best cause and effect toys

Best Cause and Effect Toys (for babies, toddlers, and kids)

Children begin to develop cause and effect thinking skills starting as early as 8 months old. Cause and effect thinking allows your child to start making inferences about the things happening around them. Whether it be sound, light, or movement, children begin to understand cause and effect through their toys or everyday life.   

There are simple ways you can help your child understand cause and effect. For instance, teaching your child to communicate a need or want (using sign language for “milk”) will result in the effect (getting milk). You can show them that flipping the light switch causes an on and off reaction. Or banging a spoon on the floor will result in sound. 

There are also numerous cause and effect toys on the market. Your child’s eyes will light up the first time they push a button, and a song comes on. Or the first time they drop the ball and see gravity take control. 

We’ve researched the best cause and effect toys on the market and divided them into three categories: babies 0-12 months, toddlers 1-3 years, and kids 3-5 years old).  

Best Cause and Effect Toys For Babies 0-12 months old

Baby Rattle Teething Toys 

The Baby Rattle Teething Toys is a 10-piece rattle set in various high contrast colors and attractive patterns. The rattles have easy to grip handles suitable for a baby’s small hands. 

When shaken, the rattles produce sounds that alert babies, causing them to turn heads. Babies will have fun listening to the sounds when they shake the toy themselves. 

Babies can learn eye and hand coordination when playing with them. They are also great as a teething toy due to their safe materials and features. 

The materials are non-toxic, resistant to chewing, and are large to prevent choking. Also, the edges are smooth to avoid scratches and cuts. Lastly, it comes with a container to collect all pieces safely. 

Each rattle has dimensions around 5.51 x 4.72 x 6.69 inches (L x W x H). All rattles are BPA, Lead, and Phthalate Free. The toy’s materials are SLR, TPE, and ABS. 


  • Soft and small size for little hands
  • Each rattle makes a different sound
  • It comes with 10 rattles
  • Dishwasher safe


  • You can’t boil rattles for sterilization even though the company says you can
  • Water can easily get inside rattles

Fisher-Price Go Baby Go Poppity 

The Fisher-Price Go Baby Go Poppity is an adorable looking dino toy with six colorful balls that fit on top. The figure itself features appealing colors with soft textures. 

By placing the ball in the tail and adjusting the knob below, the ball rolls over the belly. From there, the balls will either pop out of the belly onto the ground or will roll inside an opening and into the dino’s mouth. 

Another exciting feature is that it produces engaging music for the baby when the knob is adjusted. After the balls roll on the floor, the baby will have to crawl to get them, thus, encouraging movement. 

The ridges of the dino’s parts are round instead of pointy to avoid hurting the baby’s skin. The balls are also large enough to prevent choking and swallowing. 

Its dimensions are 4.85 x 18 x 10.5 inches, or as illustrated, half of the infant’s sitting height and weighs 2.2 pounds. 

Both the dino figure and balls are from non-toxic plastic materials. It also requires three pieces of (LR14) C Alkaline Batteries to power up. 


  • Two volume settings for music
  • Large pieces to prevent choking
  • Can easily add additional balls (like ping pong balls)
  • Solid design and sturdy


  • The popper in the belly can start to stick over time
  • Batteries not included

PlayMonster Mirari Myphone 

The PlayMonster Mirari Myphone is a tablet-like soundboard for babies. It features a wooden design with cute and colorful animal labels on the buttons. It’s easy to operate and is best suited for babies six months and above. 

The nine main buttons play animal and object sounds when pressed. Parents can also customize them to record and produce any sound they like. The red Mirari button at the bottom activates the adorable giggle sound. 

Over time, the toy can improve a baby’s memory since each button has a designated sound. Parents can also set a sound to any of the main buttons if they want their babies to learn specific words. 

The tablet is free from any sharp corners and components that can hurt babies. However, there’s a warning to watch infants since the buttons and batteries are hazardous when swallowed. 

The toy is not very thick and is enough for the baby to hold comfortably. It is lightweight at 7.8 ounces and measures 6 x 6 x 2 inches. 

