Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)

Cause and Effect Toys

We can teach kids that they can make something happen.

What does it do?

A child’s “job” is play. Children need to play for a variety of reasons. It helps teach them many things, including turn-taking and social skills. In fact, language development and play are intertwined. They relate strongly to each other. For some children, learning to play may be difficult. This can be due to disabilities that impact language, social, and physical development. We can help support a child’s cognitive development by giving them access to play. We can use toys to teach basic concepts such as cause and effect. Play doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We play together. This helps a child to build their language skills.

There are toys that can directly teach cause and effect. These toys can be made accessible for kids with complex bodies. We can use switches to activate a toy robot, train, or bubble machine. There are also many apps for the iPad that can teach cause and effect. Touch the screen and you hear music, or fireworks burst into the sky. Activate the screen with a switch and clown gets a pie in the face. This is about having fun! Some children need to learn to play so that they can play to learn.

What kinds of cause-and-effect toys are there?

  • Switch activated vehicles (you can put these on a cookie sheet with a rim on the child’s high chair)
  • Switch activated stuffed animals (these can talk, make animals sounds, or walk across the floor)
  • Power Link 4 to connect a switch with an appliance, such as a blender (cook together!)
  • Toys with adapted buttons or arms to make them easier to use (puzzles with peg handles, popup toys, etc.)

Remember that you can pair your toy with a special switch to meet different access needs. There are pressure-activated switches, wobble switches, proximity switches, and more.

Related Apps

General Cause and Effect

  • I Love Fireworks
  • Sensory Light Box
  • Make It Pop (Tryangle Labs)
  • Peekaboo Barn
  • Random Touch
  • Talking Larry Free
  • Butterflies (iBlower) ‎
  • Fun Bubbles ‎
  • Finger Paint with Sounds (on list)
  • Heat Pad HD

Cause and Effect Apps for Switch Use

  • Sensory Room (Inclusive Technologies) Free
  • Splat The Clown (Inclusive Technologies)
  • Sight and Sounds Flowers (Marblesoft)
  • Sight and Sounds Fireworks (Marblesoft)
  • Switch Kids (Marblesoft)

Cause and Effect for Low Vision

  • Buzz Back
  • Tap n See Now
  • Bloom (Opal Limited)
  • Bebot (Normalware)
  • My Talking Picture Board (for CVI)
  • Sensory Sound Box (Cognable)
  • Big Bang Pictures (Inclusive Technology)
refrigerator magnets that are interlocking gears

How do I see what's new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:

switch-adapted toys, cause and effect apps

How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania you would need to find your state's AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out. Do we have this in our lending library?


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Kathryn Helland

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