The Joy of a $2 Cash Register

A while back we were given a cute wooden toy kitchen. In addition to picking up some play food, I wanted to get a few “pantry” items but all the kits I came across either had pieces too big or too many to fit in the small spaces. I ended up hanging on to a couple of cereal sample boxes and other small boxes to recover and a few small items like a small container of sour cream and half and half to serve as pantry and refrigerator items.

If you’d like some printables, here are some fun labels ready to go. I also added a barcode to every item and covered everything in packing tape (I tip I picked up from a children’s museum) to help them survive.

My daughter has enjoyed playing with the kitchen but she also loves her shopping cart. I was finally able to repurpose the items into a grocery store set up with a recent thrift store purpose. I happened upon a $2 cash register that beeps, and has a cash drawer and card swipe sounds, and both girls love it.


I may be more excited than my daughter about the possibilities: our coffee maker and pretend cookie tray can be a coffee shop, the pizza play set can be a full on restaurant, etc. Now that the younger one is beginning to interact and understand more, it’s fun to try to create play set ups that they can enjoy together.

Easy Grocery Store Play Set Up:

  • A couple of boxes and small grocery items that have been washed
  • Cover with some pretend labels to create a variety
  • Use some reusable or store shopping bags (you can just use the bag to store the rest of the items)
  • Toy cash register or calculator and play money

Designate an area to set up the store and some where to be the check out area. Stand back and let kiddos play!