Money makes the world go round, or so they say! The earlier that kids learn about money, the easier they will adjust to handling it in real life. One fun way to learn about money is with a toy cash register. Many of these registers are available today from various manufacturers to aid in the learning of the American monetary system. We have selected the best-rated products by parents for you on this page to make your selection of the finest items easier.
Many skills are obtained when dealing with cash and payment cards, such as basic counting, adding, subtracting, making change, sorting, and organizing. Fine motor skills make all of this possible, and that takes plenty of practice, especially for very young kids. Many grade-school kids today do not know the names or denominations of American money, but they should. It is never too early to introduce these concepts to your child to get them the best possible start in this vital subject.
These play registers are quite varied in their abilities, features, and accessories, so we took great care in highlighting the best and worst points of each, plus what they can best offer your child in learning about money. They all include some form of cash, whether it is a combination of paper bills, plastic coins, and credit cards, or only colorful plastic coins in the case of the Little Tikes Register.
This toy is perfect for kids as young as two years old because it is so simple, yet effective. All of the other registers are more appropriate for three-year-olds and older because they contain the paper bills and a working cash register. Most of the products make sounds and have functional parts, like scanners, microphones, and conveyor belts to make learning much more fun and exciting.
The focus of all items is to get your child involved in handling money, improving fine motors skills, and above all having plenty of fun as they learn. Let’s see what the manufacturers have created especially for your child. Here are our picks for the best kids’ cash registers to consider in 2018.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Fisher-Price Cash Register
- No Batteries Required
- Best Choice Cash Register
- Realistic Actions & Sounds
- Learning Resources Cash Register
- 73 Pieces + Calculator
The whirlwind experience of the developing child
Children grow up and develop so quickly through the toddler and ‘little kid’ years it can make a parent’s head spin. They learn new skills regularly, learning how to think and communicate with their family, then suddenly they have friends and, whoosh!, they are in school. It can seem like quite a whirlwind trip.
As much as many parents would like their babies to stay little, that could grow old after awhile. So, babies do grow up. And in their youngest years and throughout childhood, they develop and improve in four key areas of growth: Social and Emotional, Communication, Thinking and Problem Solving, and Physical strength and Movement.
As kids move through growth in each of these areas, they mature emotionally, moving from being maybe very friendly to having tantrums to becoming more reasonable as they learn how to solve problems on their own and become more independent. And, as parents, you do want your child to become independent of you eventually. If they don’t, they won’t be able to be functional when they reach adulthood.
Physically, little ones start out just lying in one spot. But that changes as their muscles firm up up and become stronger. They start crawling, then walking and getting into everything as they learn not only by moving through their world, but by tasting and touching. They handle everything and put everything in their mouths.
Language and communication in children improves as their relationships become stronger. They feel safe with parents, then safe with family, then safe with friends. Fears can be removed as kids grow and learn and become more self confident.
Criteria Used to Evaluate The Best Cash Registers for Kids
Any child that wants to learn about American money would enjoy these cash registers and money sets because they are highly functional and well-designed. However, the intended age for use starts at three years old because kids this young can perform the skills necessary to enjoy the toys.
After the age of seven or eight years old, kids will most probably have their own money from chores or allowances, so they will have real money to count, sort, and organize. The earlier parents introduce toy cash and registers to a child, the quicker they will progress with the abilities gained in this field.
Of the many skills that are exercised and developed with play money and cash registers, these are the most important. Kids will learn counting, subtracting, adding, sorting, pattern recognition, and organizing just from the coins and bills alone. With the cash register and equipment, they will build their gross and fine motor skills by operating the various parts, role-playing talents, and imaginative abilities.
These toys seem simple and child-like, but they have so much to offer kids because of the thought and ingenuity that the manufacturers built into them. Not only are they beneficial, but they are also fun and interactive. Learning should be very enjoyable, especially at the toddler stage of life.
Gender or Handedness Specific
There is no preference with toy cash registers for boys or girls because all kids need to learn the necessary cash skills to be a functional part of our society. Children that cannot handle coins and bills will soon get lost in the way our monetary system functions. All children must gain some hands-on knowledge of the bill denominations, their names, and how they are interchanged to purchase items.
Being left-handed or right-handed should not pose a problem either way in operating or enjoying the cash registers and money set drawers. The placement of the scanner, microphone, or conveyor belt may be on a side that would be a bit uncomfortable for some children, but overall it should not be a big concern.
Accessories – (money/groceries)
Each toy, no matter how different, comes with some accessories. They all have some form of cash or credit cards, but some of them include grocery items or restaurant products to ring up on the register. The extra items are noted in the name of the product and our summary section for each. Not all of the toys come with items to use for grocery products, such as the Little Tikes Count ‘n Play, which only comes with the colorful coins.
The money sets do not come with any accessories either, as they are to be used mainly for counting, adding, and subtracting skills in recognizing the various denominations of the bills and coins. No matter the age of the child you are buying for, there is a cash register or money drawer perfect for their age and intelligence.
What Determined the Top 10 Kids Cash Registers in Our List
While we thought of including super-realistic cash registers in our selection, we remembered that pretend play sets should leave something to the imagination. By creating a gap between what is a toy and what the real object is, we are able to encourage children to use their minds in filling the gap through their sense of imagination. As such, we chose products that provided some form motivation for kids to use their cognitive abilities in conjuring images of a real money management machine.
