You may recognize Crayola as the go-to brand for art supplies in general, but when you're on a budget, you could find yourself at the 99 Cent store, hoping to save a few dollars. Let me save you some time! I've purchased different brands of crayons and put them to the test for you. Here are my field notes for which brand is best and why.
The number one brand for a reason. Bold colors, not very breakable, and you get a great variety of colors in their 24 packs. These will last a long time, even if they're broken or the paper peels off toward the middle of the school year. As you color, the crumbs, or as I call it, "fallout" is minimal. Each crayon has a color name printed on the paper in English, Spanish, and French. A+
These crayons are truly horrible. I'm serious. Two of the six that I used to color the rainbow above broke with only a little pressure. The fallout is really bad too; I had to sweep the crumbs out of the way several times. The paper wrappers don't have color names on them, so it's hard to distinguish between shades of blue, purple, and black. These crayons won't last long, I promise you. D-
Not bad for dollar store crayons! Bold colors, not much fallout when coloring, and each crayon has a fun color name printed on the paper like bubble gum, molten lava, and berries 'n' cream in addition to the usual red and blue. B+
This is a name you can trust when it comes to toys and other kids' things, but not for crayons. The colors are the opposite of bold, they're very crumby, and are super waxy. Coloring with crayons should be smooth, but these just feel cheap. C-
The colors of these crayons are very faint; they hardly show up at all. They break easily, they don't have color names printed on the paper, and you can't truly tell which color you're working with by looking at them. I actually mistook the purple for brown! Very crumby, very waxy, and not smooth at all. D-
So there you have it! Each crayon brand graded so you know what to expect. The clear winner in this test is Crayola, with Cra-Z-art in second place. I actually don't recommend any of the others unless you plan to melt them or make a sculpture out of them. Your students will thank you and your crayons will last you a lot longer if you just pay the extra dollar or two. Remember, teachers get discounts at craft stores and there's always a 40% off coupon at Michael's if you just search on your phone. Keep your eyes open for Crayola specific sales too!