How to Teach Cause and Effect to Your Kids

The concept of cause and effect seems obvious and natural to adults, but for children, especially younger ones, the idea can be a bit more difficult to grasp. It’s important to teach cause and effect early, though, as it will be crucial for academics and, even before that, for daily life. Parents can play a significant role in helping children master the concept.

Steps

Method 1 of 2: Helping Babies and Toddlers Discover Cause and Effect Download Article

How to Teach Cause and Effect to Your Kids

Interact with your child. Even young babies can begin to understand cause and effect: they cry, for example, and someone comes to feed, change, or comfort them. Maximize this natural way of learning by responding to your baby and interacting in various ways. Make faces to get your baby to laugh; pick your baby up if he or she reaches out for you.

How to Teach Cause and Effect to Your Kids

Offer toys. Babies and toddlers learn through play, so offer a variety of toys suited to your child’s developmental level. Your baby can learn that shaking a rattle creates a sound; your toddler can learn that pressing certain buttons may make a toy light up or make a noise.

How to Teach Cause and Effect to Your Kids

Reinforce cause and effect through conversation. As your child grows and understands more and more, you can enhance their understanding verbally. So, for example, you can say, “oh, you didn’t eat your lunch, and that’s why you’re hungry again already” or “oh, you were too rough with that balloon, so it popped.”

How to Teach Cause and Effect to Your Kids

Demonstrate. Toddlers can grasp cause and effect best with a practical demonstration. Puncture a balloon with a pin, and see what happens. Or go to the kitchen sink with your toddler, and pour water into a cup until it overflows. Ask your toddler what happened, and why. Repeat with other household objects and procedures.

Method 2 of 2: Helping Preschoolers and Older Children Master Cause and Effect Download Article

How to Teach Cause and Effect to Your Kids

Teach your child the vocabulary of cause and effect. Explain that a cause is an event or action that makes something happen; an effect or consequence is a thing that happens as a result of that cause.

  • As your child gets older, add additional vocabulary. Words like “influence,” “results,” and “factors,” for example, as well as words that will help with cause and effect sentence construction: “therefore,” “consequently,” “thus,” and others.

How to Teach Cause and Effect to Your Kids

Use the word “because.” Reinforce the relationship between causes and effects by using the word “because” in conversation; it makes for better understanding for many kids. So, for example, say, “Your shoes are dirty because you stepped in the mud,” or “The house is cold because we left the windows open.”

How to Teach Cause and Effect to Your Kids

Explain why cause and effect relationships are important. As your child grows, you can point out that the principle of cause and effect is significant in a number of ways. We try to discover the causes of things that are bad so that we can eliminate them and make the world better; we try to discover the causes of things that are good so that we can apply them and maximize the results.

  • Once your child starts school, it’s important to emphasize the academic uses of cause and effect. Scientists use it all the time (What is causing global warming? Why did these plants die? What will happen if we mix vinegar and baking soda?), and so do historians (Why did the American colonies revolt? What happened after Cortes conquered the Aztecs?).

How to Teach Cause and Effect to Your Kids

Make a T map. A T map is a simple table with two columns. On one side, you can write causes; on the other, you can write effects. For example, on the left side, write “It is raining.” Have your child brainstorm possible consequences: it gets muddy, flowers grow, the school has indoor recess, there are traffic jams. Write those on the right side of the table.

  • You can also use T maps for individual cause and effect relationships to illustrate language. So, in this case, you would write “It is raining” at the top, instead of on the left. Then, on the left, you’d write, “It gets muddy because it is raining.” On the right, you’d write, “It is raining, so it gets muddy.” This method teaches the two main forms of stating cause and effect: the “because” form and the “so” form. It also reinforces the concept.

How to Teach Cause and Effect to Your Kids

Play cause and effect games. One example is the cause and effect chain. Choose a consequence (say, “pants are dirty”). Then have your child think of a potential cause (for example, “I fell in the mud”). Then you (or another child), follows up by saying the cause of that consequence (“it was raining and slippery”). Continue as long as you can. This game will help your child develop his or her understanding of cause and effect.

