Celebrate National Crayon Day! March 31st. 

National Crayon Day is a day set aside to pay homage to the beloved crayon, and to the joy of colouring. For most it’s a perfect day to break out the crayons and spend some time colouring, but it can also be a sad day for some. Traditionally Crayola has used this day to retire old crayon colors. To date Crayola has retired over 50 different colors on this day.

It’s unknown exactly when crayons were invented but the practice of combining pigments with oils dates back thousands of years. It’s a method that was used by artists of various cultures as the original crayon would not have been appropriate for the type of vigorous colouring employed by children.

It was Joseph Lemercier who in 1828 first produced a crayon suitable for children by replacing the oil normally found in crayons with wax. In 1902 Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith launched CRAYOLA – named by combining the French word for chalk (craie) with ‘ole’ from the word oleaginous (the paraffin wax used in crayons). At that time Crayola produced only 30 different colours of crayons and sold 19 different boxes.

9 Fun and Colourful Crayon Facts:

1. Crayola makes 3 billion crayons a year

2. The smell of crayons is the 18th most familiar scent for adults in the USA

3. In 1962 Crayola changed the name of their “Flesh” crayon to “Peach”

4. For their first 40 years in business Crayola employees had to hand roll the labels 

5. American Gothic artist Grant Wood entered a Crayola sponsored drawing competition and came in third place, he later credited this win for encouraging him to stick with his art career

6. Emerson Moser, who worked for Crayola for 35 years was colour blind

7. Leftover crayons are called “Leftolas” 

8. The world’s biggest crayon is 15 feet high, 16 inches wide, 500 pounds, and blue (the favourite crayon colour)

9. 223 billion Crayola crayons have been produced to date


National Crayon Day is a great opportunity to introduce your children to colouring with crayons, or to take the time to do some mindful colouring of your own. If you’re feeling philanthropic why not buy a box of crayons or two to donate to your local childcare or kindergarten, they will love you for it.

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