13 Different Types of Crayons

A close look at various colorful crayons.

Crayons come in many shapes, sizes, and types. Traditional crayons are designed for coloring. Some other types are designed for drawing, coloring on fabric, or drawing on wood. Types of crayons include pastel crayons, bathtub crayons, chalk crayons, and fabric crayons. Choosing the right crayons for your project will depend on age, preferences, and the material you are using.

Crayons are a staple of childhood. When I was a kid, there weren’t that many types of crayons. Jumbo crayons and scented crayons were the only alternatives to regular crayons. Variety meant choosing a 96 crayon set over the 24. This provided a wider range of colors, but was nothing compared to today’s choices.

In fact, it can seem like there are too many choices today. It can be difficult to decide which type of crayon is right for the project or art you are planning. If you need crayon guidance, you are in the right place.

Table of Contents

Wax Crayons

A row of various wax crayons.

Wax crayons are the most common type of crayon. They are used by kids and adults alike for drawing pictures and coloring. They are typically sold in a crayon set, ranging from 12-96 crayons.

Crayola Crayon

Boxes of Crayola markers, colored pencils and crayons.

The Crayola crayon is the best-known type of wax crayon. Wax crayons are also known as regular crayon. Like other brands of wax crayon, crayolas are non toxic crayons. The main ingredients in a crayola crayon are paraffin wax and color pigment.

Jumbo crayons

Jumbo Crayons for Toddlers, 16 Colors Non Toxic Crayons, Easy to Hold Large Crayons for Kids, Safe for Babies and Children Flower Monaco

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Jumbo crayons are a type of wax crayon that are larger than regular crayons. They are designed for small hands, and they are much harder to break. They are also considered safer, because broken crayons can be a choking hazard for young children. A child’s first crayon set is often jumbo crayons.

Triangular Crayon

Crayola Crayons Triangular Antiroll Multicolor, 7/16 X 4 in

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The triangular crayon is relatively new. It offers a few advantages over jumbo crayons. Its triangular shape makes it much less likely to roll off the drawing surface.

The triangular shape also encourages young children to grip the crayon properly. The tripod grip helps to develop coordination and control in kids who are beginning to draw or write.

Metallic crayons

Crayola Metallic Crayons 8 Count

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Crayola metallic crayons first appeared in 2000. Now they are available from many crayon brands, but Crayola is still the most popular. The metallic crayons offer a glittery color. They work well with black or colored paper, an area where most crayons don’t perform well.

Other Types of Crayons for Kids

In addition to regular wax crayons, there are several types of crayons for kids available today. They can make coloring, or even bath time, colorful fun.

Washable Crayons

A box of Washable Crayola Crayons.

You turn your head for a second and your two-year-old is coloring on the wall instead of their paper. Regular crayons are notoriously difficult to remove from some surfaces.

The good news is washable crayons are the perfect choice for kids who are tempted to draw on things they shouldn’t. Washable crayons are designed to easily wash off of skin, clothing, and walls.

Bathtub Crayons

Honeysticks Bath Crayons for Toddlers & Kids - Handmade from Natural Beeswax for Non Toxic Bathtub Fun - Fragrance Free, Non-Irritating Bath Toys - Bright Colors and Easy to Hold - Washable - 7 Pack

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There’s something extra fun about coloring in the bathtub. Most crayons have a paper wrapper to protect the crayon.

Bathtub crayons are naked crayons, because the paper won’t stand up to water. Most of them twist or push up instead of sharpening.

Twistable Crayons

Toddler Crayons, 6 Colors Non Toxic Silky Washable Crayons, Easy to Hold Twistable Large Crayons for Kids, Safe for Babies and Children Flower Monaco

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Twistable crayons don’t require a crayon sharpener, and you don’t have to worry about peeling the wrapper. Instead, the crayon is inside a plastic barrel. When you need more crayon, give it a twist.

In addition to the standard color twistable crayons, you can also get special effects twistable crayons. These include metallic, neon, and multicolor rainbow crayons.

Art and Craft Crayons

Crayons aren’t just for coloring books. There are crayons suitable for many types of projects and styles.

