I really hope you have a few crayons lying around because this Tuesday, March 31, is National Crayon Day! I’ll give a few resources that can make this day a learning time as well as an artsy time.
While this unofficial holiday is a perfect day for coloring, it can also be sort of a sad day for some people. That’s because Crayola often retires old crayon colors on this day. Where did crayons come from?
Currently, no one really knows when crayons were invented. Early crayons were used by adults – artists. They weren’t very strong, so kids would have broken them all the time! By the beginning of the 20th century, several companies were making wax crayons. The most famous company, Crayola, was started in 1902 – almost 110 years ago! These two guys with great mustaches, Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith founded the company. Mr Binney’s wife, Alice, came up with the name Crayola by combining the French word for Chalk (craie) with the “ole” from oleaginous (the paraffin wax used to make the crayons). They started out with 30 different colors. Learn about Crayola’s history here.
Here are a few crayon facts. Crayola makes 13 million crayons a day and blue is the most popular color. The most popular episode of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was when he visited a crayon factory! You might also want to watch the episode of the TV show, Daniel Tiger, which has the same theme! How are crayons made? Watch this video!
Now, what should we do on National Crayon Day? Color, of course! Why not color on unusual things like the inside of a paper bag, sandpaper, or warm hard boiled eggs. You can also tape several crayons into a bundle to see what kinds of effects you get! Tape whatever size paper you have on the wall and create a family mural. Older kids might want to get a bit more crafty. For example, you could challenge them to create wearable art using crayons, paper, tape and yarn or string! How about making a paper toy and coloring it? Or, build a fabulous crayon storage system out of what you have around the house!
You can melt broken-up crayons by putting them in silicon shaped mats, then putting them in the oven at 250 degrees for 15 minutes. Don’t forget to put the silicon tray on a baking sheet. Let the melted crayons cool completely before popping them out of the molds. If you need other ideas, check out the Crayola YouTube channel – scroll past the ads to their DIY sections. If you just need coloring pages, go to Pinterest and consider searching for Dover Publications – they have quite a selection!
Read a book that has crayons in it. You can find some of these books on YouTube, ready by the author!
- Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
- The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Dewalt
- The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Dewalt
- How is a Crayon Made? by Oz Charles
- The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane DeRolf
- My Crayons Talk by Bill Martin
Here are some things you can do with crayons that are more action oriented. Take your crayons and paper to the park and draw what you see. Collect some leaves and do leaf rubbings. What else can you do rubbings of at the park?
Have a crayon scavenger hunt – hide crayons around the park or your home! See who can make a paper airplanes that can carry a small piece of crayon the farthest? How high can you stack crayons like building blocks? These are just a few ideas to make your National Crayon Day amazing!