleys around to several people, usually friends and family, and collect the stories and pictures from his travels.
*Each child prepares multiple Flat Stanleys for mailing, so please rest assured that no permanent Flat Stanleys were harmed in the making of this post. Just one.
This is Maiya’s Flat Stanley after he arrived at Stringtown Rising Farm. He came all the way from Michigan.
I asked Flat Stanley what he wanted to do.
Flat Stanley said he would like to try everything. He wanted a job, a real job on the farm!
I asked him if he wanted to put more wood on the fire.
Flat Stanley: “I might catch fire!”
I asked him if he wanted to try out the cheese press.
Flat Stanley: “I’m ALREADY flat!”
I asked him if he wanted to shovel out the chicken house.
Flat Stanley: “I can’t lift the shovel!”
I asked him if he wanted to take a ride on Poky.
Flat Stanley: “I’m scared!”
I asked him if he wanted to work with Glory Bee.
Flat Stanley: “She’s too big!”
I asked him if he wanted to give Clover a cookie.
Flat Stanley: “She’s going to eat ME!”
I asked him if he wanted to walk out in the mud and milk Beulah Petunia.
Flat Stanley: “I might get wet and fall apart!”
Then Flat Stanley started to cry because he couldn’t do anything on the farm. He was useless. He might as well go back to his envelope.
I wanted to make him feel better, so I said, “Flat Stanley, would you like to go see the baby goats?” He didn’t have to do anything. He could just watch them. I told him we had one goat that escaped all the time and we didn’t know how, but they were all in the goat house today because it was raining, so he could see them all! Flat Stanley didn’t think that sounded like much of a job, but it cheered him up a little bit to see the babies.
“I really wanted to do a job,” Flat Stanley said. He was still sad.
I went to do my farm work while Flat Stanley watched the goats. He watched and–
Then he came running and said, “Farmer! Farmer! I know how the goat is getting out, Farmer! She ate off the latch on the top half of the gate and she is jumping out!”
He was right!
And I said, “Flat Stanley, you did a job, after all! You’re a goat detective!”
Flat Stanley was so proud, he almost burst the Crayola off his shirt.
Then I let him watch TV and eat goat cookies.
And take a nap with Casper.
Then it was time to fold himself up and go home.
And he was only a little the worse for wear after his day on the farm.
Flat Stanley: “That’s okay. I can be ironed!”
Do you think Maiya will be a little envied my her classmates? How nice are you for taking the time from your busy farm schedule to think up and photograph such a wild and zany story? Looks like maybe the animals enjoyed the adventure too. :moo: :happypuppy: :snoopy: :cowsleep: :chicken: :sheep: :woof: :duck:
On March 11, 2011 at 1:57 am
Karen B says:
I love the story! If I send you a flat greatgrannie will you let her visit you, your family and animals and farm? She would have such wonderful tales to tell me when she returned home!
On March 11, 2011 at 2:56 am
Nancy in Iowa says:
Move over, Jeff Brown! Amazing story, Suzanne. And Maiya can see the pictures of everything her Flat Stanley did!!!
On March 11, 2011 at 4:32 am
Great Flat Stanley story 🙂 My nephew sent one to my brother who works at a beer brewing company so it was hard to get pictures without promoting beer. We made it into a video, but I didn’t have audio recording equipment so had to type out all of the educational stuff and make the words show long enough for the youngsters to read them. Video is here: https://vimeo.com/922670
On March 11, 2011 at 4:42 am
Great video Mary!
Suzanne…thank SO very much for doing this! Maiya is going to be over the moon when she gets up and sees this. 😀
On March 11, 2011 at 5:03 am
Vicki in So. CA says:
What a nice thing to do for Maiya. :heart:
She will be so proud to know that her Flat Stanley actually solved the mystery of the escaping goat. And I love that she thought ahead to dress him in overalls for his visit to your farm. Smart girl.
On March 11, 2011 at 5:20 am
That was cute!!! LOL!
