When your child presses a button on a toy and hears it go “beep, beep,” he is engaging in cause and effect. The cause is your child pressing the button, and the effect is the sound the toy makes.
Through developing an understanding of cause and effect, your child will build his abilities to solve problems, to make predictions, and to understand the impact of his actions.
The concept of cause and effect is understood further as your child learns that certain actions bring a predictable response. He pushes the toy off the table, and you pick it up for him and place it back on the table. He pushes the toy off the table again. This exchange of cause (pushing the toy off the table) and effect (you pick up the toy) can go on and on to the endless delight of your toddler.
When your child is around 20 months old, you will notice how he experiments with cause and effect when playing with blocks. You will see your child stack one block on top of the other; as he places a third block (cause) on top of the tower, the tower falls down (effect). You will see your toddler try to place a large block on top of a small block (cause). When the large block falls over (effect), it will take your child a few tries before he realizes the small block should go on top.
However, when your child plays with blocks again, he will not remember exactly how the blocks stacked together and will begin to experiment with cause and effect all over again. This is because his memory skills are still developing. Give him time. These skills develop with age.