For thousands of years, people have used letters like A, B, C to write words. Then came those teeny shapes like periods and exclamation points to jazz things up. Then someone thought to type a colon and parenthesis to make a smiley face, like this 🙂 Now our computers and phones give us fully colored faces we can type, called emoji. There are emoji for every feeling you could have, plus animals, sports equipment, and foods like tacos. So our fan Jordan F. asked, how many emoji are there, and how many new ones join them each year? Already we have 3,304 different emoji, with about 120 new ones added this spring. No matter how you feel when you write to your buddy, you can find the perfect face to tack on!
Wee ones: The first emoji were bright yellow. Try to spot 4 bright yellow things in your room.
Little kids: How many letters do you have in your first name? Bonus: If you swapped in an emoji for the 1st letter and every other letter after that, how many emoji would be part of your new cool name?
Big kids: If of 41 emoji there are 20 sports items and 10 foods, how many emoji are other crazy things? Bonus: If 1/3 of the first 1,800 emoji are basically happy, how many happy emoji do we have? (Hint if needed: What if there were just 18 emoji in total?)
Wee ones: Answers can include crayons, markers, T-shirts, socks, or stuffed animals.
Little kids: Different for everyone…count the letters in your first name! Bonus: Again, different for everyone…count up just the odd-numbered letters (1, 3, 5, 7, and so on).
Big kids: 11 other emoji. Bonus: 600 happy emoji.
Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.