The 10 Best Toy Cash Registers

Updated July 04, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Toy Cash Registers
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Looking for a gift for your little one that can actually teach him or her real-world skills? Look no further than our comprehensive selection of toy cash registers. They are not just fun for any kid to play "going to the store" with, but can aid with the development of many skills, including shape and color recognition, and, of course, counting. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best toy cash register on Amazon.

10. Casdon Mini Market

Your budding little shopper will love the Casdon Mini Market, which includes 7 pieces of realistic food. The cash drawer opens and closes to help develop motor skills, plus the flexible intercom microphone helps to enhance the overall play experience.
  • helps improve math skills
  • compact size is easy to store
  • foods need to be self-labeled
Model 574
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Viga NCT 1086

The Viga NCT 1086 is a simple wooden cash register that is great for the imagination. It doesn't have all of the bells and whistles of some other brands, but it does have press down buttons and is able to spit out sales receipts.
  • credit card swipe payment feature
  • not overly durable
  • scanner is not realistic looking
Brand Viga 50000
Model NCT 1086
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Fisher-Price Basic

Develop important lifelong skills at an early age with the oldie, but goodie, Fisher-Price Basic. Kids will love watching the colorful coins come down the ramp as they learn their colors and counting skills, but it's priced a little high for such a simple design.
  • inspired by the classic 1975 model
  • bell rings when the crank turns
  • poor quality construction
Brand Basic Fun
Model 2073
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Learning Journey Shop and Learn

The Learning Journey Shop and Learn encourages children to shop, count, identify food and determine values through three different types of fun play modes. It makes a great choice for independent play as it electronically talks to them to keep them engaged.
  • has a spanish language setting
  • also teaches colors
  • coins often get stuck when inserted
Brand The Learning Journey
Model 678480
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Ikea Duktig

The Ikea Duktig offers a clean, beautiful design with a fully functional calculator and a clear LCD display for a true-to-life shopping experience. It includes punch-out coins and credit cards, plus two sheets of paper money to get them started right away.
  • helps to develop social skills
  • big buttons make it easy to use
  • clear acrylic lacquer finish
Brand IKEA
Model pending
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Hape Playfully Delicious

Provide an interactive experience for kids to practice their counting and monetary skills with the Hape Playfully Delicious. This child-safe register is made with the highest quality non-toxic materials and is appropriate for ages 3 - 5 years old.
  • includes bar code scanner
  • colorful abacus for counting
  • doesn't have a working calculator
Brand Hape
Model E3121
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. AM Inc Just Like Home

The adorable AM Inc Just Like Home brings pretend play to life with its hand scanner, working cash register, moving conveyor belt and basket full of groceries. Not only will kids have tons of fun, but they will learn addition and subtraction at the same time.
  • constructed of durable plastic
  • can manually unlock the drawer
  • includes a price check microphone
Brand AM INC
Model pending
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Learning Resources LER2629

As the winner of 23 awards, the best-selling Learning Resources LER2629 is a must-have for any pretend store. Parents will appreciate the built-in solar-powered calculator that provides endless play without the worry of running out of batteries.
  • activity guide with play scenarios
  • makes realistic sounds
  • includes 30 pretend bills
Brand Learning Resources
Model LER2629
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Little Tikes Count 'n Play

If you're looking for a toy that inspires creativity without spending a lot of money, the Little Tikes Count 'n Play fits the bill. This affordable gem helps to develop fine motor skills, while also teaching colors, shapes and sizes through matching games.
  • pull handle makes a cha-ching sound
  • credit card slot
  • bright kid-friendly colors
Brand Little Tikes
Model 623486MP
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. LeapFrog Count Along

The LeapFrog Count Along counts with and talks to your little one to help them improve their counting and addition skills. It also comes with 20 checkout items that kids can use for imaginative role play, pretending they have their very own store.
  • also sings educational songs
  • touchscreen operation
  • adjustable volume settings
Brand LeapFrog Enterprises
Model 19306
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Making Change: Choosing a Toy Cash Register

Toy cash registers have been popular with children for generations. In fact, for a time the iconic Tom Thumb toy register was one of the most popular gifts in the United States. First produced in 1945 by the Michigan-based company Western Stamping, within just a few years nearly three-quarters of a million of the simple, durable metal tills had been created. The Tom Thumb cash register was produced by the millions throughout the 1950s and 1960s, and was not only popular all across America but was sold in multiple international markets as well.