On March 11, 2011 at 5:39 am
THat should be a children’s book!
On March 11, 2011 at 6:40 am
A brilliant story! Thanks for brightening my Friday!
On March 11, 2011 at 6:49 am
So, so, sweet. One of the best adventures ever for Flat Stanley.
On March 11, 2011 at 6:50 am
Jan AKA Wammy says:
We love Flat Stanley! Great story. Great farmer clothes on Flat Stanley.
On March 11, 2011 at 7:03 am
Jen in VA says:
That was great! I’ll bet Maiya loves this. That was really sweet of you to take Flat Stanley on such an awesome adventure. You should definitely write a children’s book. I can’t wait to show this to my son after school today. He’s 7 and he loves reading about Ms. Suzanne and all of her animals.
On March 11, 2011 at 7:35 am
What a great story Suzanne! I love Flat Stanley and I never had kids..the great goat house escape caper, solved!
On March 11, 2011 at 7:36 am
One of the best.posts.EVER!!!
Thank you for letting Flat Stanley help on the farm!!
On March 11, 2011 at 7:37 am
From romance novels to children’s books! Excellent. Nicely done.
On March 11, 2011 at 7:37 am
All of my kids had the Flat Stanley project and it is one their favorite memories from 3rd grade – and their grandparents had a lot of fun too [I think my father wanted to commit my mother after the whole shebang because she was so obsessed everytime one showed up. giggle]
Nicely done Suzanne.
On March 11, 2011 at 7:52 am
Ellen McBryde says:
That was A GREAT story! Your little friend her schoolmates will love it!
On March 11, 2011 at 7:54 am
I didn’t know what a flat Stanley was, now I do and love it.
My boys never had a project like this, now I wish they had.
Love the story.
On March 11, 2011 at 7:59 am
Window On The Prairie says:
He reminds me of my cat when he keeps saying he can’t do any of the chores around the farm. My cat has all the excuses too. Her only function around the house is to be cute and soft.
Great post Suzanne. Looks like Flat Stanley had quite the day.
On March 11, 2011 at 8:00 am
Carmen at Old House Kitchen says:
On March 11, 2011 at 8:05 am
This is amazing! When I saw the title of yout post, I knew immediately what it was!
I’m working on a Flat Stanley post for my blog! My nephew in Texas mailed his Flat Stanley to us last month. Watch soon for Flat Stanley news from Virginia!
On March 11, 2011 at 8:07 am
Kris Sherrill says:
Well, where have I been all these years? I have never heard of Flat Stanley. And I have 2 daughters, both grown now. I’ll have to ask them. And 3 grands I will ask. I bet he had a blast at your farm, Suzanne. That really was a great story. I bet that little girl will be thrilled to get him back and read about all he did.
On March 11, 2011 at 8:36 am
So cute! I bet F.S. will have lots to tell little Maiya!
On March 11, 2011 at 8:39 am
On March 11, 2011 at 8:40 am
Jen Gunderson says:
Loved it! I will be showing this to my 2nd grade class this morning – we are also doing Flat Stanley right now! Thanks for sharing!!
On March 11, 2011 at 8:49 am
holstein woman says:
Wonderful story and video. Now I feel like I know a little about Flat Stanley.
On March 11, 2011 at 8:51 am
J Leu says:
My husband and I had a Flat Stanley sent to us from a military base overseas..That was nearly 10 years ago.. This is the first time I have seen one since then..
It was fun for everyone.
On March 11, 2011 at 8:54 am
What fun! We had Flat Stanley visit from a school in California about 10 years ago when my three were elementary age. We made a booklet of the kids and FS: driving the skid loader, jumping on big bales, grooming the horses, – only our FS was life-size…it was so cool! And apparently the California kids were amazed at our rural lifestyle!
On March 11, 2011 at 9:01 am
I wish I was a flat stanley so I could come see your farm. Flat Stanley visited us while we were living in Alaska. He got to sit on the ‘pipeline’, visit a musk oxen ranch, go canoeing and he even saw some moose.
