Does your child enjoy going to the grocery store and watching the cashier scan items? Then this cardboard cash register craft is right up your alley! I recently made this toy for my son and we both love how it turned out. Being an active 3-year-old, he enjoys pushing the pressable buttons, sliding the cash drawer in and out, and changing the display. As a mom, I love seeing him become involved in imaginary play and excitedly practicing his numbers.
Ready to make a cash register toy of your own? Let’s get making!
What You Need
- Calculator with large buttons (Does not have to function)
- Cardboard box (Larger than calculator)
- Plastic Container (Smaller than cardboard box)
- Extra Corrugated Cardboard
- Paper Towel Roll
- Craft Knife
- Paint Brushes
- Hot Glue Gun
- Packing Tape
- Mod Podge and sponge brush (optional)
First you’re going to make the cash register’s display.
- Trim your paper towel roll to fit your cardboard box.
- Trace both ends of the tube onto your corrugated cardboard to create two circles. Cut those out.
- Cut out 12 cardboard pieces (approx. 3 1/2″ x 1″) to display your digits (0-9), dollar sign, and cents sign.
- Cut a slit in your paper towel roll to fit your cardboard pieces.
Now you’ll make the cash register’s pressable buttons.
- Measure the size of your calculator’s keypad.
- Draw a corresponding sized rectangle onto a piece of paper.
- Move that rectangle around on the top of your box until you’ve found the right spot to cut your hole out.
- Once you’re satisfied, trace the rectangle and cut it out from your cardboard box.
Now you’ll make the sliding cash drawer.
- Cut off the bottom of your box.
- If your box is too tall, trim it’s height so that it fits the calculator and your plastic bin cash drawer inside.
- Measure your plastic bin and cut out a corresponding hole in the bottom side of cardboard box.
- Trace your cardboard box onto a piece of corrugated cardboard. Cut that rectangle out to create a new bottom for your cash register.
Cut out extra cardboard bits to act as the credit card slider (two long rectangles) and extra buttons.
Paint your cardboard box, credit card slider, cardboard buttons, and cash register display pieces. (Optional: Once your paint dries, use Mod Podge to protect your paint job.)
Now you’ll put the inside of the cash register together.
- Tape your calculator to the bottom of your cash register so that its buttons poke through the rectangle opening on top.
- Cut out two rectangles from your corrugated cardboard. One will act as a wall, preventing your cash bin from sliding too far into your cash register. Tape this one inside the box. The other rectangle will act as a barrier preventing your cash bin from sliding all the way out. Tape this rectangle to your plastic bin.
Now you’ll put the outside of the cash register together.
- Hot glue the bottom of the cash register on.
- Hot glue your cash register’s display, credit card slide, and buttons to the top of your cash register. Now you’re done and the kids are ready to play. Ka-ching! Ka-ching!
Isn’t this neat? I love how we turned a bunch of everyday items into a personalized and fully functional handmade cash register toy! You can make this toy by yourself like I did, or encourage the little ones to join in. This is a great project for kids because it involves painting and building movable, interactive components.