National Crayon Day
National Crayon Day on March 31 sparks fond memories of childhood creations in full color as we celebrate one of America’s most beloved toys, the crayon! Crayons delight our senses not just with their brilliant colors but also with their distinct smell, the feel of them in our hands, and for some kids, the waxy taste. With over 12 million crayons made daily, one is never far from reach. So, grab your box of 64 crayons, sharpener included, and get ready for some artistic expression and nostalgia.
HISTORY OF NATIONAL CRAYON DAY
Crayons have a colorful history. While hued wax molds have existed for centuries, the modern-day crayon got its start in the 1900s.
Crayola crayons were introduced in 1903 by Binney & Smith as a safer and cheaper alternative to the art utensils in use at that time. Binney & Smith premiered their famous eight-pack of crayons with the color line-up: Black, Brown, Orange, Violet, Blue, Green, Red, and Yellow. This color mix, along with their names, remained unchanged for 45 years.
Since then, many colors have been added, color names and packaging have changed, and color styles such as neon, metallics, and glitter have emerged. A few colors have even been retired from the color wheel, typically on March 31.
The Crayola crayon has a special place in the hearts of Americans and Americana. It was one of the original inductees into the National Toy Hall of Fame in November 1999. It is estimated the average American will have used 730 crayons by their 10th birthday. Even Mr. Fred Rogers has had his hand in the history of crayons by molding the official 100 billionths crayon in February 1996 at the Crayola plant in Easton.
Crayons not only add color to our lives but they’ve also been held as an analogy for the colorfulness of the human race and our ability to live together in a diverse world. Robert Fulghum, the American author, once said, “We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names, but they all have learned to live together in the same box.”
NATIONAL CRAYON DAY ACTIVITIES
1.Order a customized box of crayons
Crayola offers customizable boxes of crayons – you select the box graphics, name personalization, and all the colors to include in your special box. It’s a great gift idea for the kid or adult who has everything!
2.Visit the Crayola Experience
If you are up for a road trip, you can visit one of the five Crayola Experience locations – Orlando, Florida; Chandler, Arizona; Plano, Texas; Minneapolis, Minnesota or Easton, Pennsylvania – where you can create a masterpiece, make crayons molds, and even name and wrap your crayon.
3.Make a crayon candle
Since crayons are meltable, make a colorful candle using a few old crayons, small paper cups, candle wicks, wax flakes, popsicle sticks, and candle molds. Add a small piece of crayon to wax flakes in a paper cup, and microwave for 45 seconds. Stir the melted wax with a popsicle stick and then pour it into a candle mold placing the wick in the center. Allow to set for 30 minutes then repeat if you’d like to add additional layers.
WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL CRAYON DAY
A. It’s fun for everyone
Coloring isn’t just for kids. The adult coloring craze took off in 2015 and is holding steady. Coloring doesn’t require much artistic ability and a few crayons and coloring pages are inexpensive and easy to transport. That coupled with the calming effects coloring seems to have on adults, it is likely a trend here to stay that young and old alike can enjoy.
B. It gets our creative juices flowing
Crayons bring out the crafty side in us so having a dedicated day to this artistic tool can get the creative juices flowing. Check out the many artsy websites and a quick search away for ideas on simple crafts for you and your family and friends.
C. Life is better in color
Trudi Pinnick Wolfe, a counselor at an elementary school in Beech Grove, Indiana, once asked a group of students to pick one crayon color with which to draw a complete picture. Next, she invited them to use as many colors as they wished to draw another picture. When she asked which did they like better, the students, of course, agreed they preferred the picture with more color – the diversity of color was not as boring.
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