5 fun activities to teach temperature (hot and cold) to preschoolers


Teaching temperatures, especially hot and cold, has dual benefits. Not only does your child understand the concept of temperature (which is utmost important to understand other scientific concepts and pieces of geography), they also understand opposites.

But, do you know what drove me to find activities to teach hot and cold in early years of my kid?

Safety concerns!

Once my kid started becoming more and more active and walking erratically, it was important to teach him hot and cold for safety. With hot cups of coffee, pressure cookers on tables and hot water taps, this was need of the hour.

Your concern could be any of these but these activities will help you introduce or refine their understanding of temperature.

We will discuss 5 activities in this post that are engaging and fun.

Let’s start.

1. Track daily temperature

We were always a fan of using routine activities, so why not this?

Track daily temperatures along with your kid. You can do it twice a day: morning and evening.  As they become comfortable with the concept of hot and cold, you can also include afternoon.

This can lead to a discussion around hot, warm and cold. Moving forward with this activity, you can also includes  superlatives and comparison like hotter or cooler.

This will help kids understand temperature as well as weather.

2. Make household temperature labels

This game includes putting temperature labels on household items. You and the kiddo have to hunt the entire week and label items with hot, cold, neutral, room temperature etc. Whoever labels the most items that has a temperature, will win the champ badge.

We placed labels on cups of coffee and tea, hot oven, inside fridge, on the cold AC vent and coolers, near gas stove, pressure cookers, warm laptop charger, ice, room temperature water, etc.

I also ensure that the labels over the same colour that depict the temperature. For example, hot was depicted by red. This is important because a lot of danger signs are in red and relating the color to heat will help them understand it better.

I was surprised at the things my kid placed stickers on. He definitely enjoyed this activity and I understood that he has grasped the knowledge of temperature.

3. Sort out the object pictures

Print out pictures of items that are hot, cold or neutral. For example, sun, moon, ice cream, ice, coffee, flames, etc. Mix all of them and put it in a bowl.

Now, take three bowls and tag them each – hot, cold and neutral. Ask your kid to sort them out. As he/she starts grasping the concept of temperature, especially hot and cold, put a time constraint to sort the objects.

Make it an interesting rapid fire game!

4. Experience first hand

There is no better way than “feeling” the temperature.

Heat water in a cup and pour them into different cups at regular intervals (before it starts boiling). This is to ensure that each bowl of water will be hotter than the one before.

You can do the same with cold water. Take a bowl of normal water, chilled water and ice.

Let your kids touch each of them. As they feel it, they will understand the concept of hot, hotter and hottest as well as cold, colder and coldest.

5. Fun with thermometer

Let your kids go wild with thermometer. Not so wild, just experimental.

Ask them to take temperature of all family members and note them down. If someone is running fever, it would be cherry on the top. Just kidding!

Along with this, ask them to put the thermometer inside the fridge, normal water and boiling water (if not this, then dip it in the tea when mommy is making it).

There you go.

5 activities that not only let the kids feel the temperature but also understand it better using different activities.

Which ones are you planning to implement? Do you have more ideas for simplifying temperature (especially hot and cold) for preschoolers to 5th graders? We love to hear from you.


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