From an early age, kids and toddlers have a tendency to want to emulate the everyday activities that they see going on around them, even if they don’t really know what’s going on. Things like shopping for the dinner, paying for the groceries, and managing the household expenses become fun make-believe tasks that help the child develop empathic connections to the world around them.
The best toddler cash registers also manage to teach colors, shapes, and even basic math skills at the same time, which is no small feat. We’ve rounded up some of the best-selling & highest rated toy registers of the year, narrowing it down to the top 15 for your consideration.
Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register
It’s pretty amazing that there are toys out there that can trick your toddlers into learning math, but that is exactly what you can do with the Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register from Learning Resources. A working solar-powered calculator offers a bright display and big easy buttons so that you little one can start adding up numbers like a champ. Pretend money including 30 bills and 40 coins makes it even more exciting to learn the fundamentals of both addition and subtraction while also providing a highly effective imagination boost for all sorts of pretend games.
Wooden Fresh Mart Grocery Store
One of the most deluxe, exciting, and sturdy cash register toys for kids also happens to be covered by a 100% Happiness Guarantee, making the Wooden Fresh Mart Grocery Store by the innovative toymakers at Melissa & Doug one of the best gift options of the season. Your child will be able to operate their own full-service retail operation out of this thing, taking advantage of unique elements like merchandising shelves and a working revolving grocery conveyor belt. The two-sided nature of the grocery mart means that several kids can get in on the fun at the same time. They’ll just have to decide who has to be the bagger!
Count ‘N Play Cash Register Playset
If you’re shopping for a toddler or younger child, then you really don’t need to look any further than Little Tikes, one of the most popular toy companies on the planet and the long-time makers of some of the most fun and engaging toddler toys out there. The Count ‘N Play Cash Register Set offers awesome coin-drop play with real sounds and a working change dispenser. Bright colors and a pull-crank register opening lever make this little register a lot of fun. The added integration of both color and size matching is what makes this a really good match for kids as young as two.
Cash Register Toy With Sounds & Accessories
There’s not a whole lot of reason to have a cash register if you have nothing to sell, which makes the Funerica Cash Register Toy a good call for parents who are looking for a toy that is ready for play right out of the box. A real functioning calculator is only the start of the story here. A series of basic grocery items like fruit, milk, and snacks give the little shopkeeper the stuff they need to start making the big bucks right away. A working microphone lets the cashier call out to their coworkers & managers if they need help with the big rush!
Count Along Cash Register
Teaching your kids math might seem impossible, but teaching your kids to love math doesn’t have to be very complicated at all. The Count Along Cash Register by LeapFrog is an easy-to-use electronic counting machine that even the pickiest toddler will find engaging. A friendly on-screen face lights up and comes to life with counting songs and real register sounds. Giving children the opportunity to shop, tally, and pay their own receipts is a way to encourage children to understand math for themselves, as opposed to trying to force it through frustrating lessons and homework assignments. A full 20 checkout items included!
Retro Toy Register
Though your toddler likely isn’t going to have any idea, the Fisher-Price Classics Series Retro Cash Register is a fun and functional throwback to the cash machines of yore, featuring large push-down levers, a working turn crank, and a bell that rings out that classic ‘ka-ching’ sound that use to come from old cash registers. Inspired by the classic cash register toy that Fisher-Price released in 1975, this is one of the longest-running toy products in history, and for very good reason! The simultaneous teaching of color and numbers is paired with good old-fashioned entertainment, which is a combo that can’t be beat.
Pretend Play Electronic Cash Register Toy
This full-featured toy register setup is absolutely everything your child will need to set up their own make-believe market, complete with the paper money and plastic coins that they will need to get rich and hopefully expand their business into the living room. A working calculator gives them a place to tally up orders while also practicing real addition, subtraction, and multiplication. A well-designed ‘open’ button activates the cash drawer, where change can be made and little treasures can be stored. The voice microphone is probably the coolest part, allowing your little cashier to call for that ever-so-important price check on aisle 9.
Educational Toy Cash Register
While there aren’t many children that want to grow up to work in a grocery store, the opportunity to try it out for themselves is a fun way to experience the lives of the people around them. The Boley-made Educational Toy Cash Register is one of the most full-featured grocery toys on our list. Standard features like a calculator, credit card swiper, and working cash drawer are only the beginning. Realistic play money and a pretend scale are little upgrades that set this unit apart from the competition. Great customer service from the folks at Boley is icing on the cake!
