Food & Drink

Color Our World

May we wax lyrical about the crayon? It’s been the coloring-in tool of choice of young Picassos for 99 years. That’s long enough that your grandmother can boast about the early days when Crayola had a lonely eight colors. (And only cost a nickel.)

Today, there are 120 colors to choose from, and the crayon shows no sign of fading. So we pay tribute with ten reasons to keep coloring outside the lines.

1. The smell. A Yale University study ranked it among the twenty most recognizable scents in America. (An informal sampling of New Haven toddlers suggests it is also one of the most irresistible tastes.)

2. None of your beeswax may be the answer when someone asks whether those are really your crayons, but technically speaking, the main ingredients are paraffin wax and pigment.

3. According to the folks at Crayola, every single American child has worn out 270 crayons by the age of ten.

4. The official Website, crayola.com, is where kids can find countless activities for sunny and rainy days and where parents can learn how to clean up any messes created by said activities.

5. Crayfish are much more difficult to color with.

6. Crayon conservationism! Newly added Crayola colors have natural-world inspiration: manatee, pink flamingo, mountain meadow, desert sand, and fuzzy wuzzy.

7. Precious-metal colors like gold and silver inspire colored-in riches beyond your child’s wildest dreams and could be considered the original tools of capitalism (with apologies to Forbes magazine).

8. Colored pencils are for wusses.

9. Forget Legoland and Hershey Park. The Crayola Factory in Easton, Pennsylvania (less than two hours from New York and Philly), is where all the kids are going.

10. If you can’t make it to the factory, the Crayola Crayon Maker — judged by many to be the toy of the year — transforms old scraps into brand-spanking-new creations.

Now come on. Did you really think we’d stop at ten?

11. The retirement in 1962 of the color flesh alerted all Caucasians that they are in fact peach.