Any time we come near an elevator my children begin debating over who will get to "press the buttons". To them, there is something alluring and almost magical about touching those numbers (I must admit - every time I watch the movie, "Elf" I find myself wishing I could press every button on the elevator number pad like Will Ferrell does).
Every closet in our house also doubles as an imaginary elevator - so I thought it would be fun to create a portable number pad for the elevator of the day (and also thought it would be a fun way to incorporate some number recognition/simple math into our play).
I wanted to use materials on hand (or something inexpensive if I didn't already have it) and also wanted the "buttons" on our number pad to be "press-able". What we ended up using: a piece of cardboard (cut out of a cereal box), googly eyes (for our press-able buttons), circular stickers (slightly smaller diameter then the googly eyes) and numerical stickers (optional).
I glued the googly eyes to the cardboard, adhered the numerical stickers to the circular stickers (you could also just draw the numbers on the stickers), then placed the circular stickers on top of the googly eyes.
The googly eyes doubled as the perfect elevator buttons - as they indent slightly when pressed and pop back to form when you let go.
Not only can you work on simple number recognition (press number 3, 4 etc.), but can also introduce/ show correlation between number words ("going to the 3rd or 4th floor means we need to press what number number/button"). This also provides a visual and tactile board to work on simple math problems (we're on floor number 3, we need to go up 2 floors - what number should we press to get there).
We had so much fun adding this simple creation to our imaginary play. 4th floor anyone?