Dress up Game for Pretend Play: The Magic Elevator

Dress up Game for Pretend Play: The Magic Elevator

Dress up games are a great way to stimulate your child’s imagination!

They are a great tool to share with a caregiver, or incorporate into a sweet night of family fun for engaging and interactive fun! Pretend play helps grow your child’s problem solving skills and supports them as they learn how to navigate the real world. Have you ever heard of the Magic Elevator? This is a FREE and simple, yet, FUN pretend play dress up game to enjoy adventurous excitement with your children!

Items needed for the Magic Elevator dress up game: 

  • Fun style clothing and accessories to make your adventure fun. 
  • A mat or space that will be the elevator – you can even make a fort to get into! 
  • Find a signal or create one with items in your home to sound when it’s time to head to the next land.
  • Download our FREE, printable elevator button. 

Let's walk through how to prepare for your adventure on the Magic Elevator:

  1. Find an old time hat and vest, or any vintage style clothing and pretend that you are an elevator operator that runs a magical travelling elevator.
  2. To set up the magic elevator, designate a place that you identify as the magic elevator. You can create it by placing a mat on the ground, or even create a fort-like space to get inside. You can get crazy with it or go super simple!
  3. If you like, you can premake a keypad for the elevator, or just imagine it’s there! Then ask the child what number they would like to go to. For example, if they say 6, jump 6 times and tell them where you have arrived. Tape up the keypad or you can hold onto it!
  4. Children take turns choosing a button to push. When a button is pressed, you say “whoooahhhhh!” and pretend the elevator is moving and jerking around during the ride – then DING! Ring a bell or find another noise to indicate arrival at each floor.

NOTE: It is helpful to have a sound to signal when it’s time to leave a land and get back onto the elevator. Adults can make the signal whenever they feel the time is right so the energy stays up and moving.

Example lands to travel to in the magic elevator:

Dress Up Game Magic Elevator Sunny Clouds

Sunny Clouds Button

Here, you find yourselves all the way up in the clouds! Play the bounce & freeze game, bouncing from cloud to cloud as the music plays and freeze like statues when it stops. Try pinching off a bit of cloud to eat and ask, what does it taste like? Everyone can share their own answers. Scoop up handfuls of cloud and fill your pockets to bring back a rare treat for family and friends. You can meet a unicorn that points you toward the royal Castle in the Clouds, then bounce over and bow to the King and Queen!

Frog Button

You have arrived at a peaceful pond. What kind of smells do you smell? If you have a frog puppet, you can meet a frog that invites you to play a game. You can sing the morning on the Pond song or Speckled Frogs!

Traffic Light Button

You emerge from the elevator into a huge garage where there are hundreds of cars parked. Everyone gets to say what color car they’re choosing. Then everyone gets in, buckles up, and turns on the radio. You can put on music for Red Light Green Light, freeze dance style (we play Route 66 ).You can go up a huge hill, twist and turn, or stop short to let a family of ducks cross the road!

Rocket Launch Button

You’re now on an important mission for the Space Cafe! Make sure your space suits are well-zipped, your helmets are tightly fastened, and your jet packs turned on! They’re depending on you to harvest the essential ingredient for their famous Star Soup (or any favorite food!). Speed around with the mission to collect as many stars as you can and put them in your baskets. Try to find fast ones, bright ones, pink ones, blue ones, wiggly ones, etc!

Flowers Button

The elevator doors open to an enchanted garden. You can play Seed to Flower (kids become tiny seeds and grown up narrates,”Once upon a time some magical seeds were planted deep in the earth, the sun shone down and then a gentle rain fell upon them…” and trickle gently on their backs to signal that it’s their turn to grow. Each slowly grows into their own special flower or tree, and says what they are and what colors. Grown up becomes a great wind storm and spins and blusters into the scene, to see if they’re roots are firm and strong. Kids can take turns being the wind, grown up can pretend to almost blow over. AYou can also play the Fairy Friend Game where children explore the enchanted garden and tip toe around to find fairy friends. When they find a fairy, they can sweetly ask them if they’d like to play. Kids can then circle up and introduce their fairies to the group. Set an example for them first! Say their fairy’s name, age, and what they like to do for fun. The fairies might like to come back with you to your world! Ask and see if they’d like to ride back in the elevator with you and tuck them into a safe place for the ride!

Underwater Button

This button sets you out into the depths of the sea and everyone becomes an ocean character. Blowing bubbles adds a nice touch here. Each child will take a turn to moving around like their chosen sea creature and everyone guesses what they are. Perhaps they even see a treasure chest and everyone gets to take some magical treasure back with them! For additional adventures through the sea, check out our very own audio story, Mermaid Tales. 

Dress Up Game Magic Elevator Bird Button

Bird Button

Transform into a bird and soar through the air! Are you an eagle? A hummingbird? A flamingo? An owl? Each person can choose what they are, and what color. Make a nest together by finding different twigs and bringing them into the center of the room. Settle inside and sing like birds, or maybe the adult can become the mama bird and the kids can become eggs that hatch. She can feed them some delicious worms or cupcakes!

Question Mark Button

Make up a surprise adventure of your own!

Home Button

Press this when it’s time to go back home!

We hope you have fun jumping from land to land with your family and friends using our dress up game for pretend play!

Feel free to use our ideas to form your own lands, costumes, or buttons! It’s our goal to help you create an experience that is intellectually beneficial, packed with family fun, and helps you make delightful memories. Our hope is that your family will be talking about their dress up game adventures for years to come!

