Who are we and how did we start?
Crayon Rocks were developed by Barbara Lee, a special needs teacher who worked with elementary aged children for 23 years. She invented Crayon Rocks after being inspired by occupational therapist Jan Olsen and her Handwriting Without Tears program. She learned from Mrs. Olsen how important it was for children to develop a strong tripod grip early in their education process — handwriting skills depend upon this. Seeing that a simple tool to develop these skills in young children wasn't readily available, Ms. Lee set out to develop one.
Since a child's first writing tool is usually a crayon, that crayon should be one that encourages him or her to use thumb, first and second fingers in a tripod grip. This is what makes Crayon Rocks a wonderful tool for fine motor development. Because of their shape, they do not allow kids to easily grip them in a closed fist which deters fine motor development and are also more resistant to breaking.
Children with cerebral palsy, autism, developmental delays and various forms of learning disabilities have tested Crayon Rocks in the classroom. Parents and teachers of special needs students often tell me how much their children love them.
Unlike most crayons which are made of petrolium paraffin wax, Crayon Rocks are made from U.S.–grown and processed Kosher soy wax. We combine this wax with natural mineral pigments to create beautiful colors and a natural ground rock that gives the crayons their body. This creates a crayon that goes on smooth and blends easily.
We first made Crayon Rocks in a garage in La Crescenta, California, mixing the colors in small batches and forming them in hand-made molds. Since then we've upgraded our digs a bit...to a barn — a wonderful structure raised by our Amish neighbors here on a hilltop in Hestand, Kentucky. Our manufactuing has been upgraded a bit and our procedures are more refined, but our simple surroundings suit us well.
Our crayons make it easy to apply great swaths of color to the paper along with being able to create line work and smaller details. The colors blend together easily and allow kids to develop an endless array of new shades and combinations. They give rich color that goes on smoothly and easily helps little fingers to grow strong as they spill their creative ideas onto paper.
We recommend brushing your finished creation with the palm of your hand for a finished oil pastel quality.
We are committed to offering a safe and eco-friendly product. Crayon Rocks are non–toxic. They are, however, small enough (1.5 inch x .75 inch x .75 inch) to be a potential choking hazard to very young children. Made from a renewable resource, soy oil, they are an environmentally better choice over traditional petroleum wax crayons.
Yes, we are certified non-toxic and conform to ASTM 4236. We are CPSIA compliant. You can eat our crayons if you want, but PLEASE don't inhale them. They ARE a choking hazard. Not for children under 3 years of age or those who will put them in their mouth. Use with an appropriate level of supervision.
Phthalates are substances added to plastics to make them more flexible. Our crayons have NO phthalates in them. To the best of our knowledge and research, none of our current packaging or processes for manufacturing have any phthalates associated with them. And all tests show us to be significantly below the recommended cutoff level for lead and all heavy metals.