I have used old telephone books for many things. Today I let my 1-year-old play with a couple of old ones. Ours aren't too thick so she didn't care about stepping on them as I had hoped. She was more interested in carrying them around the room. And then tearing the pages (and then trying to eat the pages). It got me thinking about other activities to do with a phonebook. You can incorporate every subject with a phonebook -- language arts, science, social studies, math, art, gym, etc.
I have used them as a learning center in a kindergarten. The kids highlighted the letters in the phone book and then wrote or circled the letter on a separate piece of paper. I also gave them a magnify glass to help them search -- they really like that.
The ideas are really endless, this list is just to get you thinking. Oh, and remember phone books don't cost any extra and you can always check schools or large business for their old phone books if you need more for a classroom.
Look for letters
Look for numbers
Look for own phone number
Look up family and friend’s phone number
Look up business phone number
Use phone books as steps for aerobics
Look up emergency numbers
Look at pictures
Carry phone books around (build muscles)
Discuss zip codes
Find time zones
Search for words
Find you first name
Find certain names (mom’s, dad’s, sister’s, etc)
Use for wrapping paper
Don’t forget to use the coupons
Search for attractions
Find seating chart, pick a good spot to sit
Maps – find where you live
Maps – locate family, business, favorite restaurant, school, park, etc.
Maps – discuss directions
Maps – make routes from A to B
Maps – use index to find streets, practice using a key
Discuss bus routes – find a way to get around town