On March 31, we honour one of America’s most treasured toys, the crayon, with National Crayon Day, which brings back wonderful memories of colourful childhood endeavours. Crayons appeal to our senses not just because of their vibrant colours, but also because of their distinct scent, the way they feel in our hands, and, for some children, the waxy taste. With over 12 million crayons produced every day, one is never far away. So grab your box of 64 crayons (sharpener included) and prepare for some nostalgic artistic expression.
HISTORY OF NATIONAL CRAYON DAY
Crayons have a long and illustrious history. While coloured wax moulds have been used for millennia, the modern-day crayon was only introduced in the 1900s.
Binney & Smith invented Crayola crayons in 1903 as a safer and less expensive alternative to the art equipment in use at the time. Binney & Smith introduced their iconic eight-pack of crayons, which included the following colours: Black, Brown, Orange, Violet, Blue, Green, Red, and Yellow. For 45 years, this colour combination, as well as their names, remained constant.
Many colours have been introduced since then, colour names and packaging have changed, and new colour styles like neon, metallics, and glitter have arisen. A few hues have been removed from the colour wheel entirely, usually on March 31.
Americans and Americana hold a particular place in their hearts for the Crayola crayon. In November 1999, it was one of the first honorees into the National Toy Hall of Fame. By the time they turn ten, the average American will have used 730 crayons. Mr. Fred Rogers even had a hand in the history of crayons when he moulded the official 100 billionth crayon at the Crayola plant in Easton in February 1996.
Crayons not only provide colour to our lives, but they’ve also been used as a metaphor for the human race’s diversity and our capacity to coexist in a diverse world. “We might learn a lot from crayons,” American author Robert Fulghum famously said. “Some are sharp, some are attractive, some are dull, while others are bright, some have strange names, but they all have learnt to live together in the same box.”
NATIONAL CRAYON DAY ACTIVITIES
You can visit one of the five Crayola Experience locations – Orlando, Florida; Chandler, Arizona; Plano, Texas; Minneapolis, Minnesota; or Easton, Pennsylvania – to create a masterpiece, make crayon moulds, and even name and wrap your own crayon.
Make a colourful candle with a few old crayons, little paper cups, candle wicks, wax flakes, popsicle sticks, and candle moulds since crayons dissolve. Microwave wax flakes in a paper cup with a little bit of crayon for 45 seconds. Stir