Playing store is a classic childhood activity that keeps children happily busy
for hours at a time. Pretending they are grown-ups, kids imitate both the customer
and the cashier, and playing with a realistic cash register adds an exciting
and educational element to the fantasy.
Of the several toy cash registers on the market to choose from, the Pretend
& Play Calculator Cash Register is a particularly sensible and solid
choice. It features a real solar-powered calculator as its keypad. The large,
attractive buttons allow even preschoolers to start feeling comfortable with
the basic workings of a calculator. As children grow, this cash register provides
an excellent introduction to the world of math and helps kids learn practical
calculator skills. Along with these skills, they also develop social and vocabulary
skills as they model real-world grown-up behavior.
The cash register itself is large and extremely sturdy. Its bold, gender-neutral
colors will appeal to both boys and girls of a wide range of ages. Older children
wont consider its design babyish, and preschoolers will find it attractive.
Besides the large keypad, the register features a clear LCD display. It comes
with a pretend credit card, realistic and life-size play money, and a little
pad for taking important notes. The toy credit card fits into a slot on the
register and produces a satisfying sound effect as kids slide it into place.
When kids press the large OPEN button on the keypad, the drawer pops open to
reveal the realistic play bills and coins.
This cash register doesnt eat up batteries as quickly as some others;
only a 1.5V battery is required for the sound effects, and the calculator is
solar-powered. The calculator has many functions that you wont easily
find on a regular cash register, including the negative function and an eight-digit
display. Its large size makes it appealing, and younger children will feel comfortable
Parents will be delighted when their kids run to their register to perform
everyday calculations. Families can think creatively and demonstrate using the
calculator to determine, for example, how to divide x amount of jelly
beans between three kids, or how to total up the number of minutes kids have
spent watching television in the day. The drawer tray stores life-size play
currency, which means that it is perfectly sized for children to store and count
out their own cash. They can even use the register to handle real money for
a garage or lemonade sale!
Whether they are playing cashier or shopper, kids will have a great time with
this set. Its educational and entertaining in equal measure. The included
activity guide encourages parents to get involved and provides some useful suggestions
for creating supermarket, post office, and train station scenarios.
The Deluxe Set adds the talking scanner unit and activity book to the mix,
each of which is sold separately. The Check-It-Out Activity Book, which is valuable
enough as a stand-alone workbook, provides fun and educational extension activities
and stories that help further develop school-age childrens math and calculator
The talking hand-held scanner adds a whole lot of fun to the Deluxe set. Scanned
prices, which can be random or input from the bar code stickers provided, announce
themselves, helping to reinforce price-reading skills. The price then needs
to be entered into the cash register, which defeats half the purpose of a scanner.
But, in this pretend world, too much automation would interfere with educational
value! This way, kids can practice typing the numbers onto the registers
keypad. It can be tricky to scan the bar codes, as the unit needs to be held
a particular way for successful scanning. However, simply pressing the random
price button will certainly suffice for younger children.
A Canadian edition with Canadian play currency is also available from Learning
Resources at www.learningresources.com.