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Hot and Cold Sorting Activity

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A hot and cold sorting activity with mats that will help toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners practice differentiating between hot and cold objects and clothes.

Hot and cold sorting activity

Kids get to sort between between 18 objects and 18 clothes which ones should go on the cold mat and which on the hot mat.

Before kids start sorting, they will have to cut out the cards. If you’re doing the prep work, it won’t take long.

Make sure to print two copies for each sorting mat and one set of the cards.

The printable comes with two versions:

  • colored cards
  • black and white cards (for kids to color)
Hot and cold sorting activity for kids

Use this game if you want to help kids understand temperature better. Talking to them about the difference between hot and cold is also an important safety conversation.

Hot and cold sorting activity for preschoolers and older kids

If you’re doing this at home, you can go around the home and look for hot and cold things, like the hair dryer or ice cubes.

You can also go outside and explore the outdoor temperature. Talk about the seasonal changes and how the change in temperature affects nature. Pair it with a fun broccoli painted four season art project or a four season tree craft.

For more sorting activities to try with kids, take a look at this happy tooth sad tooth or this happy Earth sad Earth.

Hot and cold sorting activity

Hot and cold sorting activity: objects and clothes


Prep work

Print the template on white cardstock paper. (Print 2 copies of each sorting mat and 1 copy of the cards)

cut cards

Cut out all the cards: 9 cold items, 9 clothes for cold weather, 9 hot items and 9 clothes for hot weather.

How to play

sort cards

Let the kids sort the cold and hot items or clothes for hot and cold weather. 

Place cold cards on the cold sorting mat and the hot cards on the hot sorting mat.

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