Education, STEM Learning

How to Animate a Spinning Emoji | Beginner Web Development Animation Tutorial

With COVID we had many students learning from home. This had kids and teens spending so many hours in front of a screen. While there may be negatives to so much screen time, perhaps there are some positives, too.

My own tween has become quite intuitive with a computer. He is on it so much that he has learned things like animation and some coding skills. Perhaps learning some of these experiences can have a great impact on their tech world. They can start or continue their web experiences with this, How to Animate a Spinning Emoji.

This project will give you a great introduction to basic web animations using HTML and CSS. Learn how to use spinning animations on the web by animating sushi (or any emoji you like)!

Who is this project for?

How to Animate a Spinning Emoji | Beginner Web Development Animation Tutorial

This project info and learning outcomes summary will help you decide if this project is right for you.

This beginner Web Development for kids tutorial is for students that want an easy/medium challenge project, about ~30 lines long. It’s perfect for students currently in our JavaScript Level 1 class, or anyone that wants to start learning basic web development. You should have a basic working knowledge of what HTML/CSS is, and how it’s used beforehand to get the most out of this tutorial.

For learning outcomes, you’ll get a lot of practice with writing HTML and CSS, and generating animations with CSS. This project is estimated to take you about 15 minutes, but you should move faster or slower at your own pace!

Project Demo

Before getting started, see how our finished project works for reference. Watch the video, or view my project and solution code. You should also consider what kinds of features the project has that you should try to built in your project.

What to keep in mind before you start:

  • We need to be able to center our sushi in the middle of the page.
  • We need to define some CSS that will do that for us.
  • In order to use an animation, we need to define the keyframes for our animation.

Steps to Code the Project

  1. Create the sushi on the screen.
  2. Position the sushi.
  3. Animate the sushi.

How do we do each of these steps?

Step 1: Create the sushi on the screen.

  • Create a div with the sushi emoji inside of it.

Step 2: Position the sushi.

  • Use CSS to ensure it is in the center of the screen
  • Make the sushi larger with font-size

Step 3: Animate the sushi.

  • Define the animation.
  • Use keyframes. Read more about animation frames for context.
  • Link the animation to the sushi, and tell it the properties it will need to know such as animation-iteration-count for how many times it will repeat.

Challenge Yourself with Extra Features

Explore what other animations could be made, or use other emojis and images to get creative! You can learn more about web development animations to see what is possible.

Hopefully this basic tutorial gave you a foundation to get started with more complex and ambitious animation projects.

Great job! Check out more coding tutorials

Thanks for watching and hope you had fun making this project with me! Every week, we’ll be posting project tutorials like this one, for different coding languages and experience levels, as well as math tutorials.

Check out our step-by-step coding projects to find our other tutorials in more coding languages!

Need more help, or want to keep learning?

A coding classes Instructor teaching kids Python.

A Juni Instructor teaches basic Python to a young student.

Looking up your coding questions is one of the best ways to learn! Another great way to learn is from an experienced coder or instructor.

Juni Learning Coding Instructors like Gabriel work closely with students ages 8-18, and are specially trained to adapt to each child’s unique learning style, pace, and interests.

Read more about our coding courses for kids and curriculum, or contact our Admissions Team to learn which course is best for your student’s coding journey.

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Education, STEM Learning

Top 8 Reasons Why Every Kid Should Learn to Code | Juni Learning

We all want our students to gain the life skills they need to achieve academic, personal, and eventually career success. But with so many important skills and extracurriculars available for them to learn, it can be hard to know what to prioritize.

Coding is one skill that stands out in the modern era. It offers kids a boost in important life skills, socialization, and schooling — as well as a headstart on their future careers.

Here are our top 8 reasons why every kid should learn to code.

1. Coding gives a new way to look at the world

Top 8 Reasons Why Every Kid Should Learn to Code | Juni Learning

Computer code is a way to describe reality — similar to English or any other language. A programming language, just like any natural language, has its own grammar and syntactic rules. Thus, learning to code is very much like learning a second language and provides many of the same advantages.

Each new language gives us a new perspective that is uniquely attuned to a certain environment. In the 21st century, fluency in coding languages like Javascript, Python, or Scratch gives kids an excellent vocabulary for interacting with the world around them. It’s no wonder that programming has been described as the new literacy!

2. Coding fosters creativity

Taking a mental image and giving it form in the real world is the very heart of creativity. Even at an early age, students can harness their creative abilities to make animated graphics, websites, and interactive video games with their coding skills.

Coding is one of the few creative venues that results in truly interactive works — and there is nothing more exciting for kids than interacting with your own creations. This serves as an excellent supplement to other creative venues, giving kids another way to bring their artistic ideas to life.

3. Coding improves math and logic skills

a section of code, showing how logical thinking is ingrained in computer science

Learning code teaches kids computational thinking — the process of breaking down complicated tasks into individual steps (like loops, conditionals, etc.) that a computer can understand. This is the same process used to break down complex arguments, and is a pillar of logical thinking. The more kids practice coding, the better their logic skills will become.

Math skills can often feel abstract and hard to grasp. This is particularly true as a student enters high school-level mathematics, a transition that many of us have struggled with. Coding projects can make math concepts feel more real. As students proceed to learn pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry, variables and other concepts that they have already garnered from computer science are sure to give them a headstart.

4. Coding helps children with problem-solving

Simple coding projects offer an excellent introduction to problem-solving skills at a young age. Coders learn how to break down complex problems into simpler ones. This is one of the most crucial and rewarding parts of problem-solving.

With coding, students can test solutions to make sure they work. Few other problem-solving experiences offer this benefit. When all else fails, they improve their Google research skills while seeking solutions, and who wouldn’t benefit from being better at independent research?

