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Rebecca Chicot PhD
Child development expert with a Phd from Cambridge University. She has worked on several best-selling books and BBC documentaries. She is the proud mother of three children.
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Stage 4 – 9 months

Cause and effect games to play with babies

Babies instinctively know the games to play to promote their development and they are very curious and natural little scientists. They notice cause and effect when they can hold and manipulate things in their hands.
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In Short
Learning about cause and effect is an important phase of your baby's cognitive development.

You can build towers of blocks, stacking cups or cereal boxes, and they'll learn that when they hit them, there's a very satisfying and exciting crash.

You can give them a wooden spoon and a pot - and they'll have fun learning that when they hit the pot there's a big noise. You can think of quieter games too!

Learning about cause and effect

Give your baby or toddler lots of natural and safe items like cardboard boxes so they can play and learn about knocking things over and cause and effect.

Babies love to bang things. It doesn’t need to be a tambourine – it can be a pot or a pan and a wooden spoon. A loud bang is a very satisfying result for a baby!

It’s really nice to set things up where they have that experience of autonomy, where they’re in charge. When they are banging a drum they get the reward of the sound as the beater hits the drum. It gives them great pleasure, they get a release of dopamine and learn about making a noise.

Whey do babies knock things over?

Before babies can build things up, they actually like knocking things over. You can play some really nice games with cereal boxes, where you create a high tower and they will just have the greatest time just knocking that over again and again. It may seem like a pointless thing to do, but it’s actually really important for babies of this age. They’re learning about cause and effect, they’re learning that they have the power to do things within their own environment.

This gives babies a real sense that they have control over their world. They go through a stage where they absolutely love knocking things down. They’re not being naughty, they’re actually learning about cause and effect and it’s all really important for their development.

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This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Essential Parent has used all reasonable care in compiling the information from leading experts and institutions but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details click here.