  • You can also play a simpler game where you offer an imaginary effect (say, “the dog barked loudly”) and have your child think of as many possible causes as he or she can. Examples might include “the dog barked loudly because the mailman came,” “the dog barked loudly because someone pulled on its tail,” or “the dog barked loudly because it saw another dog.”

How to Teach Cause and Effect to Your Kids

Read books. Look for themed picture books designed to tackle causes and consequences. Read them with your child, and talk about the situations presented in them.

How to Teach Cause and Effect to Your Kids

Create a timeline. For older children, draw a timeline on paper. Choose a historic event, like a war, and mark its important moments on the timeline. Connect those moments based on cause and effect.

How to Teach Cause and Effect to Your Kids

Teach analytical thinking. As your child grows, his or her understanding of cause and effect will get better and better, and you can begin pushing for deeper, more analytical thinking. Ask why something occurred, and then follow up with “How do you know?” or “What’s your evidence?” Try asking “What if?” questions to engage your child’s imagination: “What if we accidentally used sugar instead of salt in this recipe?,” “What if the American colonies didn’t revolt?”

  • Introduce the idea that correlation is not causation. If there is no evidence for a particular cause making a particular event happen, then it may be a random occurrence rather than a causal relationship.
News Related
  • How to Watch the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics

    After a year’s delay due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the 2020 Olympics are set to kick off in Tokyo on July 23, 2021. Even though the events are technically taking place in 2021, they’re still called the 2020 Olympics. The bad news is that international spectators aren’t allowed—but that ...

    See Details: How to Watch the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics

  • How to Become a Member of the YMCA

    The YMCA offers a wide variety of services to its members at hundreds of centers across the United States. YMCA members have access to state-of-the-art fitness equipment, a broad range of wellness programs, and licensed child-care services. Most YMCAs offer flexible membership plans, including reduced fees for low-income participants. Steps ...

    See Details: How to Become a Member of the YMCA

  • How to Put Ski Bindings on Skis

    Mounting ski bindings is something you can do yourself if you have the proper tools and know-how, including a drilling jig and a special drill bit. If you don’t have the right tools or aren’t confident in your ability to get the job done, it’s always best to have your ...

    See Details: How to Put Ski Bindings on Skis

  • How to Run a Fitness Boot Camp

    A fitness boot camp is a type of physical training class that encourages participants to do cardiovascular and strength training through instructor-led exercises. The classes often include intervals, competitions and team work. It is available through gyms, private trainers and dedicated boot camp businesses. Boot camps may take place inside ...

    See Details: How to Run a Fitness Boot Camp

  • How to Do Qigong Hsing I Exercises

    This article will show you how to do basic-advanced qigong that will develop internal strength and increase martial power. Though easy to perform these exercises are immensely effective. Steps Part 1 Part 1 of 2:Empty posture Download Article Stand normally with feet shoulder width apart. Your arms will rest normally ...

    See Details: How to Do Qigong Hsing I Exercises

  • How to Become a Football Player After 20

    Soccer or football can sometimes seem like a young person’s game. But with the right attitude and preparedness, anyone who is fit and dedicated to the sport can get in the game. Here are a few tips to help you out if you’re over 20 and still keen to get ...

    See Details: How to Become a Football Player After 20

  • How to Do a Sitting to Standing Exercise

    Moving from sitting to standing is a motion that most people already do throughout the day. However, when this motion is done mindfully, it can be a gentle–yet effective–exercise. This movement can strengthen your legs, lower back, and core. It can be especially helpful for older folks and people recovering ...