Additionally, since our goal is to provide the correct tools for children to enjoy their pretend play activities, we had to make sure that the recommended age of these toys are appropriate. Simply put, the toy cash register must be developmentally appropriate to the kid’s age. This is crucial as getting a toy that is simpler than the child’s developmental age can create boredom while something that is more advanced than the developmental level of the child can bring about frustrations. Striking a balance was thus, very important.
The overall construction of the toy was also evaluated. This included the safety and quality of the materials used. Harmful chemicals had to be ascertained to be absent from the manufacturing process as the presence of these substances can significantly undermine any developmental gains achieved by children so far. The integrity of the different components was also ascertained especially if the toy is geared for younger users.
Tips to Helping Kids Understand Basic Money Management
You don’t need to wait until your kids reach high school before you even start considering teaching kids about money. As early as one year of age, you can already start integrating simpler concepts in money management in their playtime activities. There are plenty of money lessons to teach kids even before they reach the age of 10. Here are some tips to help your child understand the basics of money management.
- Make saving money a very fun activity. Use colorful character jars to place a part of our kid’s weekly allowance. Be as creative as you can be in the piggy bank to help entice your kid to save.
- Help your kid to set a goal that he or she wants to achieve. Then help him or her devise a budget plan on how much he or she needs to save every day to achieve the goal within the set time frame. Make sure the goal is workable and is something that your kid really wants.
- Contribute to your kid’s savings. Children will be more enticed to save if they know that you’ll be matching every savings they have. For instance, if they were able to save $10 in a week, then you also need to add $10 to their piggy bank. You can look at it as a form of incentive for kids to really save.
- Be a good role model. If you’re teaching your kid to save or to have a goal, then you yourself must also be able to exhibit such attributes. Children learn best when they see a congruence between what we are saying and what we are doing.
The Bottom Line
These may only look like ordinary props in role play activities but the 10 best kids cash registers are excellent tools for helping kids develop an understanding of simple money management principles. It’s also great for enhancing children’s number and problem solving skills
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do any of the cash register make sounds when they are being used? What are the sounds and what activates them, if so?
A: All of the cash registers make some sound. Usually, it is the cha-ching of the drawer opening or the beeping of the buttons when pushed. The scanners make sounds also as well as light up when operating. Pressing buttons on the cash register triggers the sounds and lights. Conveyor belts are operated by the cash register functions or by hand with a handle to move the belt.
Q: Are these toys more for girls or boys? Are any in particular for one gender or the other?
A: Boys and girls alike love these cash registers and money sets. There is no gender preference when it comes to money – everybody loves it! All of the products highlighted on this page are for either sex. The only ones that may be viewed as primarily for girls are the pink Minnie Mouse register and the pink Learning Resources Pretend & Play Register. Just because they are pink or have Minnie’s face on them does not mean they are exclusively for boys. The manufacturer makes no such statement regarding gender preference, so the pink cash registers, like all of the others, are for any child that would like to have one.
Q: How old does a child have to be to play with these cash registers? Are there some for very young kids, such as three years old?
A: Most of the products are for ages three and older, but the Little Tikes Count n’ Play Cash Register can be used as early as two years old. This determination is strictly up to the parents because every child develops differently than all others. Two-year-olds may be ready for the other cash registers as well, but this is left for the adults of individuals to decide. It certainly would not hurt to introduce the concepts and toys early just to get the child used to seeing money and feeling it. Most of the registers have enticing sounds, tunes, and lights that would engage a child in playing with it.
Q: Are there any options or choices with these toys, such as color selection or size? Are the dollar bills and coins the same size for all of the products? Would the extra money items fit in these cash registers?
A: The Learning Resources Pretend & Play Register is available in red or pink, but that is the only one that has a color choice. There is no option for size for any of the registers. The coins and bills will vary with each toy because of the manufacturers. They even vary in materials used, as some are plastic replicas of coins and others are more realistic. The two money sets in the list can be used with the registers, but the dimensions of the money and the register compartments were not given in the product information. It would be hard to say into which registers the bills and coins would fit the best.
Q: Do all of the cash registers come with money that fits in the drawers? Do any of them come with extras, such as toy items to ring up for a sale? Is the money in dollars, euros, or pounds?
A: Yes, all of the registers come with either just coins, as the Little Tikes Count ‘n Play does, or they have both bills and coins in their drawers. Almost all of them come with food or grocery items to ring up on the cash register. A few come with a shopping basket for the grocery items, and one has pots and pans for a restaurant. All of the money included with the registers is in American dollars and coins. The Little Tikes coins are just numbered and not replicas of real money.
Q: Do any of the cash register talk or speak to tell the child what buttons they are pressing on the registers, or what they should be pressing to do it correctly?
A: The LeapFrog Count Along Register talks and sings to kids when the buttons are pressed. The other toys make sounds and light up when the buttons are pushed, but they do not speak.
Q: What do these toys run on for power – batteries, electricity, or other?
A: All of the cash registers run on battery power, except the few that are specified as solar-powered. Only two types were solar-powered in this list. Most of the toys have batteries included, but sometimes they are only to show the operation of the toy. Fresh batteries are required for full functionality during play. None of the toys plug into electricity for safety, storage, and travel reasons.
Q: A few of these items have microphones. Do they really work or are they just a toy for show?
A: If a register has a microphone, they are fully functional. Kids can speak loudly with the microphone to announce store specials in pretend play.
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