A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Flat Stanley is an interesting adaptation of the paper game in which a paper doll is sent around the world, and all the recipients send photos of themselves with the doll back to the original sender. The aim is to expose kids to different places and cultures and cultivate a "flatter" world. In this digital version, users can choose among diverse dolls or create their own, then take pictures with the doll superimposed so it appears in the photo. Pictures can be shared with other users or via social media. Users can see view, like, and comment on each other's photos and their locations. Inappropriate photos can be flagged and are removed. The developers are committed to making the app safe and educational, but kids will need active participation from parents to manage privacy settings. Parents should look for guidance on how to do this in the "about" section of the profile.
What's it about?
Flat Stanley is a digital version of the game in which a paper doll is sent around the world, and all the recipients write letters and send photos of themselves with the doll back to the original sender. As with the game and the original book, the aim is to expose kids to different places and cultures and cultivate a "flatter" world. Kids can choose among diverse dolls or create their own, then take a photo with the doll superimposed onto the photo. Pictures can be shared with other users or via social media.
Is it any good?
The FLAT STANLEY model of exposing kids to different cultures and places around the world is fantastic, and this app really does bring the world to your fingertips. The ability to design your own Stanley and then incorporate him into your photos leaves lots of room for creativity.
The user-submitted content and privacy issues can be worrying, but the developer seems committed to keeping the app educational and fun, with a "specially trained crew that approves all content shared with the Flatter World users." Just be sure to delve into the app's settings a bit. Safe travels!
Talk to your kids about ...
When kids learn about a new place in the news or at school, help your child find Stanleys in that place to learn more about it.
Help kids identify friends and family with whom they can share their digital Stanleys to spark conversations about living and traveling in different places.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Social Studies: cultural understanding, global awareness
- Skills: Communication: conveying messages effectively, multiple forms of expression
Creativity: making new creations
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: July 23, 2012
- Category: Education
- Size: 15.30 MB
- Publisher: Flatter World, Inc.
- Version: 2.2.3
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.0 or later
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love learning about the world
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.