The board is highly durable based on sustainable bamboo wood that can survive throwing and tossing around. The buttons are from non-toxic materials that are soft to the touch. 


  • You can record personal messages or songs
  • Easy to use
  • Made from wood
  • It comes with a remote button


  • When pressing the Mirari button, there is a brand promotion each time
  • To use the remote, it needs to be perfectly lined up with the phone

Wooden Ball Drop Toy 

The Wooden Ball Drop Toy includes a wooden toy tray and three red balls. The items are both plain and don’t have any prints or designs. It’s a simple yet engaging toy for babies. 

Your child inserts a ball in the hole atop the wooden tray. The ball will then roll over from the enclosed drop area to the outside. The pure red color of the balls simulates action and playing.

This toy will help your child work on hand and eye coordination. After showing them how to use the toy, it is fun to let them explore independently.  

The toy amassed a total of 1.93 pounds, with the board having the dimensions 12.32 x 6.3 x 4.84 inches. The balls are small enough for an infant to hold comfortably and large enough to avoid choking. 

The board is pure polished wood with no nails or screws. The balls are carved from natural wood and colored with non-toxic red paint. 


  • Montessori inspired toy
  • Easy to use
  • Large pieces to prevent choking 
  • Made from wood


  • Not a lot of versatility
  • Some customers complained that dowels holding lid are not fully secure and had to glue them in place

Best Cause and Effect Toys For Toddlers 1-3 years old

Melissa & Doug Rainbow Caterpillar 

The Rainbow Caterpillar is a spiral-shaped wood with plastic pegs and gears. All gears are bare colored except the red one that shows the caterpillar figure’s smiling face. 

The gears are interconnected, so turning any of them will move the remaining ones. The pegs underneath allow easy gear detachment if your toddler wants to interchange colors. 

Toddlers will have an exciting time making the caterpillar walk faster. The rotation mechanism improves hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, while the gear design enhances color recognition. 

The spiral board is polished wood, so there’s no risk of splinters or scratches. The pegs are firmly stuck to the board, while the gears are large enough to avoid choking or swallowing. 

The toy is 14 x 6 x 2 inches and weighs 15 ounces. Each gear handle is suited for small hands so that playing will be easy and enjoyable. 

The toy is composed of a wooden base and non-toxic plastic pegs and gears. Other parts, such as the red gear’s eyes and markings, are safe and irremovable. 


  • Great for teaching colors
  • Made from quality wood
  • Large pieces to prevent choking
  • Great for fine motor skills


  • Not a lot of versatility
  • Children tend to lose interest around age 2

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Pounding Bench 

The Deluxe Pounding Bench includes a bench and a mallet. On the bench, eight irremovable pegs are marked with smiley faces. 

A child pounds any of the pegs with the included toy mallet. Once struck, a peg will go up and down on the bench. Each has different colors and a yellow base with smiley faces that attract a child to play. 

The toy helps with the development of fine motor skills from pounding. Also, it’s great for practicing memory and color recognition. 

The bench and its stand have rounded and polished corners, so it’s safe near your child. Besides, all pegs are secured and large enough to never worry about accidental choking and swallowing. 

The toy has an overall weight of 2.2 pounds, so it’s not that heavy nor too light to fall over easily when pounding. The dimensions are 10 x 5 x 5 inches. 

The toy is built to last, given how the bench, pegs, and mallet are solid wood. While the pegs’ base is plastic, they’re still tough and can handle countless pounding through years of playing. 


  • Great for hand-eye coordination
  • Great for teaching colors
  • Made from wood
  • Very durable to withstand rough play


  • The toy is very noisy when the child hammers pegs
  • Not a lot of resistance when pounding down pegs

Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano 

The Magic Touch Piano is a wooden color-based keys piano. Inside the box, you’ll get the piano itself and three music sheets with a back-to-back print of song keys. 

The music sheets contain simple and short color-based notes. A child can follow these guides with the color-coded keys of the piano. The keys don’t depress; instead, the instrument will produce sound with just a touch. 

There are three modes. Auto mode allows your child to play the song without pushing the correct keys. Demo mode plays more complex songs by pushing a button. Finally, freestyle mode allows your child to explore and play freely.  