Please share your adventure with us!

If you use our Magic Elevator guide, we would love to see pictures! Follow us on Instagram and tag us in your adventures. We want to see all our elevator operators in action! Happy travels!
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Mary Eriette Atanante

Teacher and Characters

  • Favorite Character:  Sabirel
  • Favorite Magic Powers: Flying
  • Favorite storybook land: Camelot

Mary has been a teacher at The Rabbit Hole Children’s Theater for the last four years. You can find her teaching a class, creating activity books, dressing up and performing for kids or jamming at a birthday party! 

A recent graduate from San Francisco State University studying Theater and Communications,  Mary  loves to help children unlock their imaginations and motivate them to create the wonderful ideas in their mind!

Chelsey Mony


  • Favorite Character:  Alice 
  • Favorite Magic Powers: Flying
  • Favorite storybook land: Wonderland

Chelsey is an actress, dancer, improviser and has an exuberant passion for musical theater. Her love of theater began when she was a little girl.

When she is not helping those in need, she found joy in performing in a community theater group in Las Vegas- having starred in multiple shows for the past 5 years.

Chelsey  moved to the Bay Area in 2019, and  joined the Rabbit Hole team. Her love of theater and wonder will be an excellent asset to the team as she encourages children to find their own unique love of theater and wonder.

Creating a safe space for children to exercise their imagination and creativity is her mission in this work.

Melania 'Mel' Rivas

Head of Product Development

  • Favorite Character:  Sailor Moon 
  • Favorite Magic Powers: Flying
  • Favorite storybook land: Neverland

Mel is an eclectic, curious and creative individual who has learned and experimented with many different arts & crafts forms since she was a little kid.

Fascinated by the healing power of art and its ability to express our inner worlds, she has pursued and completed studies in art, early childhood education and psychology.

Mel has taught bilingual exploratory art to children during the last 5 years and now she makes use of her passion for creativity and children’s education to bring The Rabbit Hole Children’s Theater ideas to life for kids all over the world to enjoy!

Strider Patton

Project management

  • Favorite Character:  Wizard Merlin
  • Favorite Magic Powers: Invisibility
  • Favorite storybook land: Middle Earth

Strider Patton is founder and director, Brooke’s, husband and partner in The Rabbit Hole. A third generation self taught artist, Strider grew up appreciating and making art.

He is a professional contemporary visual artist himself, specializing in sculpture, murals and studio art. When he is not in his studio or on an installation, he is working with The Rabbit Hole Crew. Building sets, designing products, creative planning and the occasional puppet show keep Strider involved with the company from many angles.

He has worked with youth and communities since he was young, valuing the role that creative expression plays in individuals and communities lives.

Ariella Cooley

Head Creator.Sound Designer.Teacher

  • Favorite Character: Pirate
  • Favorite Magic Powers: Flower Power
  • Favorite storybook land: Narnia

Ariella Cooley has been teaching and creating at The Rabbit Hole since 2017. As a lead teacher, she uses theater games, song, dance, masks, puppetry, and crafts to tell stories with the kiddos in her class.

As sound designer, she pulls from her classroom experience to make the Rabbit Hole Queendom come to life aurally. Crafting whimsical underscores, creating kooky sound effects, and finding expressive character voices make her tasks endlessly enjoyable!

Ariella earned her B.A in Theatre Arts from UC Santa Cruz, focusing primarily on acting and directing. Her work as a vocalist and songwriter inspired her expansion to audio production and theatrical sound design.

At Rabbit Hole, she is able to tap into all of these artistic loves and fold them into her work with children.

Meryl Theo Press

Head Creator.Illustrator.Teacher

    • Favorite Character: A drowsy cat with a cupcake farm  
    • Favorite Magic Powers: Flying 
    • Favorite storybook land: Narnia not under the white witch’s rule

    Meryl Theo Press has an affinity for play. She brings humor, music, visual art, and empathy to her work at Rabbit Hole. With these tools she enjoys creating magical worlds for kids to inhabit, in order to stimulate their imaginations, encourage self-expression, and nourish joy.

    In the classroom, her focus is on “seeing” the child. In her illustrations, Meryl appreciates detail and seeks a thread of storytelling. In summoning voices for Rabbit Hole’s audio plays, she digs deep and scoops out the absurd characters within. She uses her longtime love of singing to bring musical elements to Rabbit Hole classes and productions.

    Meryl studied printmaking and painting at California College of the Arts and has performed with various bands in San Francisco, the United States, and Europe. She has been a part of Rabbit Hole since 2016. Meryl’s 9 year old daughter Vida is her most treasured and valuable collaborator.

Brooke Patton


  • Favorite Character: Glinda  
  • Favorite Magic Powers: Ice Magic 
  • Favorite storybook land: The Shire 

Brooke Patton spent that last decade in the classroom developing an imaginary play method designed to nurture creative confidence in early childhood education. She founded The Rabbit Hole Children’s Theater in 2012.

Having spent the first 8 years in the classroom she’ created heartfelt experiences for kids both in and out of the classroom. She’s developed lesson plans, theatrical kits, creative classes and productions all designed to nurture children’s creative development.

She comes from a strong foundation in theatrical arts and graduated from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City where she studied Musical Theater. Brooke also holds a strong passion for human development linking the connection play servers for children’s creative development.

Her method is rooted in celebrating the creative process and honoring ideas that come from the child. Allowing kids to discover the depths to their creative potential and grow up with a sense of worthiness around their ideas.

She is a mother to an incredible little girl and loves her family with her whole heart.