We just love this map of Crayola crayon colors over the years. In 1903, there were just 8 crayon colors, but by 1935 it had doubled to 16 colors. The chart creator, Stephen von Worley, uses years with an exact multiple of the original 8 colors, so the stripes line up nicely. 1949 has 48 colors, 6 times as many 8, while 2010 shows about 15 times 8, or 120 colors. It all helps us draw much better pictures today!

*Wee ones:* The “primary colors,” which we mix to make all other colors, are red, yellow and blue. How many colors is that?

*Little kids:* If your crayon box has 3 crayons in the front row and 1 more than that in the second row, how many crayons do you have? *Bonus:* If you mix any 2 primary colors in equal amounts, you get a secondary color. Since there are 3 primary colors, how many ways can you mix 2 of them?

*Big kids:* By 1972 there were 9 times as many shades as the first 8. How many colors were there that year? *Bonus:* If the vat of wax for red-orange uses twice as much red wax as yellow, and it uses 36 cups in total, how many cups of each color are in there?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 3 colors.

*Little kids:* 7 crayons, since it’s 3+4. *Bonus:* 3 ways: blue + yellow (to make green), red + yellow (to make orange), and blue + red (to make purple).

*Big kids:* 72 colors. *Bonus:* 24 cups red and 12 cups yellow. There are 2 parts red and 1 part yellow, making red 2 parts out of 3, and 1/3 of 36 is 12.