Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Candy Store Pretend Play {Learning Resources Review & Giveaway}

We love checking out new-to-us kids products and then sharing them with you. We were invited to try out some of the 2013 products from Learning Resources. One item we were sent to try out was the New Sprouts® Ring It Up Cash Register.

Make sure to scroll down and enter our New Sprouts® Ring It Up Cash Register giveaway too!

Today I am going to introduce you to this darling cash register and then I have a really fun pretend play candy store activity to tell you about.

The New Sprouts® Ring It Up Cash Register is a Learning Resources product created for 2-4 year olds. It is brightly colored and comes with five play coins. 

We like the cash register because...

  • the buttons are chunky and fun to push
  • the cash register drawer pops out when you press the large purple button
  • money can go down two different shoots... my kids call the one on the right the magic shoot because it sends money magically into the drawer
  • the knob is fun to turn and use to make the numbers change
  • the register is very durable... it has been dropped by my toddler several times and knocked over by the baby too 

One of the main reasons I like this cash register over a more sophisticated cash register with more money (coins and dollars) is that with other types of registers I am constantly finding coins or ripped up dollar bills all over my house. I love the pure simplicity of this toy that allows for kids to use their imaginations and let the coins signify whatever amount of money they want them to be. 

From the second that the cash register box was opened, someone has been playing with this toy. Occasionally it gets to have a "time out" on the shelf up high because it needs a break.

On Friday after Halloween my kids didn't have school and they were kind of grumpy and crazy. We grabbed the cash register to do some pretend play and decided to use all of our leftover candy and create our very own Candy Store!

I gave the kids some bowls we had lying around and they got started sorting the candy immediately. It was so cute to see how serious they were about organizing their store. They didn't even ask to eat any candy because they were so focused on "selling" it and setting up the store :)

Next I gave my son some markers and a big posterboard and he made a sign for the shop. This was a great chance for him to practice sounding out words and writing letters and words.

Once the candy was organized and the sign was done, we set up a kid's table and set everything on it. Then we hung the store sign and my son grabbed some sticky notes and a pen and started putting prices on each of the candy bowls. This was another simple way that writing was embedded into this activity.

It was pretty funny to see how much he made everything cost. Tootsie rolls and fruit snacks are expensive!

Meanwhile, my daughter and I went and got dressed up to go shopping. We grabbed our coins from the New Sprouts® Ring It Up Cash Register and some purses... along with our fanciest dresses.

Once we got the go ahead from my son, we started shopping! We had fun teaching my daughter about shopping and how you have to pay for things before you shove them in your bag or leave the store. She often leaves real stores with unpurchased items that we then have to go return... so this gave us a good chance to practice.

It was cute to watch the kids pretend to be store clerks and shoppers and talk about what they were purchasing and how much it cost, etc. I had fun trying out all of the roles too.

When it was my chance to be the store clerk, I added an extra element to payments for my son. He got to bring me his purchase and then we'd write down the two purchase prices on a sticky note (which I called a receipt) and then we'd worked together to do double digit addition. My 5-year-old LOVED it and wanted to spend all afternoon making a receipt book. 

After we shopped a bit, I did let the kids eat some of the candy that they had purchased. If you want to make this activity candy free... just save some wrappers and use them without the candy... or make pretend playdough candy. 

My kids have been playing candy store again and again and again since we set up the shop. They love using the chunky coins from their cash register and in one minute one coin is worth 5 cents... and a few minutes later it is worth $20.  I loved watching how their imaginations worked during such a simple and fun activity!

If you want to check out more from Learning Resources you can find them on FacebookPinterestInstagram, and Twitter... or scroll through their catalog on their website.

Today I am excited to give one Toddler Approved reader the opportunity to win their own New Sprouts® Ring It Up Cash Register.

Learning Resources Cash Register Giveaway

Giveaway Entry Requirements:
  • Make sure to fill in the rafflecopter giveaway entry below and complete the mandatory email entry.
  • You can get up to eight entries by completing all eight tasks mentioned in the rafflecopter form below.

Entry Guidelines:
  • This giveaway is open for entry from Tuesday, November 5th to Monday, November 11th at 12:00am (PST)
  • The winning entry will be drawn on Monday, November 11th. I will notify the winner via email.
  • The winner will need to reply to me within 72 hours of my email. If there is no response, a new winner will be drawn.
  • See our Official Giveaway Rules for complete guidelines. US Residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This review and giveaway are sponsored by Learning Resources. I was sent a free cash register to review and share. All opinions in this post are mine!


  1. This is such a cute little toy. I think it would be perfect for my little guy. Thanks for offering this giveaway!

  2. What a cute idea to turn Halloween candy into a fun, educational activity! Thanks for the idea.

  3. They have some adorable things! I think my son would love the counting elephant set!

  4. This looks perfect. We just started playing store at our house and we were looking for a toddler friendly cash register!

  5. Thanks for the review! Looks cute and gives me great ideas!

  6. have you seen the candy construction set? my boys saw it in their catalogue and want it!!

  7. I love this idea and the cash register seems so simple which is good I love learning resources molds for shapes and letters!

  8. My son would love this. He loves playing with the cash register at the children's museum.

  9. My son would love this... he loves anything with buttons! I also love all of the play food on the Learning Resources site, and think it would go great with this register :-)

  10. Why didn't I think of that for all the Halloween candy?! Great idea! So many great teaching resources at Learning Resources. I recognized a few from my daughter's preschool. She'd fun with the Smart Snacks® Rainbow Color Cones™ Game.
    bluemelon1 {at} yahoo {dot} com


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! Please know that if it isn't kind or adding to the conversation, it won't be shared. I moderate each comment, so you won't see your comment show up immediately when you post. Thanks for stopping by to visit my blog.