28-Piece Toy Cash Register For Kids
More and more, the world is turning to cashless transactions, and it’s about time that toy cash registers caught up to the trend. This 28-Piece Toy Cash Register by Victostar takes a big step into modernity by offering a working credit card scanner, allowing your child’s make-believe transactions to be that much more engaging, fun, and realistic. But that’s certainly not all you’re getting here. A full collection of food accessories, play money and grocery items is included and ready for high-level make believe play right out of the box. It even has a removable ‘tablet’ for mobile payment, just like the real stores do!
Pretend Cash Register With Realistic Actions
Here is a full-service toy cash register that is basically an entire market. Fill the grocery basket with things like cereal, desserts or produce. Some of the more unique food items with this kit includes cod, eggplant, and cabbage, making this a sneaky way to introduce your child to the joy and value of healthy fruits and vegetables. All sales can be swiped along the revolving grocery belt, then punched into the functioning calculator for a running total. It even has a little produce scale, which will help your kid keep track of the product that’s going out the door.
Multicolor Tablet-Style Register Toy
Anyone who as bought a cup of coffee in the last decade knows that “real” cash registers, at least the ones with mechanical buttons and levers, are almost never seen anymore. It is far more likely these days to see simple Point-of-Sale (POS) systems being ran on computer tablets. This brightly colored Cash Register Toy emulates this style for a new generation of young consumers & shopkeepers, offering a modern look with the real functionality of a calculator. What we love most is its cute little compact size … the perfect addition to any play room.
Real-Working Cash Register Toy
Because it can be so hard to stand out in a market that is flooded with great toys and products, sometimes it is better to just release a simple, trusted idea that is executed extremely well. That’s exactly the case with the Real-Working Cash Register from Lakeshore Learning Materials. This is a durable and functional little calculator/register with all the basic functions of a basic register toy, as well as a credit card reader that will help you little one rack up all sorts of charges on their favorite imaginary goods. Included are 60 play coins and 30 play bills, as well as the toy credit card.
Spin & Swipe Wooden Cash Register
The Spin & Swipe Wooden Cash register is one of our very favorite toys of the year, due to its remarkable blending of engaging fun and functional learning for even very young toddlers. The brightly colored coins and spinning product wheels are a big draw for the young mind, and it provides an easy way for them to practice things like color, shape, & number recognition. Wooden construction is always a big hit for us, because it makes for a far more durable toy that is more likely to last through multiple children over time. Like a lot of Melissa & Doug wooden products, it might well become a family heirloom.
Clubhouse Cash Register
Everyone’s favorite cartoon mouse is back, this time to help teach kids about numbers, math, and the absolute joy of an open-market make-believe economy. The Clubhouse Cash Register, made by none other than the Mickey Mouse brand, is a great introductory-level cash register toy that offers a working cash drawer, a collection of play bills (featuring the Mouse himself) and a couple of plastic coins to help your kid make the exact change required of the transaction. The price is controlled by a kid-powered dial, giving the little ones immediate and rapid access to an entire world of pretend commerce.
Royal Boutique Princess Cash Register
Everyone knows that a Princess is nothing if not fiscally responsible. After all, running the kingdom’s finances is not an easy task. That’s why your little princess deserves a cash register toy that is as royal as she is, gleaming with royal faux-gold embellishments and a bright pink calculator face that really works. The cash drawer features an ornate, magical-looking key that is sure to excite the imagination of young royalty, and is an aesthetic touch that we really appreciate in a good toy. A functioning, beeping scanner adorns the left side and is a nice futuristic touch to an otherwise old-world toy.
Why Teaching Toys Like Pretend Cash Registers Are Great For Kids
Any parent knows that the only thing that beats a toy that a toddler likes is a toy that a toddler can learn from. This is the ever-sought double-whammy of good parenting, and it is why learning-based toys have only become more and more popular in recent years.
Cash register toys for kids and toddlers might vary in their details and accessories, but they all serve the basic function of teaching your child about colors, numbers, shapes, and basic math. At the same time, they are allowing the child to experience an empathic play experience, in which they are able to “try on” different societal roles. For the very first time, a child can start to spend time imagining what other people think and feel.
Math and empathy is a pretty strong combination for the up and coming youngster, don’t you think?
Buyer’s Guide: What To Look For In A Toddler Cash Register
If you have scrolled through our list and you can’t help but think that a lot of these toys kind of look the same, then you are not alone. The uninitiated consumer might find themselves a bit taken back by just how many different models and manufacturers are out there when it comes to electronic kids toys.
Here is a brief rundown of what we learned when putting the list together, as well as a final recap of what we think might be the best toy cash registers of the year.
