Cause and effect toys teach children that their actions can cause something to happen. When a child blows in a bubble wand, bubbles fly out; when a child pushes a car into a tower of blocks, it falls.
Using cause and effect toys in speech therapy can help your students build language. Still, it can also increase attention span, create curiosity, and improve joint attention skills. Today, I am going to share some of my favorite cause and effect toys you can use to help increase engagement while also working on speech and language goals!
What Toys Do You Have In Your Therapy Stash?
Some of the BEST cause and effect toys are the ones that you already have in your speech therapy material stash. A set of blocks and anything to knock them down work wonders! Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience.
I found these wooden blocks at the Dollar tree and grabbed some of my cars. While stacking the blocks, you can work on “up, more, exclamations (i.e., oh, yay) and stack.”
Stacking cups, blocks, or boxes are also versatile for teaching tall/short, hiding things under, and using pretend play bowls. This set from Brilliant Basics Stack and Roll Cups is under $10 and can be stacked or put together as a ball to roll.
Play Therapy Cheat Sheets
Check out the toy companion cheat sheets if you serve students with various goals and want to start using ONE toy to cover many target areas. There are toy companions for stacking cups, cars, and over 30 types of toys and games (new toy companion cheat sheets are added to the resource as you send in requests.)
Cause and Effect Toys That Provide a Surprise
Toys that have a surprise are great for improving joint attention. Kids love the anticipation of finding what’s inside. You can also be super animated with your facial expressions to share in the “surprise” and excitement.
For SLPs on a budget, grabbing some plastic eggs at the Dollar Tree or Walmart during the Easter holiday is excellent for hiding mini items or pictures inside. You can read here are you can use those eggs with a chicken theme.
You also can use plastic cups to hide items underneath. If you are looking for things to add to a sensory bin, check out the toys from Learning Resources. The Surprise Party presents are great for a birthday theme. They also have other versions, such as acorns, picnic baskets, or farm animals.
Toys that Encourage Children to Request More of an Action
When you use cause and effect toys that spark your student’s curiosity to want to do it again, you have some golden opportunities to work on communication!
And, if they need the item or help from you to watch that action happen, you can work on functional communication such as help, want, go, more, or gestures to signal to make that action happen again.
My two favorite toys for sparking some curiosity are ball poppers and wind-up toys (part of the toy companion cheat sheets.)
You can work on using verbal routines (i.e., ready, set, go), target CORE vocabulary (i.e., go, again, more, turn), turn-taking, joint attention, and social communication (i.e., funny, help me.)
What are Your Favorite Toys to Work on Cause and Effect?
What toys do you use to work on cause and effect in speech therapy? Your recommendations for toys are always the best. Share in the comments so other SLPs can find toys that will help plan their next speech therapy session.
If you need more toy and play therapy ideas, you can always search “toys” in the search bar or check out blog posts HERE.