Did you know there is a National Crayon Day? Yes, at least in the USA. And it's on the 31st of March. On this particular day, people celebrate the invention of crayons and the joy of colouring.
Keep reading to find below who invented the crayons.
I find this day a great opportunity to spend creative time with our kids.
It’s a perfect day to dust off your box of crayons and let your creativity fly, spending time colouring with all the benefits it has.
Benefits of colouring for children
While it's a relaxing form of self-expression that stimulates creativity it also promotes a range of benefits to nurture well-being.
Enhances fine motor development. Colouring is an activity that helps children build the muscles in their fingers, hand and wrist which aids in manipulating small objects.
Click here to read why it's so important to develop fine motor skills.
Improves hand-eye coordination
Colouring in requires great attention to detail and precision to keep within the lines which give children an opportunity to develop co-ordination.
Develops spatial awareness
Visual perception is an important skill to develop in young children. Colouring can help strengthen awareness of the hand's position and margins on the page to help children keep their pencil within a given area.
Builds concentration and focus
When children are asked to colour between the lines, they may need to concentrate more than they would with freeform drawing. Because they are contained to a specific area, they will need to stay focused on the space they have to fill and be more precise in their application.
Promotes creativity and self-expression
Colouring allows children to express their individuality through colour selection and medium. It's interesting to observe how much pressure they apply, the colour choices they make, and whether they colour loosely or tightly. Everyone is different and so is each masterpiece.
Teaches colour and shape recognition
Filling in the spaces with colour on a printed page helps children to recognize hue, perspective, shape and form as well as giving them an opportunity to explore different colour combinations.
Relaxes and releases emotions
Colouring can have a profoundly therapeutic and calming effect on children as they shift their focus to concentrate on finishing their picture. This peaceful activity can provide an outlet for processing emotions and take the focus off challenging situations.
Need some free colouring pages? Just type it on Google and you’ll find a lot of results to choose from or visit our colouring pages section
Don’t have a box of crayons? Use any colouring tools you have or have a look at these recommendations I’ve personally selected from Amazon
Who invented the crayons?
No one really knows when crayons were invented. All that is known is that the word comes from the mid-17th century and is a conglomerate of two Latin words: “crale” which means chalk and “creta” which means earth.
Combining various pigments with oil is a practice that goes back thousands of years employed by a wide range of cultures, from Egyptians to Greeks and Romans. However these crayons were a tool for adults, they were not intended to use at schools for children.
The roots of modern crayons are in the Middle Ages and was a recurrent tool used by artists. They were cylinders shaped like crayons but composed of charcoal and oil and were more like pastels.
Eventually, the charcoal in these crayons would be replaced with various pigments. The biggest breakthrough came about when Joseph Lemercier produced a crayon in 1828 that replaced the oil normally found in crayons with wax instead. This produced a stronger crayon that could hold up to more vigorous drawing.
By the beginning of the 20th century, there were several companies producing wax crayons in the United States. In 1902, Crayola brand of crayons was invented by Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith. The name was created by Mr Binney’s wife, Alice Stead Binney, who combined the French word for Chalk (craie) with the ole from oleaginous (the paraffin wax used to make the crayons).
When they start selling crayons, they offered 19 different boxes with 30 different colours.
Between 1903 and 1998, Crayola had produced 120 different colours. Wow!
Enjoy colouring! :)