Watch the child with a favorite cause-and-effect toy, a pet, or household item, such as toilet paper or tissue.
Present a familiar toy, but one the infant has not seen recently. This way the baby will feel some anticipation about what will happen. Alternatively, have a toy or item you can demonstrate, so the child can create the effect. A switch toy or even a box of pop-up tissues may be fun.
Observe the child’s face and actions. First, the child moves to the object. She may look at the adult, as if to say “Watch this.” The child then goes immediately to the part of the toy that activates it or the part of the item that creates an effect. She looks at the adult again as if to say, “Wasn’t that cool?”
Encourage early childhood educators and parents to talk to the child about toys and items in the environment. Label the item. Ask, “What’s going to happen?” Comment on what occurred. “You made him bark!” This provides a model for language, encourages the child to explore, and reinforces her efforts.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.