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April 13, 2015 2 min read

Melissa and Doug Puzzles– Sound Blocks are suitable for toddlers through to preschoolers and are a great example of speech therapy cause and effect toys. They can also be used as a simple motivator for vocabulary development work.


Number of Players:1

Ages: 2+

Target: Use these simple wooden blocks to teach cause and effect, simple vocabulary and have great fun with sound effects!

How the game works:

I love Melissa and Doug puzzles so I was really excited when I found these sound blocks. They are available in two versions – either animal noises or vehicle sounds and I recommend both.

Once the front and back images of an animal are aligned correctly, the animal makes a noise.

Speech Therapy Cause and Effect Toys- Melissa and Doug Sound Blocks

Each set has six possible combinations / images. The animal sounds set consists of a horse, cow, dog, sheep, pig and a rooster. The vehicles blocks feature a steam train, fire truck, a motorcycle, an aeroplane, an ambulance and a boat.

Using Melissa and Doug Sound Blocks as Speech Therapy Cause and Effect Toys:

Cause and Effect – “If I do A then B always happens” “I put these blocks together in the right way and it makes a noise” – a simple concept but one that for some kids needs a lot of reinforcement and this is a fun way to do it.

These are more advanced than many cause and effect toys since the action required to get the effect is to assemble the blocks correctly so if your child struggles in this area then make sure you have covered the simple stuff first.

Simple Vocabulary – As these blocks use common images, it is easy to find a picture book with similar images. That way you can have them do matching tasks and use the blocks as a reward. So you hunt for and name the vehicles, then when they get it right, help them to put together the blocks and they get the vehicle noise as their reward.

Speech Therapy Cause and Effect Toys

A child who is reluctant to communicate will often attempt animal and vehicle sounds before words. You can encourage reluctant communicators by playing with all the sounds on the blocks then asking, “what noise does an ambulance make?” and helping your child to answer “nee-naw” until they can do it unsupported.

Speech Therapy Cause and Effect Toys

It is usual for them to be sure of the names or sounds for some pictures long before others. My son learned that sheep say “baa” a long time before he was able to make the sound a horse makes. Some are just easier than others so know which ones your child is likely to pick and go for the easy ones first.

Now you know all there is to know about these Speech Therapy Cause and Effect Toys – you are ready to play. Have fun!

Other articles you might like to read…

Toddler Language Development Activities
Farm Language Activities
Preschool Speech Therapy Games

Tips for Choosing Toddler Language Development Toys