The calculator is one of the most important features of the toy cash register. Even if you child is too young to understand how to add, subtract, multiply, or divide, they might very well benefit from simply familiarizing themselves with the feel and function of a calculator and keyboard. With any luck they will slowly learn how to use the toy register to make real calculations, adding up pretend groceries item by item.
Like most calculators, the ones included on toy registers are almost exclusively powered by simple solar panels embedded into the front of the toy, though we have seen a few models that were powered with disposable batteries (though none of those models appear on this list).
Spring-Loaded Cash Drawers
A cash drawer that “pops” open is one of the most exciting things about a play register, especially if the action is paired with that iconic ‘ka-ching’ sound of the traditional register bell. These drawers often feature fitted slots where the play money can go. This is the part that you might want to measure if you are thinking about purchasing additional play bills to help top off the coffers, so to speak.
The opening mechanism is either activated by button or key depending on the model. There isn’t much difference between the two different modes, so it comes down to a matter of personal choice.
Even kids know what a real cash register and scanning aisle sound like, so it is no surprise that the best toddler cash registers feature realistic grocery store sounds like scanning & beeping to make the experience that much more engaging. These electronic sounds are powered by AA or AAA battery, but it brings the kids’ experience to another level and is well worth the batteries.
Microphones & Speakers
“Can I get a price check on this plastic fish?” Voice-amplifying toy microphones and announcement speakers are one of the newest features to be added to toy registers, and it could very well be our favorite feature of all. Kids will love hearing their voice coming out of the speaker, and whether it is to call for cahier backup or to report a spill on aisle 4, there is no better way to elevate the shopping experience than a good PA system.
Credit Cards, Play Money, & Pretend Coins
One of the primary educational benefits of a good toddler cash register is that they manage to introduce the child to the different sizes and denominations of paper and coin currency. This is not only a boost to their developing math skills, but can also help teach them about the value of cash money and maybe even a little something about what it means to work for it!
Play money comes in a several different forms, but what you can expect to see included with the registers that we featured here is between 20 and 30 paper bills, a collection of plastic coins, and usually a single play credit card if they just want to charge it instead.
As with any kind of toy, certain pieces are most definitely going to get lost over time. You can plan for this eventuality by purchasing an auxiliary play money set to re-fill the coffers. Choosing a money kit that is from the same company is the best way to make sure that it is the right size for your register.
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
Q: What is the best toy cash register for a 2 year old?
A: A child that is only two years old is at the low end of the recommended age group for most of these registers, primarily because some moving parts and spring-loaded mechanisms might pose a moderate threat to an unsupervised 2 year old. However there are toy registers just for this age group.
Our recommendation for this age level would be the Spin & Swipe Wooden Cash Register by Melissa & Doug. Its moving parts are quite safe, and the toy coins are too large to pose a significant choking hazard. As usual, it is a good idea to supervise your child’s play if they are at this age, as who knows what new ways they might discover to misuse the toy!
Q: Do I need to buy extra play money? How much is included?
A: Generally speaking, most toy cash registers come with all the pretend money that you need, however it is possible to purchase additional sets of play money if you want to have extra on hand of if you are planning a party or event where there will be lots of kids. Just make sure to measure the cash compartment in the register that you go with so you know that it will fit (unfortunately, almost every toy company uses a different size for their play money).
Q: What are the power or battery requirements?
A: While the calculators are often powered by a simple solar cell, the other features like microphone, realistic scanning sounds, and conveyor belts will only function off of additional battery power. Most of the time these are AA or AAA batteries.
One thing to note is that most kid’s electronic toys come loaded with batteries that are intended for display purposes. For best results you want to swap those batteries out right when the product arrives. They will last longer and are most likely of much higher quality than the ones that were included.
Tallying It Up: The Best Toddler Cash Registers Of The Gift-Giving Season
We arrive now at the end, where we reveal what our team agrees are the best overall toy cash registers for both kids and toddlers. But remember, these are just our own recommendations. Using what you learned here, you can now go out into the digital strip mall and start looking for the toy register that best suits you and your toddler.
For our money, the Lakeshore Learning Materials’ Real Working Cash Register is one of the best deals that we’ve seen. It’s a sturdy little register toy with great functionality, and it doesn’t have all that cheap plastic that some models have.
Yet we probably can’t get away with signing off before giving a shout out to the Melissa & Doug Wooden Food Mart set. While it’s significantly more expensive than anything else on our list, it is also the most impressive, offering a hyper-realistic rendition of our favorite natural food checkout kiosk.