    See Details: How to Do a Sitting to Standing Exercise

  • How to Exercise

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Exercise

  • How to Be Hygienic Using Public Swimming Pools

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Be Hygienic Using Public Swimming Pools

  • How to Exercise Facial Muscles

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Exercise Facial Muscles

  • How to Get Rid Of Man Breasts Through Exercise

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Get Rid Of Man Breasts Through Exercise

  • How to Get PSA Grading

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Get PSA Grading

  • How to Measure a Fitness Ball

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Measure a Fitness Ball

  • How to Improve Reaction Speed

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Improve Reaction Speed

OTHER NEWS

How to Become a Nike Authorized Dealer

Nike is an Oregon-based athletic company specializing in shoes and sportswear. From its modest beginnings in 1972, the company grew quickly and sells products in 130 countries today. If you ... Read more »

How to Learn Wing Chun

Wing Chun is a style of kung fu that emphasizes close quarter combat, quick punches and tight defense to overcome opponents. This traditional Chinese martial art destabilizes opponents with quick ... Read more »

How to Start a Dance Studio

Dance has been a traditional element of many cultures for centuries. Many different styles of dance are taught and practiced around the world, and dance studios are a common type ... Read more »

How to Raise Your Leg up to Your Head

All kinds of athletes and performers raise their legs up to their heads, demonstrating flexibility and strength in their abilities. These include dancers, figure skaters, and martial artists, among others. ... Read more »

Proven Workouts and Exercises to Increase Your Athletic Speed

Whether you’re a runner, a basketball player, or a martial artist, speed is an advantage for any athlete! Get quicker on your feet by incorporating speed drills and sprints into ... Read more »

How to Display Hockey Cards

Instead of keeping your hockey cards stashed away in old shoe boxes, go ahead and show off some of your favorites! If you have some high-value cards, use professional-grade preservation ... Read more »

How to Fit a Riding Helmet

Whether you are a casual rider or a competitive equestrian, a well-fitted riding helmet is a must. You want a helmet that is made specifically for horseback riding, that fits ... Read more »

How to Go to the Himalayas

Traveling to the Himalayas can be a thrilling, life changing experience, so you’re probably really excited to plan your trip. The Himalayas are a mountain range in Asia that spreads ... Read more »

How to Travel to the Dominican Republic

If you’re dreaming of white sandy beaches and a lush, tropical landscape, head to the Dominican Republic for the trip of a lifetime. As the top destination in the Caribbean, ... Read more »

How to Strengthen Quads Using a Fitness Ball

Quad exercises are a great way to build strength in your upper legs, and, if done regularly, will yield results relatively quickly. Working your quads (the muscles along your thighs) ... Read more »

How to Reduce the Stress of Your Commute

Are your mornings filled with stress and anxiety due to your commute? Do you find yourself laying on the horn, screaming expletives at the drivers around you, and feeling extremely ... Read more »

How to Travel Around Taiwan

Taiwan is a beautiful island country located in East Asia, only a short distance from mainland China. In addition to the main island, Taiwan has many smaller islands and archipelagoes ... Read more »

How to Chew Betel Nut in Papua New Guinea

If you ever go to Papua New Guinea, the first thing you will notice is the brilliant red-stained teeth and lips of the local men and women. Betel nut, or ... Read more »

How to Plan a Spring Break Staycation

Typically, when it comes to spring break, ideas like vacations to the beach come to mind. You don’t, however, have to take a vacation to enjoy your spring break. Instead, ... Read more »

How to Travel During the Holidays for Seniors

The holidays are a great time for traveling to visit family and friends. If you’re a senior, there are special considerations to take into account during holiday travel. You want ... Read more »

How to Travel As a Photographer

Becoming a travel photographer is a dream for many. Being able to roam around the world, getting paid for taking photos of beautiful landscapes, and experiencing new cultures and people ... Read more »

How to Cope with Honeymoon Mishaps

Text Only Text Only Going on your honeymoon with your partner is a marriage rite of passage. You and your partner may have a romantic beach getaway planned or a ... Read more »

How to Get to the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands—made up of 13 main islands, 6 smaller islands, and 107 rocks and islets—is well-known for its amazing wildlife. If you plan on visiting the Galapagos, you’ll need ... Read more »

How to Disappear Completely

Whether you need to lay low or simply want to be left alone, disappearing might sound like a good idea. Running away usually isn’t necessary and most problems are solvable ... Read more »

