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Easter is only just around the corner, I have already nipped into Sainsbury's to take advantage of the three chocolate Easter eggs for a fiver but I usually buy Mia and Nathan an extra little gift too. I had no intentions of spending a fortune on another toy that would be thrown into the toy box after an hour but I wanted to find a toy that they could share and enjoy. When I saw the Chad Valley cash register on the Argos website I knew that the present wouldn't last until Easter, I was longing to hand it over to them to have some fun with.
Mia is the elder child and she loves to be in charge, Mia really enjoys playing shops and the game always seems to involve her little brother Nathan in some way or another. They have a fair collection of toy `food` and their Mum saves all of the empty cardboard boxes and plastic tubs reseals them and they are an essential part of their `shop`. It can be good fun to listen in when Mia and her friends ( with Nathan in tow ) start to play shops, the banter is hilarious. All of them want to be the shopkeeper so there is a bit of a fight at the beginning of the game!
At the moment they have been using an old chocolate finger tin as their cash register and they are allowed to have some brass coinage as well as some old Monopoly money that acts as notes. I saw the Chad Valley cash register and quickly realised
that this had to be the ideal Easter gift and at £9.99 it was not out of my price range either. Chad Valley recommend that the toy is for ages three and above. I must add though that the cash register is not that large, the box looks bigger but when you open it you realise that the bits and pieces are packed on top of the cash register.
The cash register is really funky looking, the main part of the durable plastic casing is a bright daffodil yellow and the keypad on the front is blue with bright yellow buttons, in fact the whole set up looks really eye catching. The cash register has an inbuilt scanning unit that sits to the left of the keypad the scanner does have a red light on it )and the actual drawer for the cash is in green plastic, the drawer has three sections, one for notes and two for coins. The coin sections are fine but the larger drawer at the back for the notes would have been better if it was a little larger, the notes are a bit crammed in. Chad Valley have had the forethought and they have included a bit of plastic play money and a few notes, a few items of food for the customers and a little plastic basket for the customers to put their shopping into. The thing that made me really giggle was the plastic credit card that was in the pack ! And believe it or not there is a swipe mechanism on the till just to make it all the more realistic. The cash register needs two AA batteries, now these do not come supplied so make sure that you have a couple to hand, the batteries are essential because they activate the noises of the scanner as it `beeps` and when you swipe the credit card the machine plays a little tune.
We were more than happy to be invited to the first shopping session and of course Mia was the checkout girl. I feel that Chad Valley have designed this toy really well, the sounds are so realistic. I was next in the queue and Mia calculated my bill by adding it up on the keypad, which then realistically calculates it and shows the sum total on the digital display unit above the keypad. The whole scenario was quite `real`, the checkout girl took my money, she was looking very serious until I said to her that girls who worked on tills were supposed to smile !, then she took my paper money, pressed the till open button and her face was a picture and the drawer went `bring` and popped open. To her credit she did take some time to examine the numbers on the keypad before she took my money but the inbuilt calculator could make a useful maths tool. In a very professional manner Mia dealt with my transaction and gave me my change then it was on to the next customer who just happened to be Nathan who was hanging onto Mum wailing that he wanted a go!
So Chad Valley have created a very realistic toy that is fabulous for role play, the cash register is quite durable and it needs to be if it is going to stand the test of time. The bleeping, pinging and the melodies that it plays enable the game to be even more realistic. I am going to find some more plastic money for them because the coins seem to go `walkies` quite easily and if they have shopping outing that involve friends then they will need some more coinage. For the cashier there are some valuable lessons to be learned, as I have already said I said to Mia that cashiers have to be pleasant to their customers ( how long that idea will last I do not know ) and the of course the cashier is in charge and that gives them certain responsibilities. I asked if I could have my goods `on tick`, of course Mia had no idea what I was talking about but when I fully explained that I wanted to pay later she was quite indignant.
A brilliant toy for the imagination, the kids can have great fun and games ( so can the adults!) Playing shops involves developing social skills, you need to be a patient `queuer`, you may have to pass the time of day with others in the queue, the cashier needs to keep a level head and a smile on his/her face and of course there may be the odd customer that you refuse to serve ! All in all a wonderful toy, the one and only small hitch is that you can only have the one cashier and they just have to take turns. This basic Chad Valley toy is well worth the money and it is such good fun.