I went to a lovely parent education workshop about creating a book-rich environment for children at home, and my first impulse was to go to Amazon.com and start buying some higher quality books for Henry (in addition to these crayons and this paper to help as indirect preparation for writing later on).
And then I had to remind myself: "You're on a really strict budget and don't have any extra money to spend." It's so easy to click a few buttons and have new, shiny things arrive at your doorstep in two days.
So I slowed myself down a bit. I did go ahead and put some new crayons and paper in my cart, but then I let them sit there while I e-mailed Henry's teacher to make sure that she thinks coloring is a good activity for him right now (with those particular kind of crayons). I also decided not to buy any books but instead get them through the library.
Our local library has terrible board books for young children. Most of them are overtly commercialized, trying to sell some kind of toy, etc. Instead, I scrolled through the online catalog and tried to place holds on board books that seemed good. I also put a hold on a nursery rhyme book that I was so tempted to buy on Amazon. It's much wiser to see if I like it first.
So far, I haven't spent a penny on new things for Henry (and I already have six books on the way). I might end up buying the crayons and paper, but it feels good to think about it first.