What is cause and effect
Cause and effect understanding is crucial for a babies development. It is about understanding the connection between an action and a consequence. Children start to learn these lessons very early in life, they learn that when they cry they are comforted/ fed/ changed. At about 3 months old your baby is starting to understand that their behaviour results in a response for you, some times that can last a lot more years than it should !
Babies will also start reacting to noises and movement, such as when a rattle has been shaken, or there is a loud noise they will start to turn their heads towards that noise. They will follow the movement of the toy with their eyes.
As they get older they learn that if they shake the rattle ( cause ) then that rattle will produce a nice sound ( effect ). Wrist rattles are great for this learning as they can also teach babies about movement of their body parts.
They learn by repetition so banging a spoon on the table may be annoying for us but its a learning strategy for them, as banging the spoon produced an interesting sound. Likewise dropping things on the floor for us to pick up, these are all ways that they learn about the environment and themselves, as they slowly learn that for every action there is a reaction.
It is also about communication skills, babies have not developed language so their reactions to your actions are a way of communicating to us. I like the sound of the rattle when you shake it, so I will laugh, or I don’t like it so I will cry, they are telling us what they want as well as what they need.
Its not just hand movements that teach, whole body movement like navigating across the room to get at an object is another way of making things happen. This is also a great way to help with tummy time, make it interesting and baby will not find it so difficult, encourage more movement by placing their toys just out of reach.
Once they have started crawling they will want to play with lots of toys, sound toys like rattles, mirror toys or soft toys or books with crinkle fabric. All help with learning. Stacking bricks, push and pull toys are all great as each action results in a reaction.
Toys are great at teaching our children new things, but they are even better when played with together, so whatever toys you choose make sure to spend lots and lots of time playing with your children.
We never stop learning about cause and effect, a simple lesson for adults is, that third glass of wine will make you fell all happy but the next morning the effect won’t be a good.