Beeswax Crayons

Honeysticks 100% Pure Beeswax Crayons Natural, Safe for Toddlers, Kids and Children, Handmade in New Zealand, For 1 Year Plus (12 Pack)

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Beeswax crayons are made from beeswax instead of the paraffin used in regular crayons. They offer better color saturation and glide across the paper more smoothly.

They are also environmentally friendly. Beeswax is a renewable resource, unlike petroleum-based paraffin. Beeswax crayons are made from vegetable dyes, instead of traditional pigment. If you are looking for the ultimate in nontoxic crayons, these all-natural crayons are the safest bet.

Fabric crayon

Crayola 8-Count Fabric Crayons

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A fabric crayon is used to color on fabric, as the name suggests. There are two ways to use fabric crayons. You can color the design on white paper and then transfer it to the clothing, or color directly on the fabric.

You’ll need to iron the fabric with the colored white paper on top of the fabric, or a clean sheet of white paper if you colored on the fabric itself.

Surprisingly, fabric crayons only work with synthetic fabrics like polyester. However, you can use the same process with regular crayons to color cotton items.

Pastel Crayon

A close look at a bunch of oil pastel crayons.

There are two types of pastel crayon. Soft pastels contain chalk and powdered pigment. They look similar to watercolor once applied. They are user-friendly and available with many different color options. You’ll need to apply a fixative when you’ve completed your creation.

Working with oil pastel offers some of the same benefits as oil paints. You can blend different colors together, or layer them on top of each other.

Watercolor Crayons

YOOBI | Watercolor Crayons Set for Kids | 12 Piece Set Includes Pink Paint Brush | Add Water to Create | PVC Free

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Watercolor crayons are a water soluble crayon. This allows you to create soft colors and to blend colors. Most artists create a picture or watercolor crayon drawing, then use a wet brush to give it a soft watercolor effect.

Lumber Crayon

Dixon - 464-52300 Industrial Lumber Marking Crayons, 4.5" x 1/2" Hex, White, 12-Pack (52300)

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A lumber crayon is used on a wide variety of surfaces, including lumber. It’s used in construction and other industries to mark surfaces. A lumber crayon can draw on wood, concrete, and ceramic. They don’t melt, and can write on wet and dry surfaces.

Conte Crayon

Conte Crayon Black 2B Pkg of 2

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A conte crayon resembles pastels. They are made from graphite or charcoal combined with wax or clay and natural pigments. They produce a finer line than pastels, which makes them perfect for drawing portraits. They are also used to draw a sketch that is then colored in with pastels. 

Types of Crayon FAQs

What can you use to blend crayons?

You can use baby oil to blend crayons or colored pencils. Color the area using a dark color. Dip a q tip in baby oil, and then rub it over the area to blend. 

What are the different shapes of crayon tip?

Conical tips are the common shape for kids crayons. They create thick lines of color. Pointed crayons are used for precise lines and lumber crayons. They need frequent sharpening to keep the tip sharp. Pastel crayons are usually blunt, but oil pastels can be sharpened to a fine tip. 

What crayons do artists use?

Artists use professional crayons. These crayons are softer than regular crayons and have a higher pigment concentration. Most are also water-soluble and blendable. Professional crayons are also known as artist crayons and wax pastels. 

Are Crayola crayons better?

It depends. Better than other types of regular crayons? Yes. Crayola crayons are smoother and have a higher pigment concentration than most brands of regular crayons. However, if you really want quality, artist crayons are in a different league than Crayola. 

Can you burn a crayon?

Yes, you can burn a crayon as a make-shift candle. Begin by melting the tip of the crayon. You can then use this as a candleholder. Next, light the paper on the crayon. The burning paper will ignite the wax, and the wax will melt. 

Blue is the most popular crayon color among kids and adults. Rounding out the top 10 favorite colors are six other shades of blue. 

What is the rarest crayon color?

C Rex is the rarest color, with only one being produced. Crayola partnered with Kraft to produce a macaroni-colored crayon. One was hidden in a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese. The lucky recipient never came forward, so it’s unclear if the crayon is still in existence. 

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