A Special Interest: The Number Wall

Number Sixes
“Hey, girl. Let’s contemplate numbers while I read you some Seuss.


Tyoma loves numbers.

As a toddler, he organized his magnetic numbers on every available surface. Little sequences adorned the drier, dishwasher and sides of our cars.

For  several months, number six was his favorite. Everywhere we went, he pointed out sixes with unlimited enthusiasm.

Mind you, Tyoma never said, “Six,” rather he pointed and verbalized, “Ah-dah-dah-dah!”

Close enough.

As he grew older, he became preoccupied with making his own number sixes. Naturally, he began to write much earlier than his peers. Page after page of smeary sixes stacked up in our art boxes.

Over long weekends and holidays, Tyoma and I built number walls in his room.




The walls evolved from globular number sequences to rigid cut and paste quilts. Over the years we have painted, collaged, taped, and stapled numbers to his walls. Velcroed dry-erase boards strain under the weight of  burgeoning magnetic numbers. Like tiny footnotes, lable-maker strips of digits dapple every wall.

I guess we are both obsessed.

This spring break, Tyoma wanted to redecorate his favorite number wall with a space theme. A huge bin of glow-in-the-dark celestial shapes caught his fancy. We prepared for their addition by removing one of his number walls.


Glow in the Dark


My mental image of Tyoma’s future wall was quite lovely.

I envisioned a symmetrical expanse of luminous galaxy bits. The soft glow would ignite Tyoma’s young mind with questions about physics and cosmology.

The reality was a smashed and misshapen mass of pasty plastic. Tyoma crammed all 50 pieces into three square feet. He hoped the light it generated would be enough to read by.

Despite “charging” the stars for most of the afternoon, the cluster glowed for only 30 seconds in the darkness.

Tyoma frowned and stared for a full 30 seconds.

He put his hands on his hips and said, “Mama, where’s the Sharpie?” I handed one to him.

He numbered every star and planet. After he finished, he stepped back and hopped. Continuing to bounce he exclaimed, “Wow! How cool! NUMBERS!”


13 thoughts on “A Special Interest: The Number Wall

  1. Hi Lori….I am in love with this post, I especially love the top picture and your quote underneath, it had me belly laughing! Have a happy weekend with your little man 🙂 Crystalyn

    1. Hey! So sweet of you to drop by! I am tickled that you enjoyed the post. I typically don’t caption the photos, but this one begged for it!

      Tyoma was in wonderful form when he came home today. I thank you again for your devotion and hard work with my son! 🙂


    1. Thank you, Sam. Tyoma does look a bit inscrutable and intense in the top photo. I believe much wisdom resides in following your beloved pursuits. 🙂 Lori

  2. This post is so cool. (My wee man is more into letters than numbers tho). I love the gap between the mental picture of what you wanted, and the reality! That really got me laughing. XXX

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. We did have an obsessive period with letters. He seemed to learn how to say words only after he could spell them. Ultimately, he’s a number guy!

      Glad you dropped by!

  3. OH!! I want to come live with you guys! I LOVE the number wall. This post makes me bounce and clap! I just love it. Fabulous ideas!

  4. Tyoma looks so mature, knowledgeable and in charge in the top photo… it looks like this is precisely the expression he’ll have at 50+ when he hands down advice to the grand kids and other less experienced person.

    Actually he looks mature in many of his photos, overall… like he feels very life competent & ready to be in charge:-)

    1. Thank you for visiting Majk! Please forgive my untimely response, sometimes I get quite overwhelmed. I hope that you do start your own Number Wall, it is a cheery way to view a little ones progress and encourage art! 🙂

      Happy Day,

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