Cash registers help kiddos learn essential social and academic skills. Children can use their money boxes to act out a typical grocery store experience.
Dramatic play helps to prepare kids for real-life situations. Many cash registers also have built-in calculators and slots for play money. These elements can foster a child’s interest in math and money.
There are plenty of educational games you can discreetly incorporate into cash register play. Knowing all this, we were eager to compile a list of the top toy cash registers.
We’ve narrowed our selections down to 11 favorites. Before you check out our reviews of these amazing products, be sure to browse our buying guide.
In this article:
Making developmentally appropriate selections
During our research, we were delighted to learn that there were toy cash registers for children of all ages. While toddlers and babies have difficulty understanding advanced number concepts, they can benefit from toys that enable them to flex their fine motor skills.
Cash registers with big, colorful buttons and levers are excellent for toddlers who enjoy solving problems and making discoveries.
If your child is preschool age or older, they may be able to recognize some letters, numbers, and colors. A cash register with a functioning calculator, scale, or conveyor belt is going to get a lot of use.
At this time, you may want to graduate from a handheld cash register to a large store setup. This is a great age to start working on basic math.
Children between the ages of 4 and 6 years love pretend play. They enjoy stocking shelves, exchanging money, and bagging groceries.
Each of these exercises helps them develop more cognitive and social skills. At the same time, these activities can also encourage teamwork and cooperation.
What accessories work best?
After looking at a variety of toy cash registers, we think we’ve seen it all. We saw options that ranged from simple and low-tech to flashy and accessory-laden.
As aspiring educators, we tried to select toys that promote math skills. If a child has a functioning calculator and pretend money, they may then attempt to do a little arithmetic.
Pretend credit cards, reusable bags, functioning conveyor belts, and beeping scanners are also a lot of fun. Older children get a kick out of register setups that look and feel like the real thing.
After all, they like to imitate what they observe in real life, and let’s not forget that children conjure up a lot with their imaginations.
Let’s talk about durability
One of our biggest concerns with toys is durability. Think about the materials and craftsmanship that went into building your little one’s cash register.
Though not biased when it comes to materials, we just want to make sure that the toys we recommend can withstand the wrath of a tyrannical toddler.
That said, we were pleasantly surprised by the durability of most toy cash registers. The most common defects we found were sticky cash drawers, slow-moving conveyor belts, and absurdly noisy scanners.
Our top picks for the best toy cash registers
The Learning Resources Toy Cash Register (check price on Amazon) is a classic blue-red cash register toy made of incredibly thick plastic. Not only is it durable enough to handle dings and drops, but is also an excellent tool for teaching math literacy.
The onboard number pad serves as a calculator. It even features a built-in solar panel and an LCD screen. We have loads of time for toys that power without batteries.
We also love the feel of the soft, oversized buttons and large money slots, so we’re confident that children of all ages will enjoy this fabulous toy.
What we love
- Solar-powered calculator with LCD screen
- Comes with realistic bills, coins, credit card, and activity guide
- Large buttons are easy for little hands to manipulate
- Fun cash register sound when the cash drawer opens
- Money is poorly made and can tear easily
This Melissa & Doug Fresh Mart Grocery Store (check price on Amazon) lets little ones play out every aspect of a shopping experience. Children can crank the conveyor belt to send food to the cashier.
This modern-day register boasts a beeping scanner, cash drawer, and card reader. The L-shaped structure is sturdy enough for children to browse the shelves from both sides. We recommend investing in some play food, paper money, and a toy grocery cart.
What we love
- Hand-cranked conveyor belt brings groceries directly to the cashier
- Promotes dramatic play, sharing, and early math skills
- Super easy to assemble
- Sturdy enough for rambunctious toddlers
- Kiddos can stuff small items under the conveyor belt
Best budget buy
At first glance, the Little Tikes Count ‘n Play Cash Register (check price on Amazon) looks more like an arcade game than a grocery store accessory! But still, this chunky plastic plaything will help toddlers learn to count and sort.
The register features three color-coated coin slots, encouraging children to insert their coins into those appropriate slots. When they do, the coins will slide down the side shoot.
There’s also a large crank-operated money drawer which also serves as the perfect space to store the coins when not in use.
