Young children, infants and toddlers learn by doing. They throw a ball to see it bounce. They stomp in mud and pour out buckets of water to see what will happen. Cause and effect is an integral part of play and early learning child development.
There are many toys for babies on the market that help reinforce cause and effect thinking, help children develop skills, and encourage learning. These toys help develop curiosity, attention, and intentional play. We’ll discuss how cause and effect play affects early learning and look at different types of cause and effect toys including which ones are the best for babies and toddlers.
What Role Does Cause and Effect Play in Early Learning?
An essential part of early learning is when a child recognizes that their actions affect things in the world or people around them. If they push a button, the toy lights up. If they hit a drum, it makes a sound. If they pull the cat’s tail – well, they’ll learn they probably won’t like the result.
Cause and effect learning helps young children recognize that they can cause a change by doing something. This realization leads to further stages of communication where they learn that if they do something, like cry or point at a particular object, they will get the thing they want. Eventually, the child will learn more methods of communication like speaking the words that something is called or asking for it in a sentence. Cause and effect play during early learning can help children with a lack of coordination. Using their eyes and hands to play with high-quality cause and effect toys can help improve their visual perception as well as grant them good hand-eye coordination.
Types of Cause and Effect Toys
In general, cause and effect toys do all kinds of different things. You hit a button, and a light comes on, you drop a car at the top of a ramp – it rolls to the bottom. But all-cause and effect toys follow the same principle: Each of the toys responds immediately to the child’s actions when activated. This action can show a child that what they do can have an effect on their environment.
Many toy stores carry an entire section of cause and effect toys, but they are also available anywhere toys are sold. Also, it is helpful to remember that most babies and toddlers are also happy to play with old pots and pans once they discover the effect of banging on them.
Our 4 Picks of Cause and Effect Toys for Babies and Toddlers.
Stuffed animals can only do so much! Here are some of our favorite Cause and Effect Toys for Babies and Toddlers
Bubbles are a classic for a reason. You dip the wand, you blow some air, and magical bubbles appear in the air. They are inexpensive and readily available almost anywhere. Children young and old love playing with bubbles, and older toddlers can learn the effect of blowing gently to create their own bubble magic.
2. Soothing Rain Tube
Simply flip this tube over and watch colored beads bounce and fall gently down to the bottom. The sound is soothing and can help encourage self-calming by watching the beads cascade down. For more fun, try shaking the tube and watch the balls bounce around.
3. Wooden Ball Drop
This solid wood toy helps encourage improved hand-eye coordination in babies and helps them learn about object impermanence. All you need to do is drop the ball into the hole and watch it roll down into the tray. This simple game is surprising and challenging for children and helps them master the skill of inserting the ball. It’s also a lot of fun.
4. Wooden Pounding Bench with Mallet
The wooden pounding bench is a great toy for toddlers. It helps them work on their hand-eye coordination skills and fine motor skills and lets them hammer something in with the wooden mallet. This toy is a modern take on the classic kids’ toy – it adds a twist. As you hammer one colorful peg into the hole, the other side pops up, providing endless fun and possibilities.