Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet…no, this isn’t just a list of all of the colors of the rainbow, but rather just a few of the more than 400 different shades of crayon colors that Crayola has produced since its humble beginnings in Pennsylvania in 1903!
What a perfect opportunity to celebrate the bright and colorful addition these simple wax sticks have made to the world with National Crayon Day!
History of National Crayon Day
Crayola began its life as a company in 1885 when cousins Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith took over a pigment business that Edwin’s father had previously owned. By 1903, the cousins had created a set of colorful drawing sticks for young artists by combining paraffin wax with non-toxic, kid-friendly pigments. While children had often used chalk or paints for drawing, those were both messy. Crayola came up with their brilliant solution–and it has lasted for more than a century!
The name Crayola seems to have come from a combination of two words created by the founder’s wife. It combined craie, which was French for “chalk” and oily, to create the company’s brand name.
The first set only contained 8 crayons, but now the boxes have gotten much larger with many more colors. Since the beginning, the company has developed a core set of 120 crayon colors; but they have also come out with many unique sets. This includes metallic colored crayons, gem tones colors, and even scented ones. One important development made by the company was a box of skin tones that make it possible to color pictures of humans of almost any cultural background.
Over time, the colors have changed, and the names have become more creative. Some of the most interesting Crayola crayon names include:
- Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown
- Robin’s Egg Blue
- Tropical Rain Forest (blue-green)
- Macaroni and Cheese (yellow-orange)
- Razzle Dazzle Rose
- Purple Mountains Majesty
- Tickle Me Pink
- Granny Smith Apple (medium green)
In the more than 100 years since the company began making them, more than 50 colors have been retired.
Today, the company makes about 12 million crayons every single day. Obviously, children (and kids-at-heart) all over the world enjoy and appreciate the artistic ability that is afforded them by the use of Crayola crayons.
And that’s a great reason to celebrate National Crayon Day!
How to Celebrate National Crayon Day
Celebrating this day can range from the simple to the extreme! Whether simply picking up a few colors to draw something on a blank sheet of paper, or inviting the rest of the world to celebrate, National Crayon Day can bring lots of joy to anyone involved.
Try these creative ideas or come up with different ones:
Color Some Pictures with Crayons
So, why not let your inner child out on National Crayon Day? Grab a coloring book and a box of Crayola crayons and let the creativity flow. Coloring can be a therapeutic and enjoyable way to pass some time. In fact, adult coloring books have become all the rage, with all sorts of different outlined pages that offer designs ranging from mandalas and zen gardens to enchanted forests and ocean creatures. Many people even find coloring to be a useful part of mindfulness and relaxation practices.
For those who don’t have ready access to a coloring book, free coloring pages of various themes can be found online through the Crayola website.
Remember, a proud artist shouldn’t even hesitate to hang their finished pictures on the fridge. It’s a great way to display the importance of crayons and celebrate National Crayon Day!
Make Creative Art with Crayola Crayons
In addition to simply drawing and coloring, Crayola crayons also offer other options for types of art that can be created with them. Because they are made of wax, crayons melt easily, and this factor can be incorporated into the artwork.
One fun project uses an art canvas. Start by drawing a picture of a person (or two people) holding an umbrella. Line up crayons vertically, point facing down, along the top of the picture, and glue them with a hot glue gun. Hold the picture upright and use a hairdryer to make the crayons meltdown like rain.
Another colorful art project requires just some cardboard and a knife that can cut crayons. Create a giant initial decoration to hang on the wall by first drawing a letter onto the cardboard and cutting it out. Then, using a hot glue gun, attach crayons onto the cardboard in a fun pattern of colors. Hang on the wall with a piece of colorful ribbon, burlap, or string.
Host a Coloring Contest
Whether working at school with kids or at an office filled with adults, a coloring contest is a super fun way to celebrate National Crayon Day! Find some pictures from the Crayola website or, even better, have someone at work create one of their own that incorporates the school or company logo.
Hand the coloring sheets out to each person, or put the papers with some boxes of crayons in the breakroom or other easily accessible place. Make sure everyone knows when the deadline is and then have a judge see who does the best job coloring! (Don’t forget to have small prizes for the winners.)
Make New Crayon Colors
Some people just won’t be satisfied with the basic things that are given to them. In that case, they should create something new! Making new colors of Crayola crayons is fairly simple and fun. Kids and adults alike can enjoy new, swirled colors simply by melting existing crayons, mixing the colors together, and then pouring them into a new form (candy-making mold or mini cupcake molds work perfectly for this).
Not only is this a fun way to create new colors, but it is also a great way to repurpose broken crayons to make them perfectly useful again!
Dress Up Like a Crayola Crayon
Costumes can be fun at more times of the year than just Halloween! National Crayon Day is a great time to give a nod to these clever art sticks by creating an entire outfit around it. It can be as simple as just dressing head to toe in a favorite Crayola Crayon color. Or, don a full costume complete with the Crayola logo and a pointy cap.
Visit a Crayola Experience Museum
Located in five different cities in the United States, Crayola Experiences offer attractions to visitors that feel something along the lines of an active art museum for families. From activity studios to virtual design, from naming your own crayon to colorful activities especially for toddlers, these adventures provide loads of fun for everyone. Make a trip to Eaton, PA; Chandler, AZ; Mall of America, MN; Orlando, FL; or Plano, TX to get up close and personal with everything Crayola has to offer.