Lockdown Math Activity: The Ordinal Elevator

My kid loves pressing the buttons on an elevator. I was trying to think of an activity that focuses on numeracy and was appropriate for school-aged kids. So, I decided to combine two cool concepts: cardinal/ordinal numbers + DIY elevator buttons! The result is this Ordinal Elevator:

What You Need:

Manila Folder with the two sides folded in.
A piece of big bubble wrap to make the elevator buttons more tactile.

How to do it:

  1. Open up the manila folder. Fold one side in half inwards towards the middle crease. Do the same to the other half. They now open up from the middle and are the elevator “doors”
  2. Cut out 20 individual bubbles from the big bubble wrap. I used the one with each bubble measuring about inch in diameter. Alternative: You can also use the big googly eyes which pop back up when pressed down if you don’t have bubble wrap. Glue each one to the middle part of the folder. I wanted to do 1 to 20, so I did 5 rows with 4 buttons each.
  3. Print out numbers 1 to 20 and glue this on top of the bubbles.
  4. Next, create a Word Document with two columns. On one side, type “Ordinal” and the other “Elevator”. Under the “Ordinal” column, add a table with 20 rows and 2 columns. Type in the cardinal numbers 1 to 20 and spell out the words for them. On the other column under “Elevator” type out the ordinal version from 1st to 20th and spell them out in a table with 20 rows and 2 columns. Print this out. Fold in the middle vertically and cut it. Glue it to the top of the folder so the numbers align when the doors are closed.
  5. Create another page in your Word file with two columns. On top of each column type “Read the number and press the correct elevator button”. Under that, put in your ordinal numbers (numbers in one column and spelled out version in the other) in random order. Print this out. Fold in the middle vertically and cut it. Glue it to the insides of your elevator doors.

There you have it, a fun math activity for kids in lockdown 🙂


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