• By Amanda Blackburn.

The best toy cash registers

I’m a registered childminder that has been working with children for over 25-years in nurseries and schools. During my experience working with children, I have found that all children love role play toys. When a child engages in pretend or imaginative play, by pretending to be different characters or by controlling objects in their own way and observing the result, they are essentially experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. ... They have to agree on a topic and negotiate roles and rules.

I have got through plenty of toy shopping tills over the years, most of them haven’t lasted very well and it’s usually the microphone and cash card scanners that stop working. I understand that with lots of play, the tills are not going to last forever, however, after searching online, from my previous till experience and reading lots of positive reviews I have found two wonderful shopping tills that look and sound like they will handle my little gang of shopkeepers. In this post, we share these two wonderful tills with you and also some excellent play money that can help your children learn how to handle money.

The first till up for review is The Busy Me Electronic Cash Register by Addo and is suitable for children ages 3+ The till requires 2 x AA batteries that are included. The Cash register (till) also includes over 30 pieces including pretend food, notes, coins and a credit card.

The till is very attractive to the eye and when I showed it to the children in the box they couldn’t wait to get it out and have a play.

It's got all the features of a real cash register including a working microphone, calculator and even a chip and pin reader for pretend card payments. It’s a great fun way to help children with number recognition, the till helps with this as the children can see the numbers on the keys and in the register display.

I asked the children to press a certain number, that I knew they recognised and they all took it in turns ( teaches turn taking) to have a try pressing the correct number on the till. You can also, point to a number and ask them what number it is and ask your child which number you should press. The questions you ask can be as easy or as hard as you want to make them, it all depends on the child’s age and ability.

The cash register has great bright colours which aid in learning colours. When playing with your child use colours when talking about doing different things. For example, press the green button to open the green drawer. What colour is the button for the seafood, cleaning products, pets etc?

Pressing buttons may seem easy to us, but for preschoolers, this is a much more difficult task. The till can help with fine motor skills, sliding the credit card, pressing the correct buttons, placing items on the belt and removing things from the cash drawer all help develop these skills. The Busy Me cash register has been designed with these things in mind, the keys are easy to press and have enough space in between so pressing each button is easy.

The concept of trading money for items helps teach the concept of sharing. The child may want both things (money and item), but using the cash register can help them understand to trade one for the other and to share items with others. We also live in a world where they will need shopping skills sooner than you would think. Learning manners about this activity can start to be taught at this time. This till is the perfect way to introduce these skills.

The 8 children that reviewed this till ages 3,4,4,6,7,7,8 and 9 all loved playing together with this till. With such a variety in ages, it’s hard to find something that they can all play together. The cash register helped them to be able to do this. The older children enjoyed teaching the younger children what they already know about shopping and money and all the children played perfectly together without any arguments.

What did I think about the Busy Me Cash Register:

Made from good strong plastic. Lovely design. Easy to use. Good quality plastic food. A strong plastic credit card that’s easy to swipe.

Easy to open and close cash drawer that fits the play money inside perfectly. Great selection of buttons with an interesting choice of items. The great choice of items can encourage play food to be sorted into categories, example a piece of plastic fish would be entered into the seafood price category. This can help the children learn about food groups and sorting.

The loudspeaker on the microphone. 7 different sounds, till drawer opening, certain foods buttons, total, credit card swipe sound, scanner sound, belt sound and microphone. The only thing I could moan about is the fact that the play money doesn’t look realistic and match real money. The quality of the play money is good though and perfect to teach younger children basic counting skills. The play money coins are bigger than most money sets I have purchased in the past and can be handled easily by 3-year-olds.

I would definitely recommend the Busy Me Cash Register, it’s well worth the money and the children absolutely love it. If you would like to purchase this till click HERE.

Next till up for review is the Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register for children ages 3+ by Learning Resources.

I couldn’t wait to put this award-winning cash register to the test with my little gang of toy testers. This Cash Register has won 23 Awards, including Parents Play & Learn Gold Award Winner, Good Toy Guide Silver Award Winner and Nursery Equipment Awards - Highly Recommended.

What we all loved about this attractive-looking till is the fact that it doesn't require batteries as it’s solar powered. I discussed solar power with the children as they didn’t all know what solar powered meant, they were really impressed. The strong well designed till has oversized buttons that are perfect for little hands and the large digital display is easy to read. The solar-powered calculator can help children practice their early maths skills and the till drawer compartments are the perfect size for holding real or play money.

The large bag of play coins of every denomination and the notes that are included are of great quality and look like real money (HM Treasury Approved play coins). This is perfect for the older children as I am helping the school children to count and add up using the money. This cash register is perfect for helping the children learn in a fun way. Also included is a strong plastic play credit card, a pad of paper to use as a shopping list and an activity guide. The activity guide includes some great educational ideas for teaching maths and money skills.

So what did the children think?....

I tested it out with the same children as mentioned above. They loved the ease of the buttons, clear number and number symbols, buttons. They were really impressed with the way the money could be stored in order inside the drawer like a real cash register. Another thing the children thought was good was the way the money didn’t come flying out of the drawer when they pressed it (previous tills we’d had before had done this and it used to frustrate them) They loved swiping the credit card and said the play money looked real.

Although this cash register doesn’t include plastic food, have a microphone or a scanner the children liked playing with it just as much as the Busy Me cash register. I asked which one was their favourite and they just couldn’t decide.

So what did I think?....

Attractive to the eye. Robust. Chunky design. Easy to use. Excellent quality. Great realistic play money, perfect for teaching money skills. Clear symbols on the buttons.

Great activity guide that can help parents/teachers teach children maths. I think that the Pretend and Play cash register will last me forever as it’s so well made and hasn’t got any pieces or wires that could possibly break. If you would like to purchase this cash register click HERE.

I can’t decide which one I prefer either, I was really impressed with both of them.

Finally, I wanted to include an excellent play money set that is made by one of my favourite toy providers Galt. If you are in need of extra money for your cash register or want to replace the play money at some point, then Galt have the perfect set.

The money is not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts (choking hazard). The set includes 80 plastic play coins (10 of each coin), 24 double-sided play notes a plastic sorting tray with a sticker sheet and a great information booklet with tips on game ideas to help teach children to learn about money.