Turn office printouts into school scratch paper

A recycling reminder from Karen:

My work generates a lot of printouts that are only used for a day, are non-confidential, and are single-sided. When we're done with them, I take the paper to my son's day care and they use it for scribbling, scissor fun, etc.

I grew up with spreadsheet printouts from my Dad's office. He used to cut them into quarters then staple them for notepads.


  1. adrienne says

    My dad, always the tech geek, used to bring home miles of wide, used green bar paper for us to draw on.

    Thank you for joining me on this sentimental journey.

  2. Elizabeth says

    Once you have a piece of 8.5 x 11 paper, printed on one side (or something thereabouts), try making it into a book. I learned how here: http://www.makingbooks.com/hotdog.shtml
    We love these. And if you want to see other geeky parents gape in awe, try having a 2.5 year old say “Let’s write a book, Mama” and you whip out a piece of paper, turn it into a book, dig out a pen and go. An adult friend of mine said “Will you make me one, too, please?”

    Here’s my blog post about it with topic hints: http://www.otoh.org/xwiki/bin/view/Blog/MakingBooks

  3. Robin says

    We had the wide, green bar paper and — are you sitting down — punch cards! Punch cards were less satisfying for coloring and drawing (small, full of holes) but good for imaginative games …

  4. landismom says

    I bring home reams of paper from my job, as we do not have paper recycling in the office. I’m definitely going to check out that book-making trick!

  5. adrienne says


    We had a few punch cards too, but never found them as interesting as the vast field of green bar. I wish we’d thought of games for them.

  6. Atlanta Jill says

    Not as good though when your child holds up his most recent masterpiece only to reveal to guests that the reverse describes (and shows) a vasectomy reversal procedure! I take the really good ones and glue them onto construction paper “frames”.
    I loved the reams of green stripe paper partly because they were all attached with perforated tears.