Hesperian Health Guides

Understanding why things happen (cause and effect)

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Blind > Chapter 7: Thinking Skills > Understanding why things happen (cause and effect)

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.

a baby on his back hitting toys that hang above the bed.

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.

a woman speaking as a child pushes over a stack of cans.
That was a tall stack, Kontie!

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.

a child putting his hand in a box that a woman holds.
Encourage him to put things inside a box and then toss them out.