What we love
- Big plastic pieces that are easy for toddlers to manipulate
- Lovely pastel colors
- Teaches color and number knowledge
- Promotes counting, sorting, and fine-motor skills
- Children may lose interest fairly quickly
Best electronic cash register
If you have two AA batteries lying around, you can bring the Velocity Toys Electronic Cash Register (check price on Amazon) to life. This electronic cash register features interactive lights, sounds, and actions.
It even comes with a small set of make-believe food, some play money, and a shopping basket. This portable register can transform any room into a makeshift shopping experience.
Children can work on their social skills by reenacting sales transactions. The register has a small conveyor belt, a corded scanner, a credit card swiper, and a working intercom.
There’s also a functioning calculator and cash drawer. Children can practice responsibly by ‘locking’ their cash register at the end of each play session.
What we love
- Vivid colors and lots of moving parts
- Helps solidify financial literacy from a young age
- Sets the stage for lots of dramatic play variations
- Microphone is a great tool for improving speech and language skills
- Play money is flimsy and needs to be replaced quite often
- Cardboard food items have no chance of surviving the wrath of unruly toddlers
Our fifth choice
The Boley Kids Cash Register (check price on Amazon) is a great learning tool for home or school. Firstly, it has a charming color scheme. Buyers choose between either a blue-green or pink-red toy.
There are also lots of fun, learning features built into this toy. The functioning scale, solar-powered calculator, and loudspeaker are just the tip of its amazing iceberg.
Don’t expect the Boley calculator to be made of thin, inexpensive polymer. This parent-owned company sends all its toys through third-party quality-control tests.
The plastics that are used are 100% non-toxic. This register is designed to foster several kinds of learning and development, including math, fine motor, social, and emotional skills. There are even buttons that play out prerecorded ‘thank yous’ and ‘goodbyes’.
What we love
- An awesome addition to any play area
- Puts a fun twist on math and measurement
- Quality materials that hold up well through endless rigorous play sessions
- Bright colors and inviting sounds
- The sluggish conveyor belt will try some children’s patience
- Paper currency tends to get stuck in the cash drawer
Best with cooking set
If you’re looking for a play register that prompts a complete store to stove experience, the FUNERICA Toy Cash Register (check price on Amazon) is your best bet.
This charming red and white market kit comes with a cash register, a shopping basket, play money, toy cooking utensils, and play food. Little shoppers can scan the pretend grocery store for ingredients to make a healthy meal, then pay for their goods with the play currency provided in the kit.
Children can also shift their focus to fine motor tasks, such as slicing fruits and vegetables or stirring a pot of make-believe stew. The kit even comes with a pint-sized chef hat!
Dramatic play is an important part of early childhood development. Children love imitating their parents and other adults. This kit promotes both healthy choices and essential life skills, along with fostering a love of finance, measurement, and arithmetic.
What we love
- The tiny fruits and vegetables can be sliced in half with a tony knife
- The register features a scale and functioning calculator
- Paper and coin currency provided with set
- Promotes creativity and problem-solving
- Be prepared for lots of beeping
Best for younger kids
The LeapFrog Count Along Cash Register (check price on Amazon) is a great option for children who crave a little extra interaction. The LeapFrog Register is a lively automaton that sings, counts, and talks to little cashiers.
The songs and catchphrases are super catchy, but they wear on adults pretty quickly. Still, children can learn a lot from their trusty green robot friend. This register comes with eight pieces of play food, a toy credit card, and 10 plastic coins.
Children can shop for items before scanning them at the register. The register announces the cost of each item. After this, children are expected to count along as they insert the correct amount of coins.
We know it all sounds a bit repetitive. However, children learn best when they practice something over and over again. If you want your kid counting early, you can trust in the LeapFrog tool to help meet your goal.
What we love
- Repetitive tasks help children to learn basic math skills
- The LeapFrog personality has lots of silly songs and messages to share
- Kids can actually scan their food items
- Each item has a preset price and children have the coins they need to cover the bill
- The songs and catchphrases can wear on adult ears
- Coins have a tendency to get stuck inside the drawer
It’s difficult to imagine an ordinary cashier working this glorious cash register. Still, even Disney princesses need to know their math. Your royal heir will appreciate the Disney Princess Cash Register’s (check price on Amazon) functioning calculator and credit card scanner.
