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If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best toy cash register is, I’d recommend the LeapFrog Count Along Cash Register.
It’s no secret that kids love to pretend, and pretend play is one of the best ways for them to develop a multitude of skills. Kids mimic real life in their play, and one of the most popular ways to pretend is to run a store. They love the idea of ‘shopping’ just like their parents, so setting up a store with some pretend food and play money is a great way for them to do this. Top it off with a fun cash register, and your little one will be busy for hours! There are many different toy cash registers that you can choose from, and each one offers different features and items. Here at Smart Parent Advice, we have done the research for you and handpicked the best toy cash registers out there.
Here are the toy cash registers I will be reviewing:
Benefits of Toy Cash Registers
One of the primary ways that children engage in play is to pretend. Whether it is taking on a specific role, using objects to create a world of their own, or acting out a scenario with friends, kids benefit tremendously from pretend play. It helps to develop their language, social emotional, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, to name a few. When playing with toy cash registers, your little one is developing even more of their skills.
Pretend Play Fosters Imagination
All types of pretend play help to foster imagination, because your child is using it to create a situation that they can engage in. It is so important that children learn to develop their imagination and not rely on external stimuli to create their play. By doing so, children are also increasing their creativity and critical thinking skills, and they are developing an understanding of the world around them. What looks like child’s play to us, is actually your child building their understanding of how the world works and where they fit in the grand scheme of things.
Build Math and Language Skills
Toy cash registers are a wonderful addition to pretend play because they help to foster the development of so many academic skills, in addition to the cognitive skills listed above. Your child will be exploring and engaging with pretend money, be it bills and/or coins, and developing their understanding of how money is used to purchase items in the real world. They build their counting skills, number recognition, and addition and subtraction skills through playing “store” with their cash register. They also further develop their language skills, through creating a dialogue of what is transpiring in their store, what problems they encounter, and organizing the play itself. Scholastic is a company that is well-known for its involvement in child development and education, and they explain that “[w]hen your child engages in pretend (or dramatic) play, he is actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. Through cooperative play, he learns how to take turns, share responsibility, and creatively problem-solve.”
Encourages Money Management Skills
Money management is a skill that everyone needs to develop, and playing with pretend money is a great way to help our children develop this skill. By setting up their store and purchasing various items using their play money and cash register, children are mimicking the real world and applying their knowledge and understanding to the situation. They are choosing items that they want to “buy”, figuring out how much those items cost, and using their money to pay for them. All of these interactions help them to understand that we use money to purchase items, and when we do so, we come away with the purchased item and less money. These early explorations with their cash register can help your child to develop a good understanding of money management, which will serve them well later in life.
How To Choose The Best Cash Register
It really boils down to what you are looking for in a toy cash register, but there are a few points to keep in mind when choosing one.
Depending on your child’s age, you will want to check the recommended age on the various toy cash registers. The reason for this is that many of them come with small parts, such as coins and small grocery items, and these can pose a choking hazard if your child is still quite little. Most toy cash registers have a recommended age of 3+, but if your toddler is showing an interest in toy cash registers, there are several on the market that cater to younger children. These cash registers do not come with small parts and are safer for your little shopper.
For toy cash registers, plastic seems to be the most common material used, as many of the cash registers have interactive buttons, lights, and sounds on them that would be hard to create on wooden models. There are, however, a few brands of toy cash registers that are made from wood as well. Most companies are now using safe materials in the construction of their toys, but you will want to check the materials used to make a specific cash register, and ensure that they are safe, non-toxic, and shatterproof.
What Accessories It Comes With
If you have a certain price point that you’re looking to spend on a toy cash register, then you will want to know what extras that toy comes with. Some toy cash registers only come with some pretend money and perhaps a toy credit card. Others come with a range of shopping accessories, including a shopping basket, toy food products, and more. Decide what accessories your little one would enjoy using, and see what items you already have at home, before purchasing your toy cash register.
Bells & Whistles (literally)
Some toy cash registers are incredibly interactive, with lights, sounds, and songs accompanying the shopping experience. It all depends on what you are looking for in a cash register. If your child would enjoy a cash register that plays songs, teaches early counting skills, and offers various phrases and sounds, then you will want to choose a more interactive cash register. If you would prefer that your child uses their own imagination, words, and phrases to play with their toy, then perhaps you would choose a toy cash register that does not have all of those interactive components. It really comes down to what type of pretend play experience you’re hoping to provide for your little one.
