Hot and Cold Activity – Social Skills for Autism Spectrum Disorder

In this activity, children will work with each other or with an adult to collaborate on an art project. Communication, either verbally or nonverbally will be important to make sure the artwork comes together. Children and adults will take turns placing colored scraps of paper either touching another piece or overlapping. The final result will be a mosaic of different colors and shapes created by teamwork. As the instructor, it will be important to make sure children take turns in an orderly fashion.


MaterialsHot and Cold Activity

  • One large piece of white paper or blank paper.
  • Multiple scraps of colored paper in different sizes.
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors (optional)


Prep work

Arrange the different sizes of colored paper in a pile or piles.

Place large piece of paper in an easily accessible location.



InstructionsSocial skills activity

  1. Have children sort the random scraps of paper into Hot colors and Cold.
  2. Talk to children and have them choose one piece of paper.
  3. Have children cut or tear the paper into a shape.
  4. Begin by having one child place and glue their shape anywhere on the blank sheet.
  5. The next person places their shape either touching or overlapping the previous shape.
  6. Once a person places their shape, they go and create a new shape with a different piece of paper.
  7. This process continues until the paper is filled up or time has elapsed.



Complete the art project only using cold or hot colors.


Questions to ask during activity

While sorting colors

  • What are summer colors?
  • What colors do you see in winter?
  • Do you think red is a Hot color or a Cold color? Why?

While gluing and arranging shapes

  • Should these be touching?
  • Where should I put this?
  • What color should we do next?

You can download this activity here: Hot and Cold

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