Crayons Recap

10 Apr

After reviewing colored pencils for this website, we were initially afraid that crayons might prove equally unlikely to be made in the USA.  Fortunately though, that was not the case at all, as there are US-made versions of nearly any crayon type that you might want.  And for our comparisons, we’ll be separating all the crayons we’ve reviewed into three categories: standard-sized crayons, jumbo crayons, and youth crayons.

For standard-sized crayons, we can easily recommend Crayola classic crayons.  They provide the broadest color-selection, the best quality, and the most availability.   Crayola is also an American institution, and the company still makes all of this particular type of crayon in the US in their Pennsylvania factories out of entirely US-sourced materials.

Out of the other three standard-sized crayons we reviewed, none of them could match Crayola’s 5/5 star American-Alternative rating.  The only competitor that came close were specific boxes of Sargent Art crayons, which earned a 4/5 rating.  But even these crayons could be easily confused with Sargent Art’s nearly identical Chinese-made crayons, which received 0/5 stars – lower than the other two crayons in the category, Melissa & Doug and Cra-Z-Art.

But with Jumbo-sized crayons, the story is a bit different.  Crayola manufactures their larger-sized crayons in their plant in Mexico, reducing their American Alternative score to only 1.5/5 stars.  And while this score is in enough to tie them with Melissa & Doug’s Jumbo Triangular crayons and even beat Alex Toys Super Jumbo crayons, it certainly isn’t enough for them to receive the best score in the group.

Instead, we recommend Clementine Art’s Natural Crayons, which are not only made of natural ingredients (non-petroleum based waxes and dyes), but are also made in the USA.  Note that they are shaped slightly differently than other Jumbo-sized crayons, but they are still basically pointed cylinders with a larger diameter than a standard crayon (to make it easier for younger children to hold them while still using a proper writing grip).

For our final crayon category we have youth crayons, which we define as crayons that are specifically designed for children who are still too young to use even Jumbo-sized crayons (2-4 years).  And with this category, you almost can’t go wrong.  Four of the five crayons we reviewed were made from start to finish in the USA, and we would be happy to recommend any of them (Eco-Kids Eco Crayons, Crazy Crayons, Crayon Rocks, or Clementine Art Natural Crayon Rocks) over the Chinese-made Alex Toys Finger Crayons that we also reviewed.

If we had to pick among these 5-star American Alternative rated youth-crayons, we might slightly prefer the Eco-Kids Eco Crayons or the Crazy Crayons.  That’s because Eco-Kids is as “small business” as small business gets (their Eco-Crayons are also rated for younger children than any of our other youth crayons) and because Crazy Crayons makes all of their crayons out of recycled crayon scraps that people donate to the cause.  But once again, any of the 5-star rated youth crayons would still make a great choice.

Here is the full list of the crayons that we reviewed:

Classic Crayons
Crayola Classic Crayons
Melissa & Doug Triangular Crayons
Cra-Z-Art Crayons
Sargent Art Crayons

Jumbo Crayons
Clementine Art Natural Crayons
Crayola Jumbo Crayons
Melissa & Doug Jumbo Triangular Crayons
Alex Toys Super Jumbo Crayons

Crayon Rocks/Children’s Crayons
Eco-Kids Eco Crayons
Crazy Crayons
Clementine Art Natural Crayon Rocks
Crayon Rocks
Alex Toys Finger Crayons

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