On March 11, 2011 at 9:14 am
I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE THIS!!!! :snoopy: The best post ever!!! I’ve laughed at other great posts, but this one topped it all! Thanks for brightening our morning! :hug:
My SIL and friend went to California last year, and they had a “Flat Leslie” which was a head picture (tacked to the body of a “Flat Stanley”) of our other friend who couldn’t go with them. It was so much fun to see where Flat Leslie went! LOL…
On March 11, 2011 at 9:29 am
Thank you for such a wonderful story. I am sure that Flat Stanley will have so much to tell when he returns to Michigan.
On March 11, 2011 at 9:44 am
Never heard of flat stanley before but now I am enlightened. What a cute story and Flat Stanley will never be the same after having been mauled by goats, cows and mud. He seems to have faired just fine.
On March 11, 2011 at 9:46 am
Uh oh, looks like he needs a little tape too!
On March 11, 2011 at 9:59 am
My daughter’s flat Stanley visited her aunt and uncle in Albuquerque several years ago. He had a great, outdoorsy visit!
On March 11, 2011 at 10:17 am
lilac wolf says:
That was so cute and funny! Thanks
On March 11, 2011 at 10:26 am
My nephew is 13 and I rememeber when he was little and was carting around his Flat Stanley. Too funny.
On March 11, 2011 at 10:34 am
That was the most adorable post! Maiya is one lucky little girl! I loved it Suzanne, thanks for sharing that!
On March 11, 2011 at 10:40 am
Haaaa!!! That was ADORABLE! Maiya will love it!
On March 11, 2011 at 11:09 am
What a great start to my day, Thanks!
On March 11, 2011 at 11:12 am
Ramona Slocum says:
I had not heard of Flat Stanley. Such a great idea. You gave him a wonderful adventure Suzanne. Great post. I loved it.
On March 11, 2011 at 11:13 am
Jennifer B says:
That was awesome!
On March 11, 2011 at 11:21 am
Miss Becky says:
this was so enjoyable! and I’m happy that Flat Stanley discovered how the goat is getting out. good job. and which baby goat is that? he’s adorable and my fave. if one could actually have a favorite because they’re all so cute. great post Suzanne! :yes:
On March 11, 2011 at 11:37 am
Suzanne, that was freekin hilarious!!!!
On March 11, 2011 at 11:38 am
Wonderful story of Flat Stanley’s adventures!
On March 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm
Gen-IL Homesteader says:
Oh, that was great!! I’ve had a rough morning (Son is stationed in Japan! We think he’s okay, but haven’t heard from him yet so it’s been a stressful morning!) I needed a laugh today! Thanks!
On March 11, 2011 at 12:15 pm
What Fun! And, what a scary adventure for F.S. I’m glad he didn’t get eaten.
On March 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm
:snoopy: You are so funny! Thanks for some giggles today!
On March 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm
How sweet that you would humor a little girl and take Flat Stanley around the farm w/you! She’ll treasure his experience and photos for years to come!
On March 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm
We did something like that at a spa/retreat I worked at back in hampton va , stanley got a massage (from me) a pedicure (from our manicurist) and a foot massage (from another body worker) and it was kind of fun and interesting LOL :).
On March 11, 2011 at 1:43 pm
Judy McCormick says:
On March 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm
We did a Flat Stanley project with a friend’s son, but I din’t know the story behind the project. It was nice to hear the story about the project. The Flat Stanley visiting you was lucky to only have a little winkle and torn pants. He was very busy. Our Flat Stanley went to Christmas Parties and visited friends and worked, worked, worked.
On March 11, 2011 at 1:59 pm
LOVE this post! Thanks so much!
On March 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm
That made my day!
