Fun Facts about Crayons and Our Exploration of Crayon Racing


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

If you have kids, you have crayons. Most restaurants give kids some crayons to keep them busy while their food is being prepared. I know we have quite a supply from over the years. But have you ever really thought about crayons? What are they? I decided to gather some fun facts for you about the childhood staple and then I have a fun book to share with you to give you a use for the crayons sitting around your house.

Fun Facts About Crayons

  1. The first crayons were made by combining charcoal and oil. Eventually powdered pigments of various colors took the place of charcoal.
  2. The word crayon comes from the French word “craie” which is derived from the Latin word “creta” which means “chalk pencil” (Earth).
  3. You can make your own crayons by mixing beeswax with food dye or any color pigment.
  4. Crayons were used by early French painters like Francois Clouet and Nicholas L’agneau.
  5. Sister Gertrude Morgan was renowned for teaching the Gospel with crayon drawings across New Orleans.
  6. Edwin Binney and Harold Smith founded the firm Binney and Smith which commercialized Binney’s Crayola Crayon innovation.
  7. The name Crayola was coined by Alice Binney, Edwin’s wife. She combined the French word “craie” which means chalk and “ola” for oleaginous because the crayons are made from petroleum based paraffin.
  8. In 1903, the first Crayola box sold for a nickel. It was an eight pack with red, blue, green, yellow, violet, orange, black, and brown.
  9. Emerson Moser, who worked for Crayola for 35 years as a crayon molder, was colorblind.
  10. There are more than 100 Crayola colors.
  11. The scent of crayons is one of the most recognized scents in the nation. Yale University did a study and it came in 18 out of 80 scents. The scent comes from stearic acid, a derivative of beef fat, that is added to give the crayons the waxy consistency.
  12. Crayola crayons are made of wax or paraffin. Beeswax crayons are also manufactured.
  13. Blue is the favorite color in the US or at least shades of blue.
  14. Crayon stubs have a name. They are called “leftolas.”
  15. There is a giant blue crayon called “Big Blue” that was made from 123,000 leftolas collected from kids across the nation. It weighs 1,500 pounds and is almost 16 feet long. It was made to celebrate Crayola’s 100th anniversary.
  16. The average child wears down 720 crayons by their tenth birthday.
  17. Fred Rogers created the 100 billionth crayon in 1996.
  18. The 64 Pack of Crayola Crayons was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame in 1998.
  19. You can purchase labels to go on the crayons that shares the chemical element that makes the color. 
  20. Only two Crayola colors have had their names changed. In 1958 prussian blue was changed to midnight blue because teachers felt kids didn’t know much about Prussian history. In 1962 flesh was changed to peach due to not everyone’s skin color was peach.
  21. In 1991, Crayola retired eight of its colors to make way for brighter ones. Colors like cerulean and jungle green replaced the older blue-gray, lemon yellow and others.
  22. Crayola makes 3 billion crayons a year.
  23. In 2020 all the crayons Crayola manufactures in the US is done with renewable energy. In 1903 they used water power. In 2010 they installed a solar farm with 30,000 panels to generate 1.9MW power.
  24. Crayola crayons begin to melt at 105 degrees F and have a melting point between 120 – 147 degrees Fahrenheit. The melting point varies due to the density and amount of pigment.


The book is Crayon Racing by Alberto Lot. 

From the Publisher:

Introducing CRAYON RACING! 224 pages of high speed doodling and high octane fun!

Kids need just two things to race: this book and some crayons! Packed with over 100 unique races for one player or more, CRAYON RACING is fun for the whole family!

Race against the clock on your own, or grab a friend and place your crayons on the start line. Then GO, GO, GO! Who can get to the finish line the fastest? Which one can color in the space the quickest? Who can jump through the most hoops or connect-the-dots before the other one? Each spread includes a different racetrack and obstacles for readers to color in as fast as they can!

Great for planes, trains, restaurants, and more, CRAYON RACING is the perfect backpack companion for kids from 3 to 103.

From Me:

If you read my big news, you know I have been working with high school students for the past month. One Friday I brought in Crayon Racing and told some of the kids about it. Hazel was skeptical about racing with me, but I got two of the high school boys to give it a try with me. Actually, the second one and I were having so much fun we had to stop because we were making too much noise and other kids were trying to get work done. 

The idea is rather simple. Everyone takes a different color crayon and puts it down on the start line. Then on your marks, get set and go and draw around the race track. The first person to get to the finish line wins. Of course different race tracks have different challenges.

I also had an advantage over the students. They didn't want to bump into me. However, the one that made the most noise with me (we were laughing) and I would look for where one of us bumped into a bomb or crossed our lines. This book is just so much fun and fills those times when you are stuck waiting or need a pick-me-up. 

This book is perfect for those rainy summer days, car trips, plane trips, and so much more! I think it will be sitting in my classroom for when there is some down time. I hope you will check it out! Happy racing!

For more ideas on what to do with those crayons and crayon fun check out: