The STEM Way

The STEM way is a learning and education blog for kids with STEM(Science,Technology,Engineering,Math) Lessons, Experiments, Worksheets and Quizzes for children.

The STEM Way

What are living and non living things?

Already know this? Take the QUIZ!


Look around you. Everything that you see can either be classified as a living thing or as a non living thing. People, animals, plants, even germs are living things. Rocks, furniture, Books, toys are non living things.

What makes something LIVING?

Living things are made up of Cells. Cells are the building blocks of life. Below is a picture of cells seen under a microscope. Cells are minute and cannot be seen by the naked eye.

Just like a house is made up of many many small bricks, a living thing is made up of many many tiny cells.

The important things about these cells is that they multiply. This is what makes  living things grow.  

In simple words cells make copies of themselves! Some cells can even repair themselves. You must that noticed that when you hurt yourself or scrape your knee after few days your body heals. Your skin heals itself and repairs the scrape.

Living things need water, food, appropriate temperatures, light and air to breathe.

Characteristics of living things.

Living things need energy. 

Living Things take in food and convert it internally to energy. For example you eat food and your body converts the food you eat to energy. You need to feed your pets and even plants take in food and nutrients from the soil and air and convert it to energy.

Free stock photo of food, salad, restaurant, person

Living things can grow.

Are you taller now than you were last year? Plants grow, animals grow, babies become big kids!  All living things grow!

Related image

Living things can reproduce.

Living things can reproduce their own kind. Apple trees give us apples year after year. Dogs have puppies, Cats have kittens.

Some animals like chickens lay eggs which hatch into little chicks.

Image result for chicken and chicks

Living things DO things!

Most living things react to things around them. Living things have senses that tell them what is going on around them and in them and they respond accordingly. Some animals attack if you hurt them. A sunflower turns towards the sun as it goes from sunrise to sunset. You laugh when you are happy, you cry when you are sad, when you are cold you wear a jacket!

baby, beanie, child

Lets look at some examples

Photo of Squirrel Holding Nut During Daytime


A Squirrel is living thing because it satisfies all the conditions of a living things. It grows, it eats to get energy, it reproduces, it moves around and responds to the environment around it.




Free stock photo of fashion, shoes, footwear

Shoes are not living! They don’t need energy, they don’t make baby shoes, they don’t respond to any changes in their environment!




Free stock photo of forest, meadow, leaves, autumn

What about leaves that were once connected to a tree and have fallen to the ground?

Since they were once connected to a living thing( a tree) they are considered living even though they are not living any more.





How much do you know about living things?




Lesson plan on living and non living things from

A SCIENCE MINI-UNIT: LIVING AND NON-LIVING with a power-point and lot of discussion points.

Living and non living preschool worksheets.

Introduction to once living from giftofcuriosity.


2 Replies to “What are living and non living things?”

Leave a Reply