While Tom Thumb registers are now relegated to antique status, collected by discerning (and/or nostalgic) adults but infrequently seen in the hands of a child, toy registers in general remain wildly popular. And today's youth have many more options than that simple lever-operated stamped metal toy from days gone by. Modern toy tills feature everything from calculating capacity to built-in games to touch screen capabilities.

While a slight generalization, it is not inaccurate to say that there are essentially two types of toy cash register: the device intended exclusively for play that offers amusement but no real chance for educational development, and those that can actually be used to complete mathematical computations and which help teach the fundamentals of using numbers. There is no right or wrong option; one must simply consider the register's recipient in terms of age, interest, and attention span.

In fact, choosing the right child's cash register is rather simple when approached as a step-by-step process. First consider whether or not you want a unit that has actual calculating abilities (essentially in the form of a basic calculator built into the face of the unit). That stipulation will eliminate certain options, leaving you to choose a register largely based on aesthetics and binary considerations such as what sounds and flashing lights you prefer or wish to avoid.

If you are more interested in getting a young child a toy than a teaching tool, consider registers that foster independent play, as that is as critical a skill as math in the early years. Many toy registers feature basic and engaging games where colors and/or shapes must be matched or fruits must be identified. And all toy registers, regardless of their complexity level, can help foster fine motor development such as comes with handling play money, operating switches and buttons, and doing some imaginary shopping.

Ideal Toy Cash Register Accessories

A toy cash register is such an amazing gift for a child not only for its inherent qualities as noted earlier, but as it serves is the perfect jumping-off point for profound imaginative play. Children generally seek to emulate that which they regularly observe -- thus the youngster's desire to "play house" with stuffed animals, dolls, and/or parents and playmates -- and in the course of many given days a cash register is a regular fixture of an activity.

With their own till, a child can imagine their play space to be a grocery store, a pet store, a diner, or so many of the other places to which they are often exposed, albeit now in control of the situation. Encouraging this type of play is always a good move for the parent, caregiver, or the teacher at a nursery or preschool; enhancing such activities with a few more choice items is also wise.

By selecting a few familiar objects, such as pretend foods or sundries a child will easily recognize from a store (like rolls of paper towels, soaps, and so forth) you can help children navigate pantomimed exchanges, take on roles (the cashier and the customer, e.g.), and to keep the mathematics and organization that come with pretend shopping easier to manager. A toy cash register can serve as the starting point for establishing a shop full of other toys and objects with which to be played and negotiated and that can be counted, loaded onto shelves or into bags, and that can bring a sense of success and empowerment to the young mind.

Perhaps best of all, when "shopping" and completing transactions using a register, children are actively using and developing math skills under the guise of play. These activities lend the perfect opportunity for parents or educators to offer subtle but impactful guidance and input that will help a child or a group of children count, group, subtract, and more.

(As noted, many toy registers come with many accessories, so additional items might not be needed. But as play can be supplemented at no cost using emptied household containers -- cereal boxes or rinsed-out juice cartons, for example -- a unit that does not come with such items should not be thought less of.)

Learning Math Skills Through Play

The most basic math skills -- addition and subtraction -- are nonetheless conceptual and confusing when first approached by a young mind. Using tangible, physical objects to help cement these concepts in the real world makes learning to add and subtract simpler; pairing hands-on math with numerical data can help make sense of the latter. Or, in other words, "two plus one equals three" might not make much sense to a toddler, but seeing that two apples joined by one more piece of fruit creates a group of three is much easier to process.

A parent or teacher can help a youngster create one-to-one correspondence (the number "1" correlating to one object, "2" to two objects, etc.) by using the numbers on the screen of a cash register and an actual object at the same time. And using familiar objects, such as play fruits or other food objects can be much more effective than using nondescript items such as discs or blocks. And a calculator "hidden" in the form of yet another play object only furthers this success.

Adding a toy cash register into the "play" that is helping to teach basic addition and subtraction will make the activity more purpose-driven and engaging. While the adult in the room knows the ultimate goal is to learn math skills, the learners can feel that their goal is to properly complete an imaginary shopping trip.

As math skills develop, soon the inclusion of play money can add a new layer to the learning. As mastering number values requires a grasp of the conceptual rather than the tangible alone, a single bill representing five dollars, for example, helps to bridge the gap between simple counting and such elevated activities like grouping, multiplication, and so forth.

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Last updated on July 04, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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