For preschoolers’ first introduction to the concept of living and nonliving things, you’ll want to keep it simple.
Give them a kid-friendly definition of living things, and some examples of living and nonliving things, then let them have fun practicing classifying 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.
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Living Things Definition for Kids
- Living things are alive they need:
- a place to live / shelter
- Living things can:
- grow/ change
- make more of their self /reproduce
Books About Living and Nonliving Things
Here are a few books that are great for explaining living and nonliving things to preschoolers.
Living Or Nonliving? by Kelli Hicks
What Do Living Things Need? by Elizabeth Austen
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 pdf downloads!
1. Living Nonliving 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.
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