Have you ever colored with macaroni and cheese? How about an inchworm or a neon carrot? What are we talking about? Crayons, of course!

Crayon companies have invented many crazy crayon colors. In addition to crazy colors, there are also crazy types of crayons. You can color with crayons that sparkle, glow in the dark, change colors, and smell like flowers.

Have you ever WONDERed about how crayons and their colors came to be? Did you know that the first crayons ever invented were made in ancient Egypt? The Egyptians made crayons out of beeswax and color pigments. Normally, we color on paper, but the Egyptians colored on stone! They wanted to make their art permanent, so they used heat to burn it into the stone.

The first crayons made in the United States were made by the Binney and Smith company in 1885. They were used for marking boxes or crates in factories. Do you know what the first crayon color was? It was black! It was called Carbon Black. The first color pigment was red and was based on the barns of the late 1800s.

In 1900, teachers asked for better materials to color with in schools. The company started to make crayons for kids to color and play with. In 1903, Crayola made the first box of crayons. The box contained the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, brown, and black. The box of eight crayons sold for a nickel!

Edwin Binney's wife came up with the name Crayola. The first part of the word Crayola comes from the word “craie," which is French for chalk. The second part of the word (“ola") comes from the word oleaginous, which means “having oil."

Most people know what crayons are, but they don't know what they are made of. The two main ingredients in crayons are pigment and paraffin wax. The ingredients are heated in 17,000-gallon tanks. After being heated, the mixture is poured into molds and cooled. When the crayons harden, they are taken from the molding station and checked to make sure there are no broken crayons. After being checked, the crayons are labeled, boxed, and ready to be shipped and used!

There are a wide variety of crayon colors and boxes available today. Although the first box of crayons had eight colors, eventually you could get 24 or even 64 crayons in a box. Today, you can get a box of 152 crayons!

Today, there are 152 different Crayola crayon colors! Who names the individual crayon colors? The Crayola company names crayon colors in many ways. One way they brainstorm new color name ideas is from an official color dictionary. Crayon companies also ask artists what colors they use. Sometimes, they get recommendations from their employees. They also hold competitions for kids to invent new crayon color names.

Kids use crayons to make posters, special pictures, melted wax art, and other masterpieces. They find inspiration in awesome colors such as razzle dazzle rose, fuzzy wuzzy brown, manatee, and razzmatazz. These choices give them the freedom to create unique art and use their imaginations. Guess what? Even with all these crazy crayon colors, America's favorite color is still simply blue! So what will you color with next?

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day might have you saying, “Achoo!”