Telephone books as scribble material
Irene's found a great use for all those unused copies of the Yellow Pages:
I'm always amazed at the number of phone books that get delivered to my door. I have a nice place in my kitchen to store them but we're pretty Internet-based in this family, so I NEVER use them. My children love to scribble in books and most of the time, they ask to scribble in books that they can't or shouldn't. Now I let them do whatever they want to do in these phone books!
They draw with pens, pencils, markers; they turn the pages and yell "look Mom a pizza" and then pretend to prepare an order. They are only 5 and 3 years old so they can't read or write yet. But these books, on days when their brains are screaming "scribble in something" allow them long moments of joy. I have 7 of these phone books of different colors and sizes. I used to think I should just throw them out. But now they are the best coloring books in the house.
This is great! For the longest time, my daughter loved coloring the newspaper. I found that she enjoyed tracing the headlines -- great pre-writing practice for her.