My Toy Cash Register Reviews
After careful research, here are some of the best toy cash registers we found.
The LeapFrog Count Along Cash Register is one of the least expensive cash registers on the market, and yet it comes with a fair amount for that price point. In fact, we think it provides the best overall value. The cash register itself is full of various songs and phrases that will keep your little one entertained and engaged. These interactive options also encourage your child to practice their counting skills. When they select an item to purchase, the cash register will tell them how many coins they need to insert to pay for that item, and the count-along coin slot helps your child to keep track of how many coins they’ve put in. The songs are fun and jazzy, and the little phrases and sounds that the register makes adds to the excitement and fun.
Some reviewers weren’t wild about the food pieces that were included with this toy, as they are rather chunky and unrealistic-looking. However, the 8 colorful pieces that it comes with serve as a good starting point for your child’s pretend grocery store. Other reviewers would have liked for play paper money to be included with the toy, to help further develop their child’s understanding of money. There was some difficulty with coins getting stuck in the cash register if they are inserted while the drawer was open, however flipping the cash register upside down and closing the door to allow the coin to fall down when the register is put upright again seemed to remedy this frustration. Overall, for the low price point, this LeapFrog toy provides hours of shopping and pretend play entertainment for your little one.
Melissa & Doug is a toy company that is well-known for their quality wooden products that help to foster creativity and imagination. Their toy cash register is no exception, with its quality construction and bright colors. It’s the best wooden cash register that we reviewed. This cash register allows your child to imagine their own games, without a lot of lights and sounds. If this is the type of toy that you are looking for, then you can’t go wrong with their cash register.
It comes with three large wooden coins that are painted different colors. This helps your toddler to learn to identify colors, and it also helps to develop their fine motor skills, as they work to insert the coins in the proper slot. The working levers on the register make the pictures spin, allowing for endless fun and engagement. There is a yellow lever that makes the drawer open, and your child can choose to pay for their shopping items with either the credit card or coins. This is an ideal toy for children between the ages of 3 to 6, and it is great for developing counting skills and fostering imaginative play.
With 30 years of toy making experience behind them, the Melissa & Doug toy company knows how to keep their customers happy. They are recognized by NBC as being “the gold standard in early childhood play”. They also offer a “100% Happiness Guarantee”, so if you are not satisfied with this cash register for whatever reason, you can contact them and they will make it right. They print their company phone number on every toy, so that parents can reach out with ease.
As the name would suggest, this is our pick for the best realistic learning cash register. Does your little one demonstrate a keen interest in money and coins? Some kids develop a keen interest in money and coins, by seeing their parents use money at the store, by tucking away their birthday money from Grandma, and just through everyday interaction with bills and coins. If your little one is showing an interest in money like this, then they would likely enjoy this cash register. The pretend bills and coins that come with this set are realistic-looking, and closely resemble American money. This goes a long way in helping your child to learn about the various bills and coins and their value. They can practice money identification, counting skills, addition/subtraction skills, and so much more.
The cash register itself has nice large buttons for little fingers, and it makes a satisfying “ding!” sound when the drawer opens. The large LCD display is easy to read, and the solar cells that power the calculator removes the need for batteries, which is always handy. This toy cash register can be found in many early years classrooms because of its durability, fun features, and realistic money. It makes a great addition to a math unit on money, and kids love to play around with the money and coins.
This cash register does not come with any extras, such as pretend grocery food items or shopping baskets, which would be fun to have. However, simply pair the register with your favorite items, and you’ve got a fun grocery store set up that kids will enjoy for hours. Although it doesn’t come with extras, it does come with a large amount of pretend money (70 pieces!), which is much more than other cash registers. So, if your budding banker enjoys playing with money, this is definitely the cash register for you!
This colorful cash register is a great introduction to pretend play for your toddler. In fact, this is the best toddler cash register that we reviewed. The register is very interactive with over 80 songs, phrases, and melodies to keep your little one engaged and entertained. The colorful spinning dials are lots of fun, and the little cash drawer opens up to store the pretend credit card. When you insert the credit card into its slot, it also triggers a voice response.
This cash register does not come with any money, which seems kind of strange given that it’s a cash register. It would be nice if it came with some pretend money, although this is likely because this cash register is designed for young toddlers between the ages of 1 and 3, so they cannot have small pieces that may pose a choking hazard. Instead, the toy comes with the credit card that your little one can use to do their shopping with.
