Hesperian Health Guides
Understanding why things happen (cause and effect)
The Healthwiki provides free information to 20,000 people every day.
This is made possible by donors like you!
Make a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.
When a young baby plays with toys, he does not know what will happen. But slowly he learns that by doing certain things — like banging a toy on the floor — he can make other things happen — like a loud noise. This is an important lesson for a baby, because he is learning that he can have an effect on the world around him. He also learns that he has some control over what happens. This makes him more curious about how things work.
To help your baby learn about cause and effect
Place noisy toys across the area where he sleeps or plays. Make sure the toys are close enough so he will accidentally hit or kick them. Soon he will learn to hit and kick them on purpose.
Make a stack of small boxes or cans that your baby can knock down. As he gets older, he can learn to make the stack himself. Encourage him to see how high he can make the stack before pushing it over, and to notice the different sounds each box or can makes.