On March 11, 2011 at 2:53 pm
I work at the State Department of Education in Charleston. I work for the deputy superintendent. A few months ago Flat Stanley came to visit the then state superintendent, Dr. Steven Paine. Flat Stanley spent the day with Dr. Paine, he even had his picture made sitting on Dr. Paine’s shoulder! It was quite an experience for Flat Stanley.
On March 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm
I’m an Elementary Education major and I just love this. Flat Stanley will definitely be used in my class! Thanks for the story and the inspiration.
On March 11, 2011 at 4:10 pm
I don’t think Maiya’s classmates will be able to top this 🙂
On March 11, 2011 at 4:23 pm
I loved that book when I was a child. I always wanted to go into the mailbox and fly somewhere wonderful!
On March 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm
Linda Goble says:
That is the cutest thing ever what you did for her, you are such a special person Suzanne. :happyflower:
On March 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm
I participated in this last year for a friends daughter. I am happy to say my Stanley traveled the most miles.
On March 11, 2011 at 5:21 pm
Too funny! I needed a good laugh today. We have lots of people who want to help on our farm who are as qualified as Flat Stanley. We’ve had employees who reacted the same way to jobs here on the farm. I really enjoyed reading this. I had seen the original book ages ago and sent one out for a child once.
On March 11, 2011 at 7:58 pm
“Dear Miss Suzanne-
Thank you for doing this, I had fun with it and so did my class. I got to look at the blog at school with my classmates. I enjoyed seeing the goats and Stanley together. I enjoyed the picture of Stanley with the cheese press, and how he says that he is already flat. I also like the picture of him with Glory Bee. I’m glad that he could help solve the mystery of the goat getting out of the pen. Everyone in my class had fun looking at Stanley on the computer. We went into the computer lab and got to see it up close. Thanks again so much for helping me with my project.
On March 11, 2011 at 8:00 pm
Suzanne McMinn says:
Hi, Maiya! I’m glad you liked it. You’re welcome!
On March 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm
Pat in Eastern NC says:
This is a terrific story! I missed Flat Stanley; my children were in high school by the mid 90s. You did a great job for Maiya, and her post was adorable. Your site is my first stop each day, and it’s always a treat!
On March 11, 2011 at 9:23 pm
You not only created a wonderful story for Maiya, you also created a wonderful memory for her too! Loved it!
On March 11, 2011 at 10:17 pm
Patti Jarrett says:
Flat Stanley had quite the stay at the “B&B.” What an adventure you took him on. Great job! You entertained all of us.
On March 11, 2011 at 11:51 pm
Mary Dunton says:
:happybutterfly: I love this post! I’ve never heard of “Flat Stanley”, and think this is such a neat idea. Very nice story, and what a neat project! I bet the kids loved it!! You go girl!! :happyflower:
On March 12, 2011 at 12:27 am
Auburn Meadow Farm says:
Great post. I’m not sure, but I think the grown ups might be having more fun with Flat Stanley than the kids!
On March 12, 2011 at 5:07 am
Suzanne, you should be writing children’s books! Can you squeeze that in with everything else that you do?
On March 12, 2011 at 5:52 am
I remember Flat Stanley!!! Superb story-telling, per usual. You NEVER cease to amaze me, Suzanne 🙂
On March 12, 2011 at 7:47 am
Bev in CA says:
Suzanne, thank you for sharing. Our granddaughter Rose sent him to us some years back. He arrived blank. Since it was winter we colored him in denims, quilted jacket, snow boots, etc. It was fun sharing pictures,the history of our valley (Indians from the past) and what we and others did daily. We were told how much all the kids loved having Flat Stanley come in the mail from so many faraway places. It was so much fun. Thank you, you made me smile.
On March 13, 2011 at 1:48 am
I remember my daughter with her flat Stanley. He went to New York. What a great story Suzanne! 🙂
On March 13, 2011 at 11:43 am
Flat Stanley sure had an excellent adventure! Nice post!
On March 13, 2011 at 7:38 pm
Debbie Fowler says:
I loved reading this! Thanks!
On March 13, 2011 at 9:03 pm