How to Apply for ESTA

If you want to visit the US for a brief period, either for business or pleasure, you may qualify for travel authorization under the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) ... Read more »

How to Travel With Children

Do you want to go on vacation, but need somewhere family friendly? Do you dread traveling with your children because of the inevitable headaches? Don’t put off travel altogether. Traveling ... Read more »

How to Write While Traveling

Writing while traveling can be either a professional or personal pursuit. Some people travel and write as part of their jobs, while others simply want to make the most out ... Read more »

How to Obtain a NEXUS Membership

NEXUS is a “Trusted Traveler” and accelerated border control program for pre-approved, low-risk travelers, allowing them quicker and smoother crossing between the Canada-United States border. Steps Download Article Find out ... Read more »

How to Apply for a Nigerian Visa

Except for nationals of some African countries, visitors to Nigeria generally need a visa to enter and depart the country. You can complete an online application to apply for a ... Read more »

How to Travel to Nigeria

If you’ve got an adventurous spirit and you’re looking for something off of the beaten path, Nigeria may be a great option for your next vacation! From sun-drenched beaches to ... Read more »

How to Make a Travel Brochure

A creative, expertly written and well-designed travel brochure invites readers to cast themselves into a story that takes place in an exotic locale. In this article, learn how to make ... Read more »

How to Travel Spontaneously

Traveling can be a pleasant, carefree experience, but the large amounts of planning and preparation which usually precede actually traveling can make the process seem like more trouble than it’s ... Read more »

How to Enjoy Niagara Falls when It Rains

It can be a let down if you get to Niagara Falls and it’s raining. Luckily, there are many indoor attractions you can still enjoy. Try to spend time at ... Read more »

How to Go to Sydney from Melbourne

Melbourne and Sydney are two of the largest cities in Australia, so it stands to reason you’d want to travel between them from time to time. Your main options for ... Read more »

How to Use the Mobile Passport App to Save Time at US Customs and Border Patrol

After flying internationally, you can speed up the US Customs and Border control process by using the easy-to-navigate Airside Mobile Passport app! Anyone who holds a US or Canadian passport ... Read more »

How to Dress in Egypt As a Woman

Whether you’re going for the ancient history, the modern cities, or the mesmerizing beaches, Egypt is a country you don’t want to miss out on. Since Egypt is a mostly ... Read more »

How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing vacation or an action-packed trip, Maui is the perfect place to spend time together as a family. You’ll find plenty of activities geared towards ... Read more »

How to Buy Gifts and Souvenirs for Others When Traveling Abroad

People love receiving gifts and when you’re traveling, it’s tempting to bring a piece of a faraway land back to others. Traveling abroad brings a host of concerns, including what ... Read more »

How to Ride your Bike to School Safely

Did you just learn how to ride a bike and want to ride it to school? Well, read this guide to do it. Steps Download Article Find a safe route ... Read more »

How to Prepare for a Trip to Israel

Also known as The Holy Land, Israel is a beautiful and diverse Mediterranean country with a history of religious significance dating back thousands of years. Despite its small size, millions ... Read more »

How to Plan Your Business Travel

Planning a work-related trip can be a stressful endeavor. On top of your usual travel concerns, you also have to keep your mind focused on the business aspect of your ... Read more »

How to Plan a Trip to Blue Hole in Belize

Deep in the middle of the turquoise Caribbean Sea, is a large dark blue circle known worldwide as the “Blue Hole”. Situated in the centre of the Lighthouse Reef, the ... Read more »

How to Get to Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island is a popular year-round tourist destination and stopover spot for yachts sailing the Tasman Sea. Fly to the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage island on small propeller planes ... Read more »

How to Travel to Madagascar

Madagascar is an amazing place full of unique wildlife, gorgeous beaches, and fascinating geological structures. Because it’s an isolated island, Madagascar is home to many animals that can’t be found ... Read more »

How to Get to Machu Picchu

If the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru is your destination, you’ll have to navigate through the mountainous terrain by train or on foot. How much money and ... Read more »