Sometimes we underestimate children, we often forget that they watch our every move and are aware of everything that goes on around them. Being in a shop environment is the perfect example; they see you exchanging goods for money; and they know that you can use a piece of plastic or coins and paper to pay.
What can children learn from using a cash register?
Cash registers can be incorporated into literally any role play scenario. There are so many skills that can be taught and practiced just by using a cash register.
Mathematics – skills such as; equivalency, addition, subtraction and division. Depending on what type of cash register you have, children can also learn basic calculator skills. Our cash register from Addo plays Busy Me range has a working calculator on the till itself. Number recognition is a big one here too, just seeing numbers and learning their names is an important skill on its own.
Fine motor skills – a cash register has several ways to manipulate fine motor skills for children. Pressing buttons, sliding the cards through for payments, inserting and removing money from the cash draw.
Sharing and value of money – these are important life skills and learning these at a young age is only ever a good thing. Learning that they can exchange money for items and incorporate sharing into their play then gets built upon as they get older.
Knowledge and understanding of the world – once the children get to grips with number recognition, we can get started on different currencies. This may sound a bit far fetched to some, but children are like sponges, and what you teach them now will just get soaked up! Getting the baseline mastered at an early age can be continued and developed as they get older.
Communication and language – whilst continuing in the role play you should be able to hear the children saying things like “that will be one hundred thousand pounds please”. Communication plays a big part during role play, and see as though a cash register is used in this way, it also has a significant space to fill.
Let’s also not forget; relationship building; personal, social and emotional development; and literacy skills.
Where we got ours
Our cash register was supplied by Addo Play from the Busy Me range. This is sold at The Entertainer toy shop and they say that it is suitable for ages 3+, but I think it can be suitable from age 2 years. It has a working microphone that Leo shouts “clean up on aisle 5”! There is a working calculator, scanner, chip and pin reader, and the set has 30 items included!
My two boys have had lots of fun with this cash register already and have used it as a resource in their mud kitchen and also to charge each other for my candles dotted around the house haha. Although Mylo is yet to grasp the art of patience and sharing. Mylo kept trying to take over and be both the customer and the shop keeper. Play kept being ground to a halt while we tried to explain to Mylo about sharing and turn taking.
Do you have a cash register at home?
Its amazing how much can be learnt from them isn’t it!