As a former third grade teacher, I am thrilled when the opportunity arises to review educational toys for my children. Emma and Ethan love to play with their play kitchen, food and grocery cart. So when MindWare.com offered to let us review a toy, I thought that a cash register would be a great addition to their set.
|Parents’ Choice Approved Award|
Our Teaching Talking Cash Register identifies and counts coins, authorizes scanned credit cards and coupons and rewards transactions with lights, sounds and voice messages. Includes a scale, talking checkout scanner and life-size bills and coins. As they play, kids practice key skills like coin recognition, counting money, addition, subtraction and decimal usage; also includes 4 simple math games with different challenge levels. Auto shutoff. Uses three C batteries (not included).
Recommended Ages: Ages 3 to 9
As you can see, Ethan could barely contain himself when I was setting up the register. It comes with several of each coin, a handful of bills (1’s, 5’s, 10’s and 20’s), a “coupon” card and a credit card. Ethan is checking out the the food scale in the photo above. Both kids love this particular feature and ask me “how big” things are often.
The coins are accurately sized and stamped, making the learning process a bit easier. I have to say, though, that the tray hasn’t been this organized since I set it up. The kids don’t seem to mind and I’m sure they will get the hang of it as they get older.
The buttons are nice and big and the print is easily readable. The register will allow your children to “shop” normally and push in prices ending with a total and the draw popping open. It also has a few learning modes like a coin quiz, an adding game, a subtraction game and a money match game.
The money match game uses the coin slot just to the left of the photo (can be seen in the first few photos). The coins slide down into the coin bank that opens up for easy collection. Ethan is only 3, but enjoys putting the coins into this slot. The register tells him what coin it is and he repeats it (can be seen in the video below). Repetition helps the learning process stick and at the age of 3 he is already learning the names of the coins!
Here is the food scale. It is functional and measures in ounces. It also has pieces of fruit on it to compare where it should hit for that item. The kids don’t really understand the correlation, but enjoy this function and are often heard saying “it’s as big as an orange!”.
The coupon card and credit card are both thick plastic pieces that won’t easily be destroyed. When using them, the children “swipe” them in the slot just under the food scale and the machine gives off a little “beep”.
My overall impression of this cash register is fabulous! I agree that it should have won all of the awards it has! Ethan, at 3, and Emma, at 5, are both getting different benefits from the toy and but both are learning. Emma is starting to put values to the coins and realizing that even though a $5 bill is only one piece of paper… it is worth 5 $1 bills.
Both the children play with this together and rarely fight over it (incredible!). Just last night I found the register and a stack of play food on Ethan’s bed with the grocery cart next to his bed. When I asked him what was going on he said they were paying for their food and beeping it. In the three weeks they have been playing with it they have used it every day! They love it so much that they decided to hide it when company came over because “We don’t want the money to break.” It’s an incredible product to teach math skills including money (names and values), addition and subtraction… all while having fun.
I have one small drawback that was easily fixed. The cash drawer tends to pop out quickly and the coins would end up all over the table and floor. My husband took the drawer out and stretched the spring a little to reduce the tension. The cash tray now slides out much slower and we no longer have a money mess when opened.
I caught Ethan playing in a box with the register…
see him repeat the coin names and enjoy his quiet time.
You can purchase the Teaching Talking Cash Register for $59.95 at MindWare.com (requires 3 C batteries not included)
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