It’s beneficial for infants six months and above to improve memory, understanding, and hand-eye coordination. Above all, it’s an excellent introduction to music. 

The music sheets are durable enough to withstand tearing and avoid swallowing the materials. On the other hand, the piano has polished corners and surfaces, and no pointy components are present. 

The piano weighs 2 pounds and is 12 x 5 x 9 inches. Materials are 50% wood and 50% plastic. The piano is solid wood, while its sound device atop and the music sheets are plastic. It requires AA batteries (included) to run. 


  • The key surface is smooth and easy to clean
  • Offers three modes (Auto, Demo, and Freestyle)
  • Easy to use
  • Unique design made mostly of wood


  • Red and orange card on cards are similar in color and hard to decipher
  • If the child pushes or pulls on the back, the piano will tip over

Fat Brain Toys Spin Again 

The Spin Again toy includes six discs with varying colors: red, orange, green, yellow, and blue, shapes: stars and flowers, and sizes. Also, it contains a pole and a disc-shaped base. 

The pole will stand if embedded on the base. After that, a child will insert each disc onto the pole and watch as they spin and go downwards. T

The toy’s mechanism will improve hand-eye coordination and the ability to perform tasks. The discs’ appearances are equally beneficial to enhance tactility, color recognition, and an introduction to counting. 

All the components are large, making it near impossible for accidental swallowing or choking. The ridges of the pole and discs are rounded and smooth to prevent scratches. 

The toy set weighs 1.39 pounds and is 16.5 x 6.75 x 6.75 inches. All parts are composed of durable and safe plastic. Each is coated with ABS plastic and ensured BPA-free. 


  • Great for teaching smallest to biggest ratio
  • Each disc is two-toned to teach color range in scale
  • Various levels of hand-eye coordination
  • Chunky discs with different patterns


  • The hole for the pole does not have a grip and can fall over easily with a younger child
  • If you pick the pole up to move, the base falls off

Best Cause and Effect Toys for Kids 3-5 years old

CubicFun Race Tracks 

The CubicFun Race Tracks toy is a 2-in-1 track with three mini cars: ambulance, fire, and police car. It features many colors across the tracks and objects, including red, blue, and green, simulating actions. 

The first among three mini-cars will start moving once your child starts controlling the knobs. There are six knobs in each level that are guided by pressing, rotating, and pulling down. Every level has different mechanisms and ends with the car returning to the initial loading point. 

The tasks involved improve a kid’s ability to follow instructions, hand-eye coordination, and analysis. Also, the tracks’ design enhances color perception based on color-coded actions and signals. 

The mini-cars are large enough to prevent choking, and most of the pieces are irremovable by a child for additional safety. 

The toy set is 12.8 x 12.8 x 6.3 inches and weighs 3.31 pounds. All objects and the track itself are ABS plastic. The colors are safe water-based paint, making it more suitable for kids. 


  • It comes almost fully assembled
  • Great for hand-eye coordination
  • Durable
  • It does not need batteries


  • Not able to purchase more vehicles
  • The crank makes a loud noise

Bubble Lawn Mower 

The Bubble Lawnmower is a toy lawnmower with a bubble solution bottle. The item has bright colors to attract kids into playing and a sound device inside. 

The toy is light enough for a kid to push around easily. When powered on through a button switch, a multi blower will create bubbles continuously. A device inside will produce realistic sounds to level up the fun. 

It’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, so your kid will have fun anywhere in your home. The movement it requires is an excellent form of exercise, making it even more worth it. 

The wheels are lightweight, so your kid’s feet will not get hurt even when rolled over. The toy’s handle and body are free from sharp edges and parts, preventing scratches and wounds. 

The toy is 12 x 10 x 18 inches and weighs 1.92 pounds. It is made of durable plastic that can last for a longer duration of playing. The materials are also nontoxic, easy to detach and reassemble. 


