How to score FREE crayons!

I've got crayons. I've got hundreds and hundreds of crayons, and I got the all for free!

Now you might be asking yourself, "why does a secondary English teacher need so many crayons?" And, the answer is simple. I use them almost every single month when I have my students write essays. Since I teach a lot of ESL students and struggling writers, I use crayons when I teach writing so that my students color code their thesis to correspond with the matching topic sentences. They really seem to understand organization more when they can visually see that every proponent of their thesis statement needs to be accompanied by a body paragraph in their essay.

Now, everyone can get hundreds of crayons for free. I started rounding up my stash even before I was a credentialed teacher.

As I was earning my teaching credential and Master's degree, I worked part time as a waitress in a restaurant. I noticed that every kid that walked through the door received their own box of four crayons. However, the restaurant that I used had a policy to not reuse crayons. So every time the bussers would clean the table, a perfectly good box of new or almost new crayons was thrown away. What a waste!

I talked with my manager and then with the bussers. Everyone agreed that saving the crayons was a good idea. I placed a crayon donation station near the bussing section in the back area of the restaurant, and all of the bussers and servers were on board. Save the crayons for future use in schools!

If you notice, many restaurants follow a similar practice. They throw away practically new crayons. These are crayons that can be used by kids across the nation. Kids who need these supplies! If you have a restaurant that you frequent regularly, speak with the manager about saving the crayons. You can even supply a plastic box for their storage. If they agree, you will be amazed at how quickly the crayons add up. Sure, you will most likely only get three or four colors, but for color coding essays, it is perfect


  1. I'm secondary too, and use lots of crayons. I think if a teacher "changes it up" students have a better time - even if it is a tiny change! Sometimes I have students write on construction paper. They love it!

    1. That's great. I love all of your coloring resources and I'm sure your students do too!