Of course, a lock and key are standard safeguards for any moneybox holding the gold of a noble. We love that Disney has provided a set of royal bar codes. These tiny labels can be paired with everything from play food to household items.
Your child will be thrilled to hear the scanner beep each time they make a purchase. Since the kit comes with paper currency, coins, and a credit card, they’ll have no trouble covering the fees.
What we love
- Over-the-top Disney princess decorations, gold trim and crowns included
- Functioning calculator, beeping scanner, and lockable money drawer
- Comes with a credit card, coins, and paper currency
- Makes a great addition to any Disney-themed play area
- Lots of small accessories that can be difficult to keep track of
Best toy cash register with a conveyor belt
If you’re looking to simulate a realistic grocery store experience, the Little Tikes Shop ‘N Learn (check price on Target) is an excellent selection. The grocery section features lots of realistic details, including sections for dry goods, frozen foods, and bakery treats.
Meanwhile, the checkout lane has a working conveyor belt, a light-up aisle light, and a functioning scanner. You can pair the market pears with a tablet, and, with the free app, you can access five educational play modes.
The shop comes with 35 scannable food items, but feel free to use your own fake food. When your children are done playing, you can fold the shop up for easy storage.
The Little Tikes Shop ‘N Learn Smart Checkout is an awesome selection for parents looking to build their kiddo’s toy stores from the ground up. The bright plastic base might not speak to parents looking to create soothing, low-key play spaces. Then again, do playspaces like that even exist?
What we love
- Lots of storage space for large play food collections
- Pairs with apps for more in-depth dramatic play
- Features a bagging station with a reusable bag
- Has a functioning conveyor belt and food items that can be scanned
- You'll need a tablet to key into all the fun learning activities
Best retro pick
This vintage-inspired cash register will conjure images of a once screen-free world. Three brightly colored levers can be used to spin the illustrated picture reels. Meanwhile, children can work on their fine motor skills by inserting the six chunky plastic coins into the overhead slots.
The Fisher-Price Cash Register (check price on Walmart) has a large crank that rings a bell and opens the cash drawer. In our humble opinion, the coolest part of this toy is the mesmerizing coin shoot.
While Fisher-Price recommends this register for kids as young as 24 months, we’re pretty sure that older kids will get a kick out of the retro design and entertaining functions.
Researchers tell us that children can benefit from learning math skills at a young age. They forgot to mention that arithmetic could be so adorable!
What we love
- You probably had a cash register like this when you were little
- Instill a love of math in your child while they’re young
- Colorful plastic coins are perfect for counting and sorting practice
- A cheerful bell tolls when you twist the crank
- It’s easy to lose track of small pieces
Best wooden cash register
The Melissa & Doug Spin & Swipe Cash Register (check price on Target) is perfect for youngsters. Four big levers can be used to turn overhead picture scrolls and open the money drawer. Children can swipe their faux credit card or drop coins into the overhead slots.
The chunky pieces are ideal for children between 3 and 6 years. This minimalist money box is made from wood and plastic and is one of those rare toys that may survive the mayhem of more than one child.
If you want to introduce basic math skills to your little one, there’s no better gadget for the job. Your kiddo can also use the Spin & Swipe register to master fine motor skills. The colored coins can also serve as a premise for naming and sorting games.
What we love
- The durable wood and plastic parts can handle plenty of little blunders
- The levers turn overhead picture rails and open the cash drawer
- Comes with chunky plastic coins that fit into overhead slots
- Kids can also use a fake credit card to complete their payment
- Children over 6 years tend to lose interest
And our winner is…
As you know, we’re always on the lookout for educational toys that attract our picky kid’s attention, and cash registers can sure help cement essential math skills.
Children love creating dynamic, dramatic scenarios that center around these coveted toys. After looking at several, it was tough to choose just one winner.
That said, we settled on the Learning Resources Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register (check price on Amazon) as our best toy cash register for kids.
This toy register is super-durable and fun for children of all ages. We love how children can fiddle with its solar-powered calculator.
Have you recently purchased a toy register for a little one in your life? Let us know what you and your kiddo thought about the toy.