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educational toy review

pretend & play calculator cash register

 

Award of ExcellenceRating: Rating

 

 
Ages: 3-9   Brand: Learning Resources

 

Review Sections: Product Overview  Dollar Value    

children's cash register Product Overview

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 won’t 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 doesn’t 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 won’t 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 using it.

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. It’s 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 children’s math and calculator skills.

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 register’s 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.

Dollar Value

The Calculator Cash Register retails for $39.95 U.S., the talking scanner is $16.95, and the Check-It-Out Activity Book sells for $4.95. Most kids are happy with the cash register alone.

The Bottom Line
This realistic cash register boasts life-size play money and a solar-powered calculator that really works, adding up to hours of pretend play and practical math lessons at the same time. This is a sensible and durable toy that grows with a child.

Reviewed: May 2001

To buy: Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register 

Back to Best Children's Educational Toys

best educational toys
This toy made our Best Children's Educational Toys list and received our Award of Excellence.

 

bottom line

The Bottom Line
This realistic cash register boasts life-size play money and a solar-powered calculator that really works, adding up to hours of pretend play and practical math lessons at the same time. This is a sensible and durable toy that grows with a child.
 
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