Sunday, June 15, 2014

Two-Dimensional Adventures

Have you ever wished you could mail yourself somewhere?  I've often thought that vacations would be less work and more relaxing if I could just ship our family via UPS.  
Alas, it's illegal to ship actual humans, but I've found the next best thing!

This post has been about a year in the making.  Not because it's just that awesome or anything, but because I couldn't figure out the best medium in which to present the information.  
And because this past year has been crazy with a capital "C". 

But it hasn't been crazy just for our family, it's been exciting for Mike's whole family.  Since last July, 2 of Mike's brothers have gotten married and 3 baby cousins have been born (including Teddy). 

I've been intrigued with the idea of sending the kids on a "Flat Stanley"- style adventure, ever since seeing this post.  Well, last summer, I finally got my act together and did it. 

You see, my husband's younger brother was getting married in the Phillippines, and we were not able to attend.  I thought it was a fantastic opportunity to teach my little Ugly Americans (and myself) about other parts of the world, but how to go about it when the pupils in question are 5 and 3? 

That's where the 2-D versions of the kiddos come in.

See, at this age, they're very concrete thinkers.  
They also think the world revolves around them. 

So, if I want to get them to look at and be interested in pictures of people and places on the other side of the world, I have to put my little peeps IN the pictures, too. 

And it worked!  

Is there somewhere you'd like to go this summer, but can't actually get there?
Do you have relatives far away that you aren't able to visit?

Send yourself or your kids in the mail.

Here's what I did:

1.  Take a variety of full-length pictures of the subjects in question.

I took a variety of poses, and ultimately chose one silly and one serious.

2.  Blow up your image to your desired size.
I just wanted my kids to be the size of a regular piece of printer paper, so I printed them on a full page.

3.  Laminate the images.
Laminate before you cut, so you're not cutting twice.

4.  Cut closely around just the bodies of your "Stanley"s.

5.  Stick those suckers in an envelope and mail them to an unsuspecting (or suspecting) relative or other such good sport. 

6.  Watch from the comfort of your own home as the aforementioned relatives gallavant across the globe, taking your "kids" along on their adventures. 

We sent our Stanleys to Sarah and Will's Papa and Nana, and they took the idea and ran with it.  I really didn't expect them to have so much fun with these little figurines, but they went way above and beyond all of my expectations.  It was such fun seeing what adventures Flat Sarah and Will 2-D were having as the posts came up on Facebook or email.  In fact, they took so many cool pictures, it was a challenge  to compile them in such a way that was accessible to kids and adults alike. 

In the end, I used my current favorite teaching medium: PowerPoint. 
I set the slides to one of the kids' current favorite songs, and voila!

They've watched that thing over and over again, and giggle at the antics of their alter egos. 

My plan was to post the PowerPoint presentation on the blog to share with you, but Blogger wouldn't let me.

So, I made a YouTube video (see below).  The music is different, but the spirit is still the same.  

Come follow along as Nana and Papa Brown take Flat Sarah and Will 2-D across the globe!  
Our journey starts in the airport, heading to Hawaii for a few days of touring Pearl Harbor,
 relaxing on the beach, and enjoying the aloha life.  
From Hawaii, the g-parents head out to Manila, where they meet up with the bride's family and the rest of the brothers (Mike has 4, in case there's someone NOT related to us reading this blog). 
 After the wedding,
the newlyweds took the Yanks on a tour of Manila, including a cruise to some of the islands.    
Then, it was back to the States and a little more aloha before touching down in Miami once again.

My in-laws said they had a blast with this, taking on the challenge with their typical joie de vivre.
 Mike thought it'd be kind of a pain for them.  I figured we'd get a picture or two. 

In the end, I managed to snag about 50 of the shots that they sent via email or Facebook. 
So, here they are.  Enjoy!

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