Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Living and Nonliving Things Activities for Preschoolers

For preschoolers’ first introduction to the concept of living and nonliving things, we want to keep it simple.
Give them a kid-friendly definition of living things, some examples of living and nonliving things, and then let them have fun practicing to classify the two. People, animals, and plants are great to start with as examples of living things.

When I first introduce this concept, I like to use real versions of items. For instance, I show a child a picture of a real lion, not a toy lion.

Living and nonliving things. Preschoolers petting living things

This post contains affiliate links. For more information please read my full disclosure.

Living Things Definition for Kids

Here’s a simple definition for preschoolers :


Living things will:

1. eat

2. breathe

3. grow/ change

4. make more of theirself /reproduce

Books About Living and Nonliving Things

Here are a few books that are perfect for explaining living and nonliving things to preschoolers.

Living Or Nonliving? by Kelli Hicks

What Do Living Things Need? by Elizabeth Austen



A a child exploring a corn stalk for a living or nonliving activiity

Living and Nonliving Things Activities for Preschoolers

Use these games to help your preschooler learn more about the concept of living and nonliving things. FREE instant downloads!

1. Living Nonliving Card Game

Living Nonliving Things Card Game

2. Yes or No? Card Game

This game is an extension of learning about Living and Nonliving Things. Answer the questions with Yes or No to determine if the subject in the picture has the characteristics of something living.

Yes or No Card Game

3. Nature Walk

Take a nature walk and look for living and nonliving things. Look at trees, plants, and flowers. Explore the tiny things crawling on the ground. Look up in the sky and across the lake. Ask your child questions. Depending on how well your child is understanding the concept you may want to ask more challenging questions to get them to think. For instance: The boat is moving. Is it a living thing? Why not?

Be sure to check out more fun activities for preschoolers

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top