  • Produces lots of bubbles
  • It gives your kid exercise
  • Easy to assemble
  • Lightweight and easy for kids to push


  • Bubble reservoir spills out easily when pushing in grass
  • It only comes with one bottle of bubbles

Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Drizzy 

The Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Dizzy Ice Cream Maker set contains a mini toy machine with six (6) Play-Doh compounds that act as fake ice cream. Also, there are two (2) cups, six (6) Play-Doh colors, and four (4) double-sided cards containing instructions on how to create ice-creams. 

Kids insert a compound into the mini machine, close the lid, and turn the handle to simulate ice-cream creation into a cup. They can also sprinkle fake colorful candies and pour pretended syrup. All the ingredients are reusable, including the syrup, which becomes dense and is rollable back to its container. 

Kids will learn more advanced cause and effect ideas while enjoying. The tasks will also enhance their creative skills and ability to follow instructions. 

The toy ice-cream maker is 3.19 x 11 x 8.5 inches and weighs 2.1 pounds. It is composed of non-toxic and PBA plastics. All compounds, fake syrup, and candy are non-toxic play-dough. 


  • Lots of versatility with toppings
  • When the syrup dries, it is easy to peel and remove from any surface or clothing
  • Great for hand-eye coordination
  • This play-doh kit includes a lot of details to make realistic ice cream treats


  • Play-doh colors get mixed together easily, and new play-doh will need to be purchased often
  • Can’t purchase individual refills of syrup topping

Marble Genius Marble Run 

The Marble Genius Marble Run includes 85 marble run pieces with varying colors, eight (8) solid bases, 65 glass marbles, and 26 action pieces. All components are configurable into 19 different styles. Style instructions are on the mobile app included within the purchase. 

A child or family can assemble the pieces into 19 different styles with the app’s help in under 20 minutes. After construction, the marbles can smoothly go through various levels and action pieces. Kids can watch the entire process since the parts are transparent and well-spaced. 

Kids can enhance creativity and work on patience skills by following instructions. The family can have fun and bond while assembling the set. 

When assembled into the tallest style, the toy will have 13.7 x 10.39 x 6.81 and weighs 4.5 pounds. All pieces are made from non-toxic and durable plastic. The marbles are glass and can withstand minor drops.


  • Can purchase add-on kits to create larger designs
  • It comes with an app with building challenges
  • Runs are transparent, so you can watch the marble drop
  • Includes lots of pieces to create many designs 


  • Some customers complained that the pieces don’t always fit together snuggly
  • It can easily tip over with younger children

What are Cause and Effect Toys?

Cause and effect toys help children understand that a reaction happens based on their actions. For instance, a rattle will make a sound when they shake it. A ball will race downward through a maze when your child drops the ball at the entrance.

These toys show your child that they can change something in their environment through their actions. They are great for development, hand-eye coordination, sensory play, and interactive play.   

Types of Cause and Effect Toys

There are many different kinds of cause and effect toys on the market. Below are some of the more popular categories. 

Pop-Up Toys

Pop-up toys are toys that have some piece or part that pops up based on an action. This could be a lever your child turns, and a puppet pops out of a box. Or it could be a toy that your child presses a button and out pops an animal figure. 

Pounding Toys

Pounding toys are just like they sound. They are toys where your child pounds on something (like a ball) with a toy mallet to push it through a hole. 

Gravity and Momentum Toys

Your child is sure to love gravity and momentum toys. These toys are great for teaching your child that if they push, drop, or pull, the toy (or part of the toy) will fall down due to gravity. 

Sound Playing Toys

Sound playing toys are some of the best, in our opinion. These toys demonstrate to your child that if they press a button, shake a tambourine, or hit a drumstick on a drum; they will create sound. Some toys come equipped with predesignated songs. Other toys allow for your child to create their own music. 

Final Thoughts about the Best Cause and Effect Toys

As your child grows, they will naturally learn about manipulating the environment around them. Cause and effect toys are a great addition to this. These toys illustrate to your child that a reaction will happen for every action they take.

Cause and effect skills are great for development. Your child will be able to use this knowledge throughout their life through communication, manipulation of their environment, and making predictions about what could happen. 

Looking for more gear for your little one? Head over to our Gear Guides Section to see more comparisons.

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