5. Coding projects help kids develop resilience

The ability to cope with failure is a vital life skill. Through coding, kids learn that failure is a stepping stone, not an ending. Recovering from a misstep happens quickly with coding. The process is less frustrating because students can try several solutions quickly. This makes it much easier to develop resilience without feeling overwhelmed.

Even just an hour of code a day through hands-on coding projects can teach kids the importance of persistence and resilience.

6. Coding makes learning fun


Computer programming projects give exciting results, that you can see right in front of your eyes. Your student can build stand-alone projects like Tic Tac Toe, an animated animal face drawing, or even their own video game design from their imagination.

They can also bring their coding skills into their current favorite toys and games. Minecraft add-ons are an amazing example. Kids can use code to enhance activities that they already know and love!

7. Coding is a social activity

Remember all those coding projects we already talked about? Your student can also show off what they built to their friends! Sharing how they built their favorite game reinforces what they have learned and improves their confidence. When your student shows off that new Minecraft add-on or video game they built, their friends are sure to be impressed.

And there’s another way to turn coding into a social activity: Hackathons for kids. These virtual competitions give kids a chance to work on collaborative problem-solving and building with a goal in mind. It’s hard to find better preparation for teamwork skills in school or work!

8. Coding prepares students for the careers of the future

An adult working on a holographic screen, showing how computer science helps kids in future careers

Finally, we can’t end this list without mentioning careers. Coding skills are indicators of digital literacy — a necessity in this digital age! Nearly 50% of all jobs require some coding skills.

Of course, these skills are especially crucial for coding and computer science careers. Further, coders are proven problem solvers and logical thinkers, skills that are valuable in any career field.

Ready to get started learning code?

Individually, each of these is a strong reason for your student to learn coding. When combined, they make coding one of the most valuable skills for young kids in the 21st century!

Finding resources to help kids become computer programmers used to be hard. Over the past several years, the advent of online courses and guided coding projects has made the process much easier.

A Juni Instructor teaching Scratch.

A Juni Instructor teaches Scratch to a student.

Juni Learning is here to help as well. We offer a range of private and group online coding courses for kids ages 8-18 that gives students solid foundations in computer science, logical thinking, and even creative subjects like website design. Every student is matched with an expert instructor who’ll be their personal guide into the world of coding.

Check out our coding curriculum or contact our admissions team to jump-start your student’s future today!

This article originally appeared on

2020 Holidays, Education, STEM Learning, Toy Reviews

Smarty JOJO Toy teaches directions, shapes, colors and opposites with Play

Smarty JOJO Toy teaches directions, shapes, colors and opposites with Play

Smarty JOJO!™ is not just smart, he is interactive. Smarty JOJO toy teaches directions, shapes, colors and opposites with play. Flycatcher is an early UK company that offers innovative tech toys that are brilliant. Available in the US on Amazon is this genius toy plane with personality (if there is a toy out there that has its own personality, JOJO is it)! He retails for under $25 and I still can hardly believe its price point is that low for what he offers in play.

The question I had after learning about Smarty JOJO is how well he actually performs in person so I was able to give him a try. I do not have any preschoolers at home. I do watch my 12 month old nephew – too young for this but he was highly intrigued by his voice and fun design. He carried it all around with him. But I was the one who played with Smarty JOJO for his features and any child from 3-5 will have instant friend with JOJO.

Let me list his awesome features for you

  • Identifies colors
  • Speaks English and Spanish
  • Encourages physical play with its motion sensors. The more your child moves with JOJO the more fun he offers
  • Fun missions teach directions, shapes, opposites, and emotional intelligence: Right & Left, Up & Down, Fast & Slow to name a few
  • Follow a task correctly and JOJO’s lights flash as he states you are correct

Kids learn as they play. For instance, when JOJO is asking your child to “go left” or “go right” there is a small light on each wing that will light up so they know which direction is right/left. When asked to go “land on a color” he will flash lights and give a congratulatory command to indicate you are correct.

He will surely be a hit over the Holidays. Smarty JOJO is likely to remain my favorite recommendation for ages 3-5 for the 2020 Holidays! Find Smarty JOJO and other Flycatcher products on Amazon. Another Flycatcher hit in our home for the older sibling (ages 5-99) is the smART Sketcher! Learn more at Flycatcher Toys!

Smarty JOJO Pin
STEM Learning, Toy Reviews

2 Indoor Activities for Halloween the Kids will Love

Comment: I was sent product for this feature. I am happy to partner with this brand. There may be affiliate links contained within the article. Thank you for visiting.

2 Indoor Activities for Halloween the Kids will Love

The weather is turning, Halloween night is also daylight savings so we already see our days getting shorter. It is time for more indoor activities for fall and winter. I have 2 Indoor Activities for Halloween the Kids will Love from Crazy Aaron’s and Magformers.

Starting with a little camping fun, the Magformers Camping Adventure Set is so fun. I think I may just set this up in our RV for some table fun while camping. Until next camping season it makes a fun indoor STEM building activities for Halloween. This set is rated for ages 3+ and are fun to tinker with through age 99!

This particular Magformers set is available at Target. There are 40 pieces to turn these magnetic building blocks into campfires and tents.

Visit Magformers for more information and set options.

This next activity from Crazy Aarons is putty that glows. Crazy Aarons has many fun putty options and this set if the Ghostwriters Thinking Putty – Hocus Pocus. Hold the included light and hover it over the putty in any design then turn off the lights to see your creation glow!

This putty is for ages 8+. It turns from orange to magenta with the included Glow Charger(R) and glows an eerie green in the dark. Besides this Hocus Pocus putty, they have an entire Halloween theme if you head over to their Putty World online.

If you need to start shopping putty gifts for the Holidays, make sure to check then out while doing your Amazon shopping. Visit the Crazy Aarons store online.