10 Best Cause and Effect Toys [and Activities!] For Babies and Toddlers

Cause and effect toys are cognitively challenging and can also offer a lot of other benefits to your baby or toddler, such as language development, gross motor skills, and more.

But what kind should you get? How many should you get? 

What kind of toys would be interesting and age-appropriate for your baby or toddler?

I’ll answer that and more in this article. 

I looked into various online parenting groups and related websites to research and gather the most popular cause-and-effect toys.

I’ve also listed here cause and effect toys that are non-toxic for babies, with high ratings from parents online. 

I also only chose toys that are versatile and offer different ways to play, so your child can stay interested in them for a long time.

But first, let’s define what exactly is a cause and effect toy and do you really need one?

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The best cause-and-effect toys have multipurpose, such as:

What Are Cause and Effect Toys [and Activities]?

These toys basically teach kids that every action that they initiate, creates a certain outcome or effect.

Through these items and activities, they’re slowly understanding why something happens and what made it happen.

It lets them learn and explore their environment and how objects work together.

It also teaches them about themselves and develops their mental and emotional skills.

Does Your Child Need Cause and Effect Toys?

No, they don’t. Cause and effect toys are not a newborn essential or a toddler necessity.

You can just make some simple cause-and-effect activities or scenarios for your child, and they’ll eventually, with time and repetition, get the concept.

For eg., the simple act of letting them drop their food on the floor already teaches them cause and effect. 

Toppling over a tower of blocks, shaking their baby rattle, opening, and closing boxes, etc., all these simple activities can already teach them the concept of cause and effect.

But like baby swings and rockers and jumpers, having some cause and toys around can be helpful. 

It can give you some breather. Especially when you have a clingy baby but you need to do chores, work, and more.

Plus it gives your child some form of independence and the confidence and freedom to figure out how a cause and effect toy works.

Let’s first check out some simple yet useful cause and effect toys plus activities below, that you can prepare for your baby.

6 Cause and Effect Toys and Activities For Babies

You don’t really need a lot of toys with lights and sounds for your baby, as it can overstimulate them. 

Just a few simple ones that will help them reach their developmental milestones will do, like the ones below:

Activity Gym

Baby play gyms are the ultimate toy to have for infants, in my opinion. 

It has cause-and-effect toys, plus items for teething, learning to focus, tummy time, and other playtime activities! 

Rattles

Just shake it or let them shake it and see the amazement in your baby’s eyes when they hear a noise coming out of it!

Better get a rattle that has multipurpose and can serve as a teether, reaching and grasping toy, for sensory play, etc., to get your money’s worth.

Rainmaker Toys

Your little one will love watching and listening to teeny-tiny balls cascading down as they flip over, push and roll these rainmaker toys.

These toys also encourage babies to crawl, help them recognize colors, and improve their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Crinkly Toys

This seems such a pretty low-key, simple toy but for a baby, it’s fun to discover that they can make some noise with it, with very little effort.

Some crinkly toys also include other items such as a rattle, teether, and more, which makes it worth it to buy.

Switch On/ Off

This one requires no toys, just more effort on your part. 

Just show and tell your baby or toddler what happens when you switch on and off the light, the fan, the TV, when you turn on and off the faucet, etc. 

They’ll eventually get the connection plus get to have some vocabulary lessons along the way!

Warning though: they might make you do it over and over again.

Open and Close

You can open and close doors, cabinets, and whatnot. Or you can get a shoebox or any box with a cover and put things inside it. 

It not only teaches your baby the concept of cause and effect but also of object permanence.

4 Cause and Effect Toys and Activities for Toddlers

Personally, I prefer toys that have multi-purposes as I want to get my money’s worth. 

So here are some cause-and-effect toys that are more suitable for toddlers, and that can be played within various ways and offer different development benefits.

Water Toys

This can encourage your child to experiment and figure out, with your help, of course, the properties of water and how it works!

Water toys are not only engaging as cause and effect toys, they provide opportunities for sensory play, language development, coordination, and more.

Pull and Push Toys

Toddlers and older babies who are cruising and are starting to walk can get an early lesson in cause and effect with pull and push toys. 

It also develops their other skills, such as hand-eye coordination, language development, balancing, navigating their environment, problem-solving (what happens when it can’t fit under a chair?), and more. 

Wooden Blocks

Teach your kid what happens when you stack wooden blocks and what happens when you knock them over!

Wooden blocks are also great open-ended toys that can be played in a variety of ways, giving you more bang for your buck!

Pounding Toys

These toys encourage them to see what happens when they pound away, but it also tests their strength, develops their hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and more. 

Some of these pounding toys have multi-purposes and can also let kids explore music, shapes, and whatnot.

FAQ on Cause and Effect Toys

Why is it important to teach cause and effect?

It’s important to teach children cause and effect so they can understand themselves and how everything works around them.

Not only is this necessary for their cognitive skills but also for their mental and emotional development. 

It teaches them how to be more empathetic, and how their actions have consequences or positive outcomes. 

And it also encourages them to learn from their mistakes by seeing what cause them in the first place.

Cause and effect also provide a lot of other learning opportunities, such as STEM learning, language development, gross and fine motor skills, and more.

What popular childhood toys help to demonstrate the concept of cause and effect to infants?

Rattles and crinkly toys are pretty straightforward toys that easily demonstrate the concept of cause and effect. 

Your baby won’t understand the idea yet but with time, they’ll be able to associate that their actions can cause a certain reaction or effect. For eg. when they shake the rattle, it makes a noise. It’s also uncomplicated and appropriate for their age.

A pounding and musical toy is also quite an effortless way of teaching cause and effect for toddlers. When they hit the toy, it rolls or makes a noise.

Helpful Tips on Cause and Effect Toys and Activities

  • Get a multipurpose toy

There’s a chance that your kid can get easily bored with any toy, especially when it only has one way to play with it. 

So it’s better to get a versatile cause and effect toy, to keep your child engaged and learning.

  • Make sure it’s non-toxic

A baby and most toddlers tend to mouth things. 

So better get a cause and effect toy that doesn’t have any harmful chemicals on them, that can be detrimental to their health and development.

On that note, check out some organic wooden toys here for babies.

  • Always supervise them

Don’t let them out of your sight. 

Especially toddlers with a pounding toy, as that hammer might seem harmless when it’s striking a toy. But it can still destroy a mirror or glass, so always stay close when your kids are playing with a cause and effect toy.

Better yet, keep your little ones contained in a playpen, for your peace of mind and sanity. 

  • Get only a few

You don’t need a lot of cause-and-effect toys. Only 2 to 3, that have multi-purposes would be enough.

Final Thoughts on Cause and Effect Toys

If you think about it, any toy can become a cause-and-effect toy! Just show your child what happens when you do something to a toy and boom, cause and effect lesson served.

But of course, we don’t want our kids destroying the house, just so they can do their experiment and understand the concept. So we try to limit their curiosity and exploration to toys and activities that are safe and appropriate for their age and abilities.

I would highly recommend getting an activity gym for your baby, like the Lovevery Play Gym. That has the whole package – cause and effect toys, reaching and grasping toys, teether, sensory play, and more.

If you want to learn more about Lovevery and their Play Kits, check out my review here.

For toddlers, nothing beats water toys and wooden blocks. They can play with it for hours, making it value for money.