Animism is the belief that objects that are inanimate (not living) have feelings, thoughts, and have the mental characteristics and qualities of living things. Animistic thinking is very common (if not ubiquitous) in young children and Piaget noted that this is a characteristic of the pre-operational stage of childhood development.

Children frequently believe that their toys have feelings. For example, a child wouldn't want to leave their teddy bear outside for fear that it might get cold at night and be lonely without them. They are attaching human qualities and feelings to an inanimate object.

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