|Source: New York Education Department|
1 -- Sky blue ... sea green ... cherry red ... grape ... gold. These colors, and many others, can be found in a box of crayons!
2 -- These bright, colorful crayons are an important part of most preschool children's learning. They continue to be important for coloring maps and other things at school. You already know crayons come in dozens of different colors, but do you know how crayons are made?
3 -- One of the ingredients used in making crayons comes from a color mill. There, water and certain chemicals are mixed in big tanks to create different colored liquids. The liquids then pass through a machine that squeezes out most of the water. This leaves little "cakes" of color called pigment.
4 -- The cakes are baked until dry, about 3 or 4 days. Next, they're ground into a fine powder. Piles and piles of the different powders look like colorful sand piles.
5 -- The powdery pigment is then shipped to the plant where the crayons are actually made. Outside the plant are huge tanks filled with wax. The wax is mixed with the colored powders and stirred. The mixture looks like thick, colorful soup!
6 -- When it is hot, wax can be poured like water. It is stirred to prevent lumps or bubbles in the crayons. The colored wax is poured into molds that have little holes exactly the size of crayons. This is how the crayons are shaped. Cold water is then poured in all around the molds. When wax is cold, it becomes hard.
7 -- When the crayons are removed from the molds, they are checked to make sure they have no broken tips. Any crayon that is broken goes back into the tanks to be melted and formed again.
8 -- Now the crayons need a paper wrapper. A machine wraps paper around each crayon and glues the ends together.
9 -- The different colored crayons are then packed together in a box. The box is put on a truck and sent to a store. The next time you open a box and pick out a crayon, remember how the crayons are made.