Which cash register toys are best?

Pretend play is not only an excellent way for little kids to use their imaginations, but toy replicas of real-world items like a cash register can help jump-start beginning math and counting skills. Toy cash registers fit with any pretend store ensemble and encourage little minds to role play.

Today, many toy cash registers feature digital displays, fun sounds, credit card readers and even UPC scanners that mimic cash registers found in many retailers across the country.  The top recommended cash register toy is the Learning Resources Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register, including toy money and credit cards.

What to know before you buy a cash register toy

How old is your child?

There is a wide variety of cash register toys in terms of added features that mimic the real-world  experience. Some cash register toys have basic buttons and are intended for toddlers to learn colors and sounds. Other cash register toys are more sophisticated with digital screens, calculators and add-ons like credit cards. These are meant for older children that have observed a working retail cash register and are starting to emulate what they see around them. Consider the age recommendations from manufacturers and your own observance of your child’s readiness.

What do you want a cash register toy to do for your child?

A cash register toy is just that, a toy. For many parents, it is intended to be a plaything used in conjunction with a pretend storefront to model a retail environment. Some parents, though, want to use the cash register toy to teach math skills and essential money management at an early age. Products that include pretend money and a working calculator are best for these purposes. 

How quiet do you need your play space to be?

Many cash register toys come with bells, chimes and other sounds. A few even sport working microphones. If you want a classroom or bedroom space to be quiet, look for products without sound capability or at the very least an on/off switch.

What to look for in a quality cash register toy

Calculator

Working calculators allow small children to begin to see how basic addition and subtraction work while becoming familiar with a calculator’s layout and display. Many cash register toys now feature calculators as part of the overall ensemble.

Play money

Having play money on hand is essential for the experience of a sales transaction and the adding and subtracting of money from a cash register drawer. Some products include a beginning supply of play money. For those that do not, you can purchase play money separately. Some play money looks like real money but is clearly marked that it is not legal tender.

Scanners

Modern cash registers include credit card and UPC scanners. Many toy cash registers now include these features too. Having play credit cards and artificial grocery items helps with the pretend aspect of electronic payment.

Material

Most cash register toys are made from non-toxic plastic and have soft corners so that little hands won’t be scratched. A few products are made from wood for a rustic look. Make sure you check out edges and connections between products that are part of a more prominent storefront motif.

How much you can expect to spend on a cash register toy

Most cash register toys cost $20-$40 and include the most basic features. Cash register toys with expanded add-ons like play money and electronic displays run $40-$65, with some expanded products exceeding $70 if part of a larger storefront ensemble.

Cash register toy FAQ

Do toy cash registers teach more than math skills?

A. While early math skills are stimulated with pretend cash register play, your child also learns about colors, shapes and numbers. Some research even shows that young children learn empathy for the first time as they consider how other people feel in their pretend role as a cashier or shopper.

What is a retro cash register toy?

A. Some manufacturers still offer toy cash registers that are replicas of old-fashioned cash registers that were run manually before electronic cash registers became the norm. They feature pull-down levers and a non-digital display. Children are still learning basic math and thinking skills. Retro cash register toys are just a simpler design with a nostalgic element for parents.

What’s the best cash register toy to buy?

Top cash register toy

Learning Resources Pretend _ Play Calculator Cash Register

Learning Resources Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register

What you need to know: This toy cash register comes with everything a child needs to play store and run a full-service storefront.

What you’ll love: The play cash register also features a working solar-powered calculator. It comes with 30 pretend money bills, 40 plastic coins ranging from penny to quarter, a pretend credit card and an activity guide.

What you should consider: The cash drawer opens with a lot of force and can scatter freestanding coins.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Buy Buy Baby and Wayfair

Top cash register toy for the money

Fisher Price Retro Cash Register

Fisher Price Retro Cash Register

What you need to know: This toy cash register is a great starter for younger children 18 months or older who are just learning about pretend play.

What you’ll love: This toy cash register has six bright coins for matching and color identification from a familiar and trusted brand over generations of store play. There are working sounds and a drawer that opens.

What you should consider: There were some minor reports of quality issues over time.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Prextex Pretend Play Electronic Toy Cash Register

Prextex Pretend Play Electronic Toy Cash Register

What you need to know: This toy cash register comes with everything a child needs to get started, including a grocery basket.

What you’ll love: Made with soft edges and non-toxic materials, this toy cash register includes a microphone speaker, play money and credit cards, plus a food basket. It stimulates logical thinking and encourages basic math skills.

What you should consider: Some parents shared concerns about the microphone volume being too loud.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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