Children's drawings have blossomed 'thanks to skin-toned crayons', says SA teacher

Colour Me range designed to celebrate the diversity of the rainbow nation

09 June 2020 - 11:12 By Sanet Oberholzer
The triangular shape of Colour Me crayons helps children to develop the correct pencil grip.
The triangular shape of Colour Me crayons helps children to develop the correct pencil grip.
Image: Supplied/Colour Me

The newest addition to Crayola's product range, Colors of the World, has garnered praise around the globe.

The box of 24 crayons includes shades designed to represent more than 40 skin tones with the aim of fostering a sense of inclusivity among young artists.

The product is only available in the US for now, but a local company, Colour Me Kids, also recently launched a box of skin-toned crayons, selling for R30, with the tagline “stationery for the skin you're in”.

“The motivation behind Colour Me was to ensure all children felt represented from a young age. While we are seeing more diverse resources for children, including books and toys, it’s almost impossible to find stationery for early childhood years that reflects diversity and inclusivity,” said Kylee and Justin Faure, the wife and husband team behind Colour Me Kids.

As a teacher of young children, Kylee started searching for similar products to use in her classroom. She said she discovered options overseas that were impossible to import, very expensive and not child-friendly.

“It blew my mind that we couldn’t get something like this in South Africa,” she said.

The Colour Me pack of 12 triangular-shaped crayons have been designed to promote an efficient pencil grip, and the skin-toned shades are named after edible treats.

Kylee said she often hears children say, “I am peanut butter” or “I am choc chip”.

“I can see how the children have been craving this from the massive difference this made in my classroom,” said Kylee.

“I have seen the self-image drawings from my children just blossom.”