The Vtech Ring and Learn cash register also comes with 10 pieces of chunky, colorful food pieces and a shopping basket. Many of the fun phrases that it says when buttons are pressed introduce healthy-eating phrases and help your curious toddler to identify food items. The colorful spinning rollers also trigger lights and sounds, making the cash register very interactive and fun.
Some reviewers found this cash register to be quite young, so it is likely best for children under 3 years old. It also does not come with a free-play option where the cash register will simply operate as a realistic one; some reviewers found this to be frustrating as their children just wanted to play with it as an actual cash register.
The Funerica toy cash register with scanner definitely wins the prize for the most accessories! This cash register comes with several pieces of pretend food, including several pieces of fruit that can be “cut” in half using the included pretend knife. It also includes a shopping basket and pretend paper money and coins, for your little one to set up shop with. Along with the shopping components of this toy, your child can also enjoy the mini play stove, pretend cookware, and chef’s hat that is included. They can set up a grocery store as well as a restaurant! The additional pieces allow for endless entertainment and pretend play.
The cuttable fruit are very fun, and they make a “slicing” sound when using the pretend knife that’s included; the slicing sound is created by the velcro pieces that hold the fruit together. The light up scanner beeps when used, and the scale will display a price on the cash register when a food item is placed on it. The built-in calculator allows your child to practice their number recognition and adding skills as they tally up the grocery totals.
Some reviewers commented on the quality of the materials used on this cash register, and while the materials are safe and non-toxic, there were several complaints about the durability of the materials. Some reviewers found that the calculator stopped working over time. However, it is important to note that while there were some cash registers that malfunctioned, the customer service provided by this company was excellent, and people were reimbursed with a new cash register if theirs malfunctioned. Overall, this toy cash register provides tons of fun due to all the accessories that it comes with, providing lots of entertainment for your child.
The Bettina Pretend Play Smart Cash Register is a fun and engaging cash register for your child, and the accompanying food pieces, play money, and swipeable credit card provide lots of entertainment. The credit card machine is lots of fun, as it beeps when used with the pretend credit card that is included. Your little one can do their pretend grocery shopping and enjoy tallying up the totals using the working calculator.
The overwhelming consensus in the reviews was that this product was quite small, and many reviewers found it far too small for their child to use. The parts are very small, and the cash register itself is very small as well. However, other reviewers found that they preferred the small design, and that it made a great toy to bring in the car on road trips and such, as it was quite compact. So, it really depends on what you are looking for in a cash register. If small and compact is a factor that appeals to you, then this cash register is a win.
The pretend money itself is quite realistic-looking, and it is beneficial that this toy comes with both paper money and coins, allowing children the full experience of pretending to shop and pay for their items. Overall, despite its small stature, this cash register comes with a nice assortment of items to accompany it, and with the shopping basket and food pieces, your child will enjoy playing pretend store for hours on end.
FS Pretend Play Calculator Cash Register is a fun introduction to the world of shopping and money. The cash register comes with a few colorful pretend food pieces, a shopping basket, play money bills and coins, and a pretend credit card – everything you need for your little one to set up shop. The working microphone is lots of fun, and operates with its own separate button on the cash register. Some reviewers found the feedback and sound on the microphone to be poor, but others said that their child enjoyed it immensely.
As with other cash registers, reviewers were disappointed to find out how small this cash register is, as they found the pictures to be misleading. The buttons on the cash register are not interactive, however they beep when pressed, allowing your child to pretend that they are ringing in the food purchases. There were some concerns about the quality of the product, as several reviewers found that their cash register arrived with broken parts. Many were able to return the defective item though, and they received a replacement item.
The food buttons on the cash register are a nice feature and allow your child to press specific food items when ringing in their totals. The calculator works well and allows them to add up numbers, building their understanding of numbers, counting, addition, and subtraction. Overall this cash register is on the pricier end, and does not provide a whole lot of value for dollar, considering its size and what it comes with.
This brightly-colored toy cash register by Battat provides a variety of ways for your child to play pretend grocery store. The moving conveyor belt is a fun addition, and your little one will enjoy placing their pretend food items on it and moving them along, just like in real life! The cash register itself comes with a fun little extra – the cash drawer comes with a lock and key! Kids all love playing with locks and keys, and this little addition provides a lot of extra fun for them.
The light-up scanner beeps when used, making it a nice interactive feature with this cash register, and the cash drawer provides that satisfying “cha-ching!” when opened. Some reviewers did have some difficulty with the drawer getting stuck. At times, this was due to the pretend money being too large to fit properly in the drawer. Other times, it was due to the lock and key mechanism malfunctioning. Despite the cute feature, it posed some frustration for some users.
This cash register is at a lower price point, which is appropriate given that it does not come with a whole bunch of items. You can always supplement your pretend grocery store with some additional pretend food, as this toy only comes with 4 pretend veggies. The same goes for the play money as well, as it only comes with 3 coins and 15 paper bills. There were some comments in various reviews about the quality of the materials used; some reviewers found the material to be cheap and poorly made.
This cash register from Liberty Imports is a great idea for any child who loves pink! Even the play money coins that come with the set are pink. This is really cute, however not overly realistic if you’re purchasing this cash register to help your child learn about money. The working microphone provides lots of fun for kids, and was a favorite feature for many reviewers. The working calculator helps your child to develop their understanding of numbers, counting, addition, and subtraction.
The cash register comes with a cash drawer that has a lock and key on it, which is always very appealing to kids. Some reviewers commented that the cash drawer was too small to hold the play money, and others found that the lock and key would malfunction at times. However, other reviewers noted that their child enjoyed many hours of play with this cash register and did not have trouble with the lock and key. The cash register also has receipts that are printed, although these are not refillable once they are finished, and some reviewers commented that the receipts listed “beer” as a purchase, which some parents may not find funny.
While this toy cash register is made with ABS toy-grade plastic, there were several reviewers who found the materials to be cheap and the overall construction to be poorly made. There were a fair number of reviews that stated they received their cash register with broken pieces or malfunctioning parts. Upon contacting customer service, most users were satisfied with the outcome and received replacement parts.
The Click N’ Play Pretend Play Electronic Calculator Cash Register is another cute pink cash register on the market! The working microphone provides endless entertainment for your budding shopper, as they call in their prices and make “announcements” to their store. This is a very popular feature for many users, and kids really enjoy talking into the mic!
While this cash register does not come with a lot of pretend food pieces, the food pieces that it does come with are colorful and realistic-looking, which adds to the experience. The cute little purple shopping basket is a nice addition, and allows the shopper to carry their groceries. The scanner lights up and beeps when scanning items, although some reviewers did comment on how the light can sometimes get stuck on the scanner, which in turn drains the batteries.
The pretend money that this cash register comes with is in Euros rather than American money, which is just something to keep in mind when purchasing. It is a great opportunity to have a discussion about various types of money from around the world and how they look different than money we’re used to seeing on a daily basis.
This is a cute little cash register with some nice features, however quality construction was again a sore point with some reviewers who found the plastic to be cheap and the product to be poorly made. That being said, there were many users who were very happy with this cash register, and their children enjoyed the toy for a long time.
The Boley Toy Cash Register with Scanner is a nice introductory cash register with some fun features. The working calculator allows your child to punch in items for sale and add them up, practicing their math skills while enjoying some pretend play. For interactive fun, the credit card reader and scanner both light up and make beeping sounds when used.
This cash register does not come with any additional products, such as pretend food items, but it does come with a large collection of pretend money. With 30 pretend bills and 45 pretend coins, there is lots of shopping to be done! Some reviewers did find that the bills and coins were rather plain, and they were concerned about maintaining their child’s interest without something more colorful and engaging.
Again, this is another cash register that arrived smaller than anticipated, and there were several reviewers who commented about this. The lesson learned through this review is to always check the measurements of an item prior to purchasing, as images can be misleading at times.
While it is admirable that this product is made from 100% non-toxic materials, there were some reviewers who found the product to be cheaply made and rather flimsy. They worried about its longevity, especially after some rough toddler play. Other reviewers, however, commented how their child has enjoyed this toy for a long time without any issues.
Overall, the Boley cash register makes a nice introductory toy for your child to explore money and shopping. Paired with your own pretend food items, you’ve got a great shopping setup.
Our favourite toy cash register is the LeapFrog Count Along Cash Register, as it provided the most bang for our buck. With pretend food, play money, and an interactive cash register with over 50 fun phrases and songs, this cash register is sure to keep your little one entertained for hours!
The Melissa & Doug Cash Register is our choice for quality wooden cash registers, and the Learning Resources Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register provides the best realistic-looking introduction to money.