Color Your World

As a kid, growing up in Orangeburg, SC, one of my favorite pastimes (hobby – passion, we’ll call it) was coloring.

Didn’t matter what kind of coloring book, sheet of paper or piece of cardboard I found, I wanted color on it. Being an artist was, yet another, one of my nine-year-old dreams.

crayons

We always had the basic eight colors in a small pack of crayons available in our home. A 24-pack was easily found on most weeks, but it was the coveted 64-pack that was rare to find. I remember the very first box my mom brought into the house. I even remember she bought it from K-mart. (That was before Walmart came to my hometown.) Something was truly magical that day, because my brother and I got to get an Icee for the first time, too. The Icee counter, with huge Icee Bear cutouts, was strategically located at the exit door. We always walked by, my brother and I, wishing our mom would stop, wining a time or two, but always getting a firm “no.”

But not this day. On this day, we got new coloring books, we each picked out ourselves, and that box of Crayola brand crayons, with an Icee on top. At the time, I didn’t know what made her treat us in this way because we also got new clothes that weren’t for school or a special occasion. Whatever made it happen, we were loving it. As an adult, I have since figured it must have been a tax refund or bonus at work.

eggs with melted crayonsNow, I bring all this up, because yesterday was National Crayon Day. Yes, it was! And, there are lots of ways you can celebrate a grand day like this, especially here at Easter time. I remember the egg dying kits always came with a clear crayon so you could write your name or draw something, then the dye wouldn’t adhere. There was always a “Gwen” Easter egg in the basket on our kitchen table; if not more than one. Now you can decorate the eggs using only crayons if you try the project at  A Thrifty Mom.

Another nice craft to do with children for Easter are melted Easter bunny crayons. Isabel Kallman, at Alpha Mom, offers step-by-step instructions. These would be great to  prepare ahead of time to include in a coloring station for little one’s at Easter family gatherings.

americanhistory.si.eduThank you, Mr. Edwin Binney, creator of the crayon, for giving my imagination a tool for development and bringing unicorns to life (more on unicorns coming for April). If you’d like to learn more about the humble crayon, head to Crayola’s website for some colorful moments in time, a bright history and a short video to color you world. They also have plenty of free coloring pages and craft DIY’s. A kid-friendly story of the crayon is over on Kidsdiscover.com. There’s even an early edition box in the Smithsonian Museum of American History, where they are considered, “icons of American childhood that recall our collective memory for coloring both inside and outside the lines.” Want to know what ‘colors’ no longer exist, visit Mental Floss to find our which one got “fired.” And, why not take color to the bath with these tub-friendly crayons. Now, get out there and color YOUR WORLD.

 

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