Am I Alive? (Characteristics of a Living Thing)

We were playing I Spy in the car when the question came up: “How do I know if something is alive?”

Then four-year old G had an object in mind for the game, and when I asked “Is it alive?” his answer was honest enough. “I don’t know. How do I know if something is alive?” At that moment, without putting much thought into it, I answered, “If it’s an animal, plant or another person, then it’s alive.” This answer did not only insufficiently describe the characteristics of a living thing, it was also redundant (strictly speaking, a person is an animal), and potentially incorrect (roadkill, for example, would not be alive!)

So I made this, an answer in a format that I knew my child would love.

I’m happy to say that G absolutely loved this bird, and found its confusion about being alive quite humorous. So if you have little ones curious about what makes things alive, feel